By Vanessa De Zorzi
Is your child interested in acting? Or maybe they are shy and you’re looking for a way to boost their confidence. Today, I’m interviewing Beth Hampson, a Melrose mom of 3, about her family’s experience with The Young Company in Stoneham. The Young Company is Greater Boston Stage Company’s year-round theatre education program for students in grades 1-12, offering artistic training and performance opportunities in a professional setting.
Where are you from originally and what town do you live in now?
I grew up in Connecticut right outside NYC. I Moved to the Boston area in 1997, for Graduate School and I have lived in Melrose since 2005.
How many children do you have and what are their age(s)?
I have three children – a daughter who is 12 and in 6th grade and twin boys who are 10 and in 4th grade.
What do you love most about living in the North Shore area?
I love the easy access to Boston, the many great arts and cultural opportunities on the North Shore and the green spaces such as the Fells, Ipswich Wildlife Sanctuary, Plum Island and Wingaersheek Beach.
How did your family first become involved in The Young Company?
Our first experience with The Young Company was seeing a family friend perform in a Summer Festival production of the Little Mermaid when my daughter was in pre-k. The summer before 4th grade she was in the ACT 1 Summer Festival production of Freckleface Strawberry.
What productions have they been a part of over the years?
Since then she has participated in both Winter and Summer Festivals and has been in the casts of Frozen Jr., the virtual production of The Phantom Tollbooth, and last summer her brothers joined her in A Wrinkle in Time, and again this winter in The Many Disguises of Robin Hood.
Who do you feel would be a good fit for the program?
The Young Company is incredibly inclusive and honestly it would be a good fit for any child interested in being on stage! The education department does an excellent job of making their program accessible for all types of learners. It is also great for students who have a serious interest in theater. There are wonderful opportunities to learn and grow as an artist through the many program offerings.
What have your kids learned from being a part of theatre classes?
They have gained confidence. They have met and made some of their best friends. They have learned how to collaborate and compromise. They have felt the joy of being a part of a cast and the strong relational bond that is created when actors come together to tell a story on stage. They are more accepting, kind, and inclusive of others because of their experience with The Young Company. And they have improved their memorization skills, developed language and literacy skills, improved their projection and articulation, learned about stage direction and theater etiquette, learned about dance, drumming, prop-making, and developed social and emotional skills.
For my daughter, who is quite serious about theater she has learned skills and techniques that have helped improve her acting, singing and dance. She has grown so much as an actor through The Young Company classes and productions.
Advice for parents considering having their students join The Young Company?
Do it! If your child is interested in theater and developing their skills; If your child is shy and needs to build confidence; If your child needs to work on language and literacy skills; If your child needs to improve their social skills; If your child is super social, likes to ham it up and needs an outlet for their drama…they will love this program.
Find more about The Young Company’s Summer Festival 2022 running July 5 – August 21 on the web here and follow along with them on social media!