One of the most important things we can do for children on the wait-list for a mentor is make them still feel like they’re part of the program – that they’re not alone. The time between joining our program and being matched with a mentor is called the “wait-list” and it can be a very difficult and stressful time for families.
This is why Something Something Productions, a local theatre production company based out of Niagara-on-the-Lake, decided to step-up and start a theatre camp for children on the wait-list.
“One day I was just thinking how Niagara could benefit with a theatre program that is free for children to gain self-esteem, theatre skills, build relationships, and feel like they are a part of something special with the cost of zero dollars.” said co-founder Rob Burke.
“I am good friends with Adam Maiolo and he chose BBBS for the Zelda Marathon. I felt like BBBS would be a great organization to create something special like a theatre program as well. I approached Dina Mavridis about the idea and she fell in love with it. We both came together and created the program. We also had the help of others like Stacie Primeau to make it happen.”
“We rehearsed once a week on Saturday’s from 10am to 1pm. Second year we did it on Sunday’s. We would do drama games that would allow the children to have the opportunity to build social skills, theatre skills, and to be creative without any judgement of others. Each year we put together a showcase that had songs, skits, and presentations of the games that the children worked on. One year we did it around the Holiday’s so we sang traditional Christmas songs, skits, and games as well. Each year we had about 12-15 children each year. The program ran for two years. We were able to perform out of a church on stage in Port Dalhousie. We could not believe the talent that the children had each year. We observed children who were shy from the beginning and became very outgoing.”
“The changes were so significant and huge from beginning to end. The confidence in the children grew as the weeks went by. The children were able to let themselves go and become characters. We had children who were shy when they first came in and when it came to the showcase performance, they were ready and showed their families how important the program is to them. Parents would come to us and explain how their children are so excited to each week. Each year the children bonded together and it helped their social skills and self-esteem. At times we had children who did not want to perform on stage in the showcase so Dina taught them about stage managing, props, and costumes. Some of the children wanted to be a stage manager and stage hands. Everyone was included no matter what. At the end of each year, we could see the changes in the children and how much it meant to them to be somewhere where they felt safe, a place where they belong, and a place where they could perform for their family members.”
To learn more about Something Something Productions visit https://www.somethingsomethingproductions.ca/