PPA truly transformed in April of 2021. Read this letter from our Executive Director / Founder to learn more…
I’ve seen and heard from so many of you talented young actors and artists lately, about how little access you have to the arts now and how, in most cases, little is being done to help that. It makes me so sad to see so much creative spirit be bottled up without an outlet and so many of you feeling like there isn’t much of a community there for you.
Recently, I’ve wanted to do so much more with this small company of ours. This community. This space. This avenue. This unique place where I want you to feel welcome and inspired. I want to do more shows and teach more classes and offer more resources and do all that I can to help you have access to the arts, acting, singing, dancing, writing, drawing, production, theater, film, and everything in between.
We created this little endeavor originally as a temporary solution to a devastating problem. But this community has grown into something that I think deserves more than that and is greater than that. I am so grateful for each one of you, especially cast members past and present, who have committed to helping us bring these virtual shows to life, taken time and effort to come to rehearsals, and helped us curate a space of positivity and fun. You’ve helped us turn a spontaneous talent show into an entire theater company where you have the freedom to be creative and return to something you love, even if it’s in a completely new way.
Our virtual productions and classes are not meant to be a replacement for actual shows or actual workshops. They’re not meant to satisfy you for the time being. They’re not meant to make you long for something more concrete. They’re not meant to be temporary.
Our virtual theater is here for you. Our virtual theater is something completely new, something completely separate and strong and innovative. This new space that we’ve created is something that I truly hope brings you joy and inspires you to reach for new heights, new ideas, and new ways of telling stories and entertaining people.
Think about this: You are single-handedly creating and contributing to a brand-new world of theater, from the comfort of your home, alongside a nationwide community of artists, with incredible technology at your fingertips, all the while helping to bring joy into even more people’s homes in countless states across the US.
I don’t want you to feel like our shows aren’t “real” or that this community doesn’t exist. I don’t want you to be sad every time you see us on a Zoom screen. I don’t want our virtual world to be a hollow reminder of what you wish you were doing or miss doing or simply haven’t experienced. If you can come into this new space with an open mind, a hopeful heart, and your creative soul, we invite you to thrive and come on this adventure and experiment and learn and have fun. Because at the end of the day, that’s all that I want to give you here: a safe, hopeful, joyful space where you can be yourself and express yourself and just be a kid or a teen.
This little playhouse of ours is going to grow, very soon. I’ve realized how much I actually want to do with this special community and for this special community. I want this space to feel like a truly-online world of its own. Have you ever been a part of something like the old-school InnerStar University or Club Penguin or Nintendo Online? That’s what I want our space to feel like. Somewhere where you can enjoy yourself, spend time with friends, and be creative.
In the next few months, here are just a few of the things I hope to accomplish…
⁃ If you’ve done a show with us, you know we use Discord as our backstage, right? Well, soon, I’m going to create a PPA community Discord where you can chat with fellow castmates, meet new artsy friends, and just be in a community of positivity and inspiration.
⁃ I’m going to start creating some online courses for you, about all different topics, like creative writing, directing, and so much more. If you have any ideas or suggestions for a course you’d like to take, please let me know.
⁃ We’re going to begin hosting monthly masterclasses on how to be a successful performer through Zoom and other virtual mediums, teaching you how to do your very best on this innovative stage.
⁃ More classes! You guys have expressed so much interest in more workshops and masterclasses for Broadway dance especially, but we’ll also be doing ones in acting, writing, and more.
⁃ The thing that makes this community special are the people, which is you guys! This idea has been brewing for a while, so in the next few weeks, we’re going to start asking you guys to submit pieces for our Instagram IGTV page. It could be a song, a dance, a monologue, a scene, a poem, artwork, etc, but we want to feature your creativity on our page.
⁃ Our Summer show will be announced sometime in May, so stay tuned!
⁃ I’m going to start a blog on our website so I can share more resources and helpful info with you and your parents. This should come sometime next month.
⁃ We’re looking for some more team members, such as a technical director, community Discord monitor, course creators, guest bloggers, and more. Keep an eye out for these to be posted on our website soon!
If you read this entire letter, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. I simply wish to give you hope and help you find new inspiration and new perspectives. I’d like to end on a personal story.
In early March, I participated in a virtual cabaret with the last theater group I worked with in person. It was so incredible to see all the familiar faces and spend time together. The rehearsals were quite the process, but by show night, something amazing happened.
I felt it. I felt that energy, that magic, that buzz, the communal spirit shared by performers and an audience. It was overwhelming, something I truly hadn’t felt in over a year, but there it was. The nerves, the excitement, the comradory, the anxiousness, the impatience, the magic. I felt this swell of joy and hope, realizing that theater is just a word for something we simply can’t quite describe, a miracle of the human spirit and a celebration of life. Theater is so much more than one building or set or stage. Theater is a miracle, a magical moment of evanescence and storytelling. Even though everyone was in a different place, some even around the world, our spirits, our art, was one in this performance. And I felt it.
This experience proved to me that we are stronger than a limit or a change or a hardship. We are bigger than one stage or one place, our artists’ hearts are so open and so magical, our stories and our emotions can carry to each other no matter what the circumstances. Virtual theater doesn’t have to be a painful stand-in for real-life theater. Virtual theater is an innovation, an adventure, a solution and a hope. An emotion can be captured in a movie scene, a story can be printed on a page, a piece of music can be saved in a recorded song. So why can’t theater be transcended above a building? It can. It can and it does. We are.
You are special. You are creative. You are inspiring. You are so strong and so smart and so worthy and you have inspired me to take this journey up a notch. I want to help you be the best you can be, to feel the best you can feel, and do what little I can to help you feel seen and heard and cared-for. If that’s only through a chaotic rehearsal or a fun dance to a favorite song or a little chat on a Discord server, then I can only hope that what we’re doing here brings some sunlight into your day, if only for a few minutes.
I truly hope my theater company has done that for you. I truly hope our space has given you somewhere to find happiness and fun, even if it’s just for a few hours each week. Thank you for inspiring me to keep exploring and expanding. Thank you for showing me how much bigger your talent is than one place or one time. Thank you for supporting us and helping us to grow this community. Thank you for being you.
If you know anyone who would benefit or enjoy our services, please don’t hesitate to send them our way. We welcome you young artists, no matter what, to come and be creative here and learn and inspire and thrive.
I’m sending you so much hope and wishing blessings beyond measure. You’re always in my prayers.
See you soon with beautiful new things.
Thank you and be well,
Exec. Director / Founder