Performing Arts

100% of Variety Families said that they saw an increase in their child’s self-esteem after participating in Variety Theatre.

Variety’s fully inclusive Performing Arts program brings together kids and teens with and without disabilities, giving them the chance to shine. This free program not only teaches new skills such as singing, acting and dancing, but also fosters friendships and builds each child’s confidence.

The Variety Theatre program is unlike anything else in the country. Variety Kids perform on stage as part of the inclusive Children’s Ensemble or work behind-the-scenes as interns, learning from the professional adult cast, crew and live professional orchestra that feature regional and national theatre experts. Together, they produce a magical show each October that inspires audiences to see beyond disabilities. Variety Theatre's 2021 production, The Music Man, has been postponed out of concern for the health and safety of our Variety Kids, cast, crew and audience.

Variety Children’s Chorus features children and teens of all abilities, performing together to spread Variety’s message of inclusion throughout the St. Louis area. From September through April, Chorus members learn, practice and perform songs with their peers under the direction of Debby Lennon.

Variety Dance is also an inclusive program, adapted to fit each child’s needs and abilities. Director Dawn Gilbertson, a professional and experienced dancer, teaches a wide range of exercises as well as basic dance steps and musical theatre choreography, all designed to build strength, mobility and more in a fun, safe environment. Dance classes are held from September through April and are virtual this year. 

If you’d like to donate to help us make the impossible, possible for Variety Kids, click here. Thank you!

 “My number one lesson from Variety Theatre is confidence. Theatre has really taught me to express myself and to always have a positive outlook.” – Variety Teen Meghan