Each summer, the town of Woodland Park is graced with amazing performances put on by the Junior Woodland Players. This group of entertainers ranges from ages 10-18. They have performed everything from Peter Pan to Tom Sawyer. This year, the directors and cast of JWP are preparing for their 15th annual spectacular summer musical.
High school leading actor, Brandon Lau, says, “I wouldn’t have had the skill or experience to play any of my big roles if I hadn’t been in JWP. It’s where I started.”
To explain the reasoning behind this opportunity filled organization, a quote from the website says it all: “The participants will expand their creativity in a safe and healthy environment by exploring who they are and building self-esteem through a variety of activities such as singing, dancing, acting, and set design.”
The goal of JWP is, “to create a life-long foundation for enjoying and appreciating the arts.”
Lau would recommend JWP for “anyone and everyone! There is nothing to lose and everything to gain. The friends, the skill, the experience. It’s a great program.”
Former player, Tyler Schad, seconds this statement, “I would recommend it to any kids who have thought about doing theater, even if they haven’t tried it before. It’s a great program for any experience level!”
According to recent studies, being involved in the arts can increase the level at which students perceive and understand their studies. Charles Fowler and Bernard McMullan of ERIC.gov state that there are various reasons for which the arts are beneficial to education. “The arts can foster committed and exciting school culture, build bridges to a larger community, and humanize the learning environment.”
Lau agrees with this, stating that through JWP he was introduced to academics in the high school years before he attended. “I was comfortable and confident, and that has helped me in more than just academics.”
Beyond the academic and theatre education and experience, Schad says, “I definitely met some amazing people and learned that drama was something I [want] to continue doing.”
Auditions for the next musical, “A Midsummer Night’s Western,” a twist on Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” were held May 3rd. To audition, players were encouraged to bring a song to sing and a short monologue. For more information on how to get involved, please contact Teri McClintock ((719) 659-9048) or Beth Huber ((719) 393-2651) or go to their website at jrwoodlandplayers.org.
The young players work incredibly hard to put on the best performances. Support from their peers and members of their town are greatly appreciated. Be sure to put “A Midsummer Night’s Western” on your calendar this summer during the last weekend of July and the first of August to show your support.