Lexington, SC (Ireland Kost) - “I think if everyone did theater and everyone got to know each other better and built their social skills, I believe that we would have less misunderstandings. South Carolina and the world would be a better place where people could talk more effectively,” said Kory Taylor, a 16-year actress performing in Peter Pan Jr. at the Village Square Theatre.
Kory Taylor is part of a cast that is passionate about promoting the arts in the area. Peter Pan Jr. is a professional production made up entirely of a cast of kids aged 5 to 16. Each summer, the Village Square Theater provides young people the chance to audition for their summer workshop. Everyone who signs up is guaranteed a role which can help take away nerves for young actors.
Director Debra Leopard, who directed her first show in 1978, talked about the logistics of the production and the dedication of the kids. “There are four casts! It’s pretty crazy!” She stated. “Some kids have been in the program for 8 to 10 years.”
Kory Taylor is one of those kids who’s been involved for a number of years. She’s one of the participants playing the charming, yet malicious villain, Captain Hook. She started theater in elementary school, performing with the Village Square Theatre for the first time as a young cast member in Sleeping Beauty.” I’ve been doing the summer program ever since then,” Taylor remarked.
When asked what sparked her interest in theater she replied, “I think it was just being able to express myself freely. Back in elementary school, I was always really different, and no one really got me, but the theater provided a safe environment to grow.” Being in the theater gave Taylor, “The feeling of having a second family.”
Promoting the arts for the young and old alike is a mission of the Village Square Theatre.
“I want (the children) to develop a love for the arts,” said Leopard. “I also want them to walk away with more self-confidence and to feel good about themselves and who they are, and to feel like they’re a part of a theater family and a team.” She hopes theater gives the children a chance to get excited about being on stage and performing.
Peter Pan Jr. will run at Village Square Theatre in Lexington through August 4th. Go to http://www.villagesquaretheatre.com/index.html for tickets!