Dear Boxcar Youth Players Friends & Family,
My name is Mykaela Sterris, Director of Youth Programs for Boxcar Theatricals, and I am beyond pleased to introduce the Boxcar Youth Players. We are an after-school community theatre program for young people from grades K-12. My dream in building this program is to create a safe, lively, and enriching environment for every single young person who walks through our doors. Albeit virtual doors for now... Regardless of experience, household income, race, gender identity, sexual orientation, or mental or physical limitations, everybody has a home at BYP.
The inaugural project for Boxcar Youth Players is a fantastic Zoom course called Right Track geared toward high school students and offers master classes, private coaching, and time with guest speakers from local arts colleges. Right Track will be an opportunity for building vocal and acting techniques, as well as addressing some tough questions about different college theatre programs, the audition process, and the business of theatre. There is so much to learn beyond what happens on stage, and I am honored to be part of that journey.
Some of the things we are looking forward to in the future of our program include after school courses for all grade levels in things like Stage Makeup, Lighting and Sound, Improv, Audition Prep, and so much more. We also can't wait to see a post-COVID theatre world where we can host live junior productions, social events, and even a summer camp!
With a program like this, starting from the ground up, you have to have inspiration from somewhere. For me, it's the inspiration to encourage and enlighten the next generation of great, well-rounded humans, not just theatre artists. Education of the arts has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember, and I have been fortunate enough to have phenomenal and inspirational teachers myself along the way. I would love to take the time here to acknowledge my mentors and dear friends without whom I wouldn't have this opportunity. To Michael Despars, Scott Hedgecock, Anthony Lopez, Genni Klein, Melissa Lyons-Caldretti, and our dear Tim: I love you and I thank you for making me the woman, artist, and educator I am today. I would also love to thank my committee members: Lily Edwards, Brittani Prenger, and Tyler Stouffer who have been nothing short of magic in making these BYP dreams come true.
Thank you for your support and interest in Orange County's newest youth theatre program. I could not feel more fortunate to be the Director of this organization. I look forward to meeting each of you bright young stars, as well as your families, and building our own Boxcar Youth Players family together.
Director of Youth Programs