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Sixteen Children's Theatres Honor Frontline Workers With National Tribute Song

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Amid the global pandemic which has forced the temporary closure of many performing arts venues, 16 youth-serving theatres across the country have come together to share a national tribute, performed by children within each community, to honor frontline workers.

Children's Theatre of Charlotte is participating in the project led by Seattle Children's Theatre's Interim Artistic Director Kathryn Van Meter. Titled So Many Heroes, the collaborative effort empowers and amplifies the voices of young people during this time.

At Children's Theatre of Charlotte, students are given a voice through programs like OnStage, a unique showcase experience that brings 150 students together across the course of one weekend to perform 4 plays. Without the ability to meet in person, students still wanted a forum to share their creative talent and energy so Children's Theatre of Charlotte crafted this 5-week intensive into an online setting, allowing students to participate and perform at home.

Jaleena Cate, a student at Children's Theatre of Charlotte, was one of those students and will be participating in the national tribute alongside four other Children's Theatre of Charlotte students: Chloe Hefferman, Charlie Pedroli, Brianna Vinson, and Ryan Campos.

"With the current circumstances, these experiences have been important for me because we were able to come together to a place of comfort in times of uncertainty, said Cate. "Many have gone out of their way to make a familiar outlet for students like me during this time and I am grateful."

Jeff Revels, Artistic Director of Orlando Repertory Theatre and writer for the nationally televised Memorial Day parade, presented the idea knowing that the network of theatres for young audiences could mobilize this tremendous effort. Together, Revels, Van Meter and Rich Grey, songwriter of So Many Heroes, began collaborating on what the national tribute could be.

"We have heard from the doctors and politicians, but not much from the kids of America. Writing musicals for young audiences has taught me how observant kids are. They see everything and absorb it all. They have been processing this like crazy, so, when asked to write this tribute, I knew it had to be in the direct, honest language that kids use," said Grey, emphasizing the importance of hearing from young people during this time.

The tribute, which will be released on Friday May 22, can be viewed on the participating theatre's Facebook pages at 6 a.m. (HST), 9 a.m. (PST), 11 a.m. (CT) or 12 p.m. (EST):

Adventure Theatre MTC (Glen Echo, MD)
Childsplay Theatre (Tempe, AZ)
Children's Theatre of Charlotte (Charlotte, NC)
Dallas Children's Theater (Dallas, TX)
First Stage (Milwaukee, WI)
Growing Stage (Netcong, NJ),
Honolulu Theatre for Youth (Honolulu, HI)
Imagination Stage (Bethesda, MD),
Lexington Children's Theatre (Lexington, KY)
Northwest Children's Theater & School (Portland, OR)
Oregon Children's Theatre (Portland, OR)
Orlando Repertory Theatre (Orlando, FL
Seattle Children's Theatre (Seattle, WA).
The Children's Theatre of Cincinnati (Cincinnati, OH)
Trike Theatre (Bentonville, Arkansas)
Wheelock Family Theatre (Boston, MA)
Sixteen Children's Theatres Honor Frontline Workers With National Tribute Song


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