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Inspiration with impact: a Guiding Star’s Spark (and sparkle!)

Hello to all of our friends at Purple Stage Door Productions! My name is Janaye Couture, I am 17 years old, and I am one of the Guiding Stars with Purple Stage Door. I joined this phenomenal company in September 2019. I love every single aspect of this company, and I could not be more proud to be a small factor in its success! I initially became interested in being a part of this company when I learned that Purple Stage Door Productions provides an inclusive theatre environment for everyone! My Dad is deaf, so I am fluent in sign language, and this skill would be beneficial to the company if any students are non-verbal or use ASL to communicate. I have also been involved in musical theatre and drama since I was 10! So, I wanted to be a part of the team to use sign language and theatre to give our students the best experience possible. 
        My interest in acting sparked during my grade 5 production of Annie Jr. I got the role of Ms. Hannigan (the mean orphanage owner). But do not let that fool you. No one could believe I got cast in that role because I am always so smiley and full of joy 🙂 Soon after that performance, I was obsessed with performing. I joined Milton Youth Theatre Productions and have been in many shows! I have also taken drama class every year at my high school and have learned techniques that benefit my performances but also contribute to my day to day life. Through theatre, I have gained so much confidence, fantastic public speaking skills, and I have met many individuals who share my same passions. This confidence has allowed me to love getting up for presentations and feel comfortable when talking in large groups. As well, with theatre, voice projection is a necessity, and I have learned to use it all the time when I speak. 
        I use these skills frequently when volunteering in my community. For example, I got to act in a haunted house for three years, which required all my acting skills. At The Terry Fox Run, I work at the registration and the information booth where I communicate with others. And most importantly, the skills I have learned through theatre led me to Purple Stage Door Productions, where I get to teach our students the skills that have changed my life. I see how much our students improve throughout our workshops, and I realize how much theatre can have such a positive impact on an individual! 
        By being a Guiding Star, I discovered what I want to pursue as a career. I want to be a Drama Therapist. Drama therapy uses theatrical techniques such as performance, storytelling and acting out feelings to create meaningful change in an individual. Seeing the positive impact that dramatic arts have on someone’s personality and abilities, is something I find incredibly heartwarming. I am so passionate about the arts having a positive influence, and using drama as a healing process is the perfect career for me!
        Now you know a little more bit about me! If anyone has any questions, please send us an email at purplestagedoor@gmail.com, and I would love to answer and chat with you! With that all being said, from me and all your pals at Purple Stage Door Productions, please stay safe, stay creative and stay inspired!!

Meet Janaye! Our Sparkling Guiding Star!

What Theatre Means To Me

By: Janaye Couture

Hello everyone, Janaye here! I am back and very excited to be more involved with Purple Stage Door by writing blogs and creating our social media posts! Today’s blog post is about a subject that is very near and dear to my heart; what theatre truly means to me. In my first blog with PSDP,  I introduced myself and shared with our stars all about my passion for the arts, my journey through community theatre, and how it has shaped my future goals! I hope to emphasize that there is so much more to theatre than just memorizing lines and performing. Theatre is significant to all those involved for various reasons, and here is my outlook!

Through my eight years of being involved in the dramatic arts, I have had the opportunity to reflect on the meanings of theatre and what it entails. At first, I thought that theatre was a fun extra-curriculum, but it is so much more than that! When I think of theatre, I associate it with many different concepts. 

To me, theatre is a family. The moment the cast and crew join forces for rehearsals, there is an instant bond with one another. I have so much love and respect for the individuals I have met through my experience, and I know I can always count on them to lend me a hand if I need it. Just as the characters craft relationships with each other throughout the show, the actors form connections throughout rehearsals. The crew members behind the scenes work in harmony to create a production that is never anything less than a masterpiece! Even if something goes wrong or problems arise, everyone is forgiven because families cannot stay mad at each other for very long. I feel lucky to have a spectacular family as well as an extraordinary theatre family too!

To me, theatre is a community where everyone is welcome. The stage is like my second home, and it brings me so much joy to have that feeling of safety. I have met some pretty incredible people through the arts, and it is the best feeling to be in a community where everyone is loved and able to express themselves however they want to. Not only is everyone accepted, everyone has a KEY role, and there is a place for everyone. Some people love the rush of performing, and others love the technical aspects happening behind the scenes. Having a love for fashion and design comes in handy with sets, props and costumes, while some people love to take on the responsibility of a stage manager. I could go on and on about the incredible roles that theatre has to offer regardless of your abilities, race or sexual orientation. Anyone and everyone in the theatre community is welcomed and accepted! 

To me, theatre is being myself unapologetically. I know this sounds a bit contradictory because when I am on stage, I am not myself. I am embodying a character. However, I love being silly, loud and creative! I get to express my true personality during rehearsals while surrounded by people who share the same qualities as me. I have always been the kid who was full of energy, and I just needed a place to let it all out, and I found that through theatre. There is also always a way to connect my experiences to the characters I play. Acting is empathy. I get to step into the shoes of someone else and try to see life through their perspective. I have become more aware and conscientious because of this, and it has influenced my personality for the better. During a performance, I can escape from my reality for a few hours and play pretend until the curtain closes after the final bows. Then, I return to good ol’ me again. 


And that, my friends, is what theatre truly means to me!

Put Yourself First: Choose Theatre

By: Melanie Romero 

One of the most beautiful things life provides us is the ability to practice art. Whether it is creating music, learning to dance, crafting oil paintings, or writing poetry – the freedom to express ourselves creatively is a perk no one should miss out on.

 Purple Stage Door Productions

At Purple Stage Door Productions, individuals with special needs are given the opportunity to bring out their artistic side in the form of educational theatre productions. The organization allows individuals to express themselves using a unique combination of one’s character and daily life skills. Program options for these individuals range from drama and dance, to music and behind-the-scenes theatre.

 Getting Involved

It is important that as humans, we are able to grow both individually and socially. Everyone deserves to be a part of something that fulfills them. Everyone deserves to express themselves and experience what it means to indulge in self-love. Being part of a theatre production, for example, can give individuals that sense of fulfillment and community, therefore fueling that self-love.

Make It Count

Often times, implementing extracurricular activities within our schedule can be difficult. That doesn’t mean it is impossible, however. If we can make time for work, homework and Netflix, we can make time to gift ourselves some positivity with an extracurricular activity. It is important we do things for ourselves and put our mental health at the forefront. 

Often times we grow up feeling the need to please others. Whether it be our relatives, peers or society as a whole. My father once told me, “The most important job we have on earth is to make ourselves happy.” This quote has stuck with me throughout my life and I hope it sticks with whoever comes across this blog post. There are truly no downsides to practicing theatre; you gain confidence, you grow socially and you can healthily express yourself. Choose yourself first, choose theatre. 

Behind the Glamour

By: Rafaela Silva

The first “behind the scenes” moment is something an actor never forgets. I remember mine as if it was yesterday; people were running around in a panic, trying to solve problems that should’ve been solved prior to performance day. The stress in the air was almost palpable. The first thought that came to me in the midst of all this chaos was, “wow, this is far less glamourous than it appears on the outside.”

I am here to tell you a bit of what it is like behind the beautiful make up, the perfect scenes and the exciting casting parties. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to convince you that the performing arts are bad. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Seeing the realness of theatre from a behind the scenes perspective intrigued me even more.

What I want to exemplify is that going into the arts is not easy. Someone one told me, “Doing what you love is gratifying. Don’t expect it to be easy or fun all the time because it won’t be.” Being part of the crazy world of art is hard work; you’re constantly on the go and constantly chasing a new goal, but every time you get that recognition, or reach that goal, or kill that performance, it is all worth it!

You know how when you go to an amusement park, you spend hours waiting in line for a mere 2-minute thrill on a ride? That is exactly what performance arts is like; we spend months rehearsing for only an hour (roughly) of adrenaline while we’re on stage. 

Why do we do it? Why do we spend months practicing, chasing after that one goal? Well, you know that feeling once a rollercoaster ends? That feeling. That feeling of utter joy and success is what makes all that behind the scenes chaos worth it. 

Seven Benefits of Theatre

By: Chelsea Claudio

Performing Arts have been around for centuries; from Greek theatre to Shakespeare, slap-stick to classical, musical to comedy and improv to mining. Theatre has evolved over the years and has become a form of expression, entertainment and storytelling. There are many benefits to participating in theatre, especially as a young child. 

Here are seven of those benefits:

Creativity & Imagination

When creating a scene, props are not always available. Therefore, kids are forced to think outside the box in order to create the scene using whatever is available (in many instances, just themselves). Without any props, the goal is to convey the plot to the audience. This takes creativity and imagination, which a child will develop while creating these prop-less scenes. 

Social & Language Development

Communication with the crew and/or other cast members is essential when producing any kind of performance arts, which in turn aids with social and language development.  While taking on different roles, actors will also discover an array of new terms, which in turn develops their language even more so. 

Teamwork & Relationship Building

When you are part of any kind of performance arts, actors work in very close proximity to one another, as they are consistently practicing and going over the same scenes to ensure everyone has it right. Actors also work in close proximity with crew members in order to create the perfect scene. Teamwork is truly essential when it comes to theatre. 

Memory Building & Problem-Solving Skills

Memory plays a huge role in performance arts. Actors must remember not only their lines, but also the lines of the person before them to ensure they say the correct lines at the correct time. This helps kids with their ability memorize and take in information. 

Furthermore, because of the excessive amount of memorization required in theatre, sometimes an actor is going to forget a line or two. In this case, problem-solving skills are utilized when an actor must do improv on the spot to ensure the performance does not pause on the count that they forgot their line. 

Confidence

Being on stage and performing in front of a crowd will grow the confidence of a child; having a group of people clap for you after a performance is a sure-fire way increase confidence levels in anyone. This ongoing sense of confidence produced through theatre will help children to grow up to be confident in their abilities as not only an actor, but in everything they choose to apply themselves to. 

Opportunity for Expression

Theatre can help a child in identifying their own emotions as they take on multiple roles. Also, children are able to take their real-life emotions and express them, whether good or bad, in a healthy way. 

A fun Activity for Anyone

As long as a child is at least six years, they can participate in theatre. Theatre is an inclusive environment for all.

Ability, race, identity do not matter. As long as you have a passion for the performing arts, you’re invited!