Youth Performers and Lake Worth Playhouse Ring in the Holidays with Incredible Performance

Youth Performers and Lake Worth Playhouse Ring in the Holidays with Incredible Performance

The Lake Worth Playhouse, a Prime Time expanded learning opportunity (ELO) provider, celebrated the holiday season with children and youth from Palm Beach County afterschool programs in their performance Happy Holidays from Our Family to Yours.

Youth from Geniusville Academy and the J.C. Mitchell Elementary Afterschool programs gathered on the Lake Worth Playhouse stage to perform classic holiday numbers and modern favorites – from “I Have a Little Dreidel” to “What’s This?” from The Nightmare Before Christmas. As they sat in the theater’s seats buzzing with excitement for rehearsal to begin, a professional lighting designer was adding color and winter elements to the stage, and down in the dressing rooms the final costume pieces were being gathered in anticipation of the night’s show.

Each child was led on stage by their instructors Deshon Allen and Laura Graham and had their first look at the 300-seat theater where they would perform in a matter of hours. They chattered excitedly, each having a turn to go up to the microphones and hear their voice boom out into the currently empty space.

“Once they get the idea they’re going to be on a big stage,” said Graham during the dinner break, “There’s more and more excitement. There’s more and more teamwork.”

The cast, including children and youth from these two afterschool programs, had one final dress rehearsal while their family and friends waited outside of the theater eager for the performance. They performed in large group numbers, showcased individual solo performances and danced in every style imaginable during the show. What was the greatest difference between the dress rehearsal and the final performance that night? The roaring applause from the audience!

The room was full of family members and guardians, school friends and teachers and even members of the local community interested in a little holiday spirit. From the moment they first walked on stage, the audience cheered and the faces on the performers lit up. The end of each song or a particularly rousing solo or dance move brought on rallying cries from the audience. Seeing (and hearing) their loved ones support in the audience turned their performances from great to stellar and as they took their final bows to a standing ovation they glowed with pride in all that they had accomplished.

In 2022-2023, the Lake Worth Playhouse provided 2,224 learning experiences that impacted 131 youth in out-of-school time programs. To learn more about ELO opportunities and how to schedule them at your afterschool program click here.