With Variety Theatre’s 10th anniversary production on the horizon, we reached out to the special Variety Kids and Teens at the very heart of every performance. In the weeks leading up to the show, we’ll share their inspiring stories here on our blog in a series titled “Why Variety Theatre.”
Variety Kid Olivia has always loved to sing and dance, but never once thought that theatre was in the cards. She has been diagnosed with a mitochondrial disorder, which limits her mobility and often requires her to use a walker to get around.
“She did not feel she would be able to do it,” says Bonnie, Olivia’s mom. “And then she heard about Variety Theatre.”
At auditions for Variety Theatre, Olivia was a little nervous. But, she quickly became comfortable because she felt so “included and normal,” Bonnie continues.
Since that first audition, Olivia’s singing and dancing talents have only continued to grow through the direction of the talented Variety Theatre cast and crew, especially Director Lara Teeter.
“Lara is so nice,” says Olivia.
Beyond improving these skills, Olivia has learned to have confidence in herself. She has learned that she can do anything and everything when she puts her mind to it, and constantly applies this lesson both at Variety Theatre and in her everyday life.
“She is not afraid to try new things now,” says Bonnie. “Before Variety Theatre, Olivia definitely felt that she was limited by her disability. Since starting Theatre, she has learned to reach for the stars and that the sky is the limit.”
Olivia has also learned about acceptance, and what it feels like to be accepted. Not only do her friends at Variety Theatre accept her just the way she is, her school class has come to see every one of her performances.
“I feel that it (coming to these performances) has helped them to have a new-found respect for Olivia and all that she is capable of,” says Bonnie.
And this respect and acceptance means the world to Olivia, possibly even more so than having the chance to perform her favorite skills on stage.
“Olivia has learned that anything is possible with Variety,” Bonnie says.
You can see Olivia, and the rest of our inclusive Children’s Ensemble, as they join professional actors on stage for Variety Theatre’s 10th anniversary production, Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Reserve your seat for October 18 – 21, 2018 before they’re gone! Tickets available here.