Variety Theatre, which presented Disney’s The Little Mermaid this year, is a truly inspiring program, one that brings pure magic to the stage and to our audiences.
This year was no different. As the final notes of the last song rang through the Touhill Performing Arts Center after each performance and the audience immediately rose to their feet to applaud and cheer at the top of their lungs, you could truly feel the power this production has on all involved.
It is a production that is memorable not only for its magnificent sets, colorful costumes or songs that will be stuck in your head for days, but for the people involved both on stage and behind-the-scenes. Variety Theatre features professional actors, including Broadway legend Terrence Mann this year, performing alongside a very special Children’s Ensemble.
This Children’s Ensemble is unlike any other – it is comprised of children and teens of all abilities, each of whom are learning new skills, making new friends and building both independence and confidence. And, backstage, there are even more teens working as Variety Theatre Interns, and this year 11 of them were teens with disabilities.
What also makes Variety Theatre special is the profound impact it has on audience members. All receive a message of inclusion, seeing first-hand how anyone can do or be anything, as long as they can dream. And those with disabilities are able to see kids just like them on stage, often for the very first time.
This was also a special year for Variety Theatre as we celebrated our 10th anniversary – that’s 10 years of impact on Variety Kids and the St. Louis community. We also celebrated an Award for a Body of Work from the St. Louis Theater Circle, an award that is only presented when it is felt that it is truly deserved.
We want to thank each and every person who makes Variety Theatre possible, from our partners and donors to the audience members to our volunteers and staff and to our talented cast and crew. Variety Theatre couldn’t be done without you!
The team is already looking forward to next year, and we’re sure it’s going to be even better. Mark your calendars for October 17 – 20, 2019 – the show will be announced in early 2019.
If you’d like to learn more about Variety Theatre, you can flip through this year’s playbill below and visit VarietyTheatre.org.