Celebrating students’ talents at RT Star’s b-day bash

Youthful exuberance and a multitude of talent was on display May 5 at RT Star’s Big Birthday Party at Riverside Theatre, a free family day to familiarize children and families with the many innovative programs offered by Riverside Theatre and its educational wing, Riverside Theatre for Kids, which has been introducing the performing arts to local children since 1980.

RT Star, Riverside’s mega-watt yellow education mascot, shared the spotlight to showcase the talents of students and apprentices with performances outdoors on the Live in the Loop stage and indoors on the Waxlax Stage and in the Anne Morton Theatre. The Riverside campus was also replete with interactive activities, creative face painters, a DJ Dance Party, and even free snow cones and hot dogs for the little ones.

With summer fast approaching, RCT staff has been busy fine-tuning their camps, which include RCT Kids Beginning Stages, Second Stage Jr., iRascals Kids, RCT Kids, iRascals Jr., Summer Intensive Riverside Teen and the Riverside Dance Festival.

“I just enjoy that we have these events to promote our programs,” said Adam Schnell, dance program director. “Most of the time, we get our kids for both dance and theater camps from this event and then they see how cool we are. The camp is like a buffet to sample from; they get to see what our offerings are and then can come back and get involved with what they really want to do.”

Riverside Managing Director Jon Moses said there are now four free family events: RT Star’s Big Birthday Party, RT Star’s Back to School Party (Aug. 4), the Festival of Trees Family Festival Night in November and a new RT Star Celebrates the Arts Party, which will be held in January in conjunction with the Cultural Council’s Celebrate the Arts event.

“Whenever we have something for children, it’s always full-campus,” said Moses. He says that way, children are introduced to the main stages while parents are becoming aware of all that is offered in the education wing, including Riverside’s adult programming.

“It’s bringing the two worlds together, that in many ways had previously been operating in their own little world.”

Next up at the Anne Morton Theatre, students of the Dance Conservatory of Riverside Theatre will perform a celebration of dance May 17-18. “Madagascar Jr.” will be presented June 15-16 and June 29-30, “Madagascar.” July 13, Rascals Revue opens up with iRascals Pop, and July 28 with iRascals Broadway. Performances move to the Stark Stage July 20-21 for a performance of “Once on This Island Jr.,” and on Aug. 3-4 for the Riverside Dance Festival. Also Aug. 4, RT Star, in partnership with the Education Foundation, welcomes families back with RT Star’s Back to School Party.

For a full schedule, visit RiversideTheatre.com.

Photos by: Denise Ritchie
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