Youth thespians find their place in West JordanMay 08, 2023 03:23PM ● By Linda Steele
The cast of West Jordan Youth Theatre’s “Beauty and the Beast.” (Photo courtesy of Natalie Bate)
Run by the hard work and dedication of volunteers and participant’s parents, the West Jordan Youth Theatre is one of the only youth community theatres that puts on full length productions. Their recent production of “Beauty and the Beast” was another in a long line of successful shows.
Youth who participate in the shows range in age from 8-18 years old and come from West Jordan as well as all over the valley, some coming from as far away as Syracuse and Park City. Typically, the theatre has anywhere from 60-100 kids show up for auditions. For “Beauty and the Beast,” they had 118.
Tracey Lyu is the Director of the West Jordan Youth Theatre. Lyu, with the theatre for four years, was excited to direct “Beauty and the Beast.”
Costume Director Brook Mann has worked with the theatre for five years. The theatre is “giving kids something to do, what they love, they have a place to go, teaches them discipline, and keeps them actively engaged with positive energy,” she said.
Because they produce full length productions, youth who participate gain a tremendous amount of experience that helps them as they venture into other performing arts.
“It is fun to see these kids grow and see their progress. The kids that come back to audition for the shows just keep getting better and better. It’s amazing how theatre can change and give them confidence,” Mann said.
Participation in the arts is so valuable for children. West Jordan Youth Theatre aims to cater to the younger age group helping them learn and find happiness and security in themselves.
“West Jordan Youth Theatre is a place where you can give it a try. Just come and audition, even if you don’t get in, just the audition is enough experience. We have people who audition and not make it, and audition again and make it,” Mann said.
The theatre does a fall and spring show each year with auditions in January and July, plus summer workshops. For more information visit www.wjarts.org. λ