For the last four years, Shadowbox Live has been dedicated to supplementing the curriculum of local public high school students with a healthy dose of arts education . . . Shadowbox Live-style. This past Monday night, 35 area students showed off what they'd learned in the fourth installment of STEM Rocks the 'Box.
"This year was our most successful year yet!" says Shadowbox Live Community Relations Director Stacie Boord. "The field of students auditioning was wider, we accepted more students into the program, and the audience attending the event was the largest to date."
The Shadowbox Live STEM Rocks the 'Box program auditions high schools students from local Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) schools for an intensive two week program that culminates in a special one-night show where students perform alongside of the metaperformers of Shadowbox Live. "Each year we seem to add another school! It was exclusively Metro Early College students in 2009 and 2010. Last year, we added Linden McKinley STEM Academy. This year, we opened up opportunities to Reynoldsburg eSTEM and Westerville," says Boord.
"Of the past four auditions, this years competition was by far the most fierce ," says Boord. "Seventy students auditioned and in the end, thirty-five ended up performing on stage with us."
Accepted students were each cast in a variety of roles within the show, including comedic sketches, lead and back-up vocals, instrumental music, and dance, as well as working backstage and learning the technical side of performance such as lighting and sound. After three instructional sessions, one soundcheck and one very long day of dress rehearsals, the students were thrust into the spotlight, performing for friends, family, and strangers that made up the overwhelmingly supportive sold out house Monday night.
"I can't tell you how much courage something like this requires," says Boord. "It's a tremendous feat these kids accomplish, and one we hope will give them confidence that will spill over into everything they do in the future."
In addition to the STEM Rocks the Box series, Shadowbox Live also offers a Summer Boot Camp for local teenagers. This summer, Shadowbox Live is holding two sessions, the first June 12-29, and the second July 24-August 11.
"The Summer Boot Camp is sort of like the STEM Rocks the Box program on steroids," says Boord. "Instead of choosing which discipline you're interested in, you'll learn them all. It doesn't matter if you don't think you can sing, or dance, or whatever, we're going to teach you anyway."
Interested students must audition for the program, and if accepted will attend classes four days a week for three weeks. On the last Friday of each session, the participants will be blended seamlessly into a Shadowbox Live Lunchbox performance.
"Our goal is to make these kids into metaperformers," says Boord. "If an audience member can't tell the difference between our staff and the students, then we've done our job."
Summer Boot Camp auditions will be held at The Shadowbox Live Building at 503 S. Front Street on Saturday, May 12th at 12:00 Noon. Auditions are open to students ages 15-21. Interested students are asked to fill out an application before the date of the audition. For more information visit www.shadowboxlive.org/Academy or call 614-416-7625.
Shadowbox Live is the largest resident theater company in America, producing over 400 shows per year. A non-profit 501c3 performance troupe, Shadowbox Live employs 60+ full time ensemble members immersed in the Shadowbox Livephilosophy of "everyone does everything," including arts administration. These Shadowbox Live metaperformers self-produce a wide range of shows, as well as run the company on a day-to-day basis.
For over 20 years this creative team has produced world-class performances, spanning the artistic spectrum with sketch comedy, rock 'n 'roll, original rock operas, traditional musicals, drama, dance theater and new media; always putting emphasis on the unparalleled live experience.
Shadowbox Live is a healthy, vibrant, self-sustaining arts organization that generates the majority of its funding from its patron base, and leads the way as an artistic tour de force in Midwest.