Variety Teen Mia’s Light the Lights Review

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Is there anything better than a glowing theatre review? We don’t think so! Our favorite so far this year has come from one of our own – Executive Producer Intern Mia sent us her thoughts on Light the Lights and Variety Theatre as a whole.

Mia is a Variety Teen and this is her tenth year as part of the Variety Theatre program. She has loved her experience with the inclusive production and says that it has changed her life, helping her feel accepted and confident in her abilities.  

Keep reading to see her review and tune in tonight, November 19, for the very last showing of Light the Lights. The free virtual musical will air online here at 7 p.m. CT.

I’ve essentially grown up at Variety, and it really has changed the course of what I want to do with my life. When I first joined in 2011 with The Wizard of Oz, I was 10. That was 10 years ago, so I’ve now spent half my life at Variety. I wouldn’t have done that if I didn’t love it and believe in it as much as I do. 

I really have learned from Variety and the theatre program, but beyond learning about theatre and how shows come together, my favorite part is the people I now have in my life and getting to build stronger bonds with those same people each year. And the feeling the people involved give me.


The theatre program at Variety is one of the first places I have felt like I fit in with other people, at least a little bit. Before I worked with Variety, I would often feel left out of certain activities because of my mobility/lack of it and always felt like I didn’t belong in lots of places. I either never liked how I looked or got mad at myself if I couldn’t do something exactly like other people.

I still have those thoughts occasionally, but doing Variety’s shows each year has taught me how to deal with those thoughts better and, when I come to rehearsals, I feel like I can let go of my own thoughts without feeling afraid of what people think of me. The people I know at Variety are my second family and I love everyone involved as if I’ve known them forever. Lots of people I’ve gotten to talk to have felt the same way! 

Every year at Variety is great, every aspect is great, but the past few weeks of working on this show this year in particular have been the most interesting out of all 10 years I interned at Variety. Even though we couldn’t spend time together physically, I still feel like we got most of the same experience, thanks to everyone for helping this come together. Drew, Dena, Lara, Dawn, Marc, Jack, Carolbeth, and everyone else behind the scenes that held this crazy time together, you all are AMAZING and deserve every award in the world.

- Mia