by Allyson Yoder
This dynamic duo was waiting to jump on the light rail for a rehearsal of the rhythmic, interactive dance piece they are building when I caught them for a quick interview at the station.
What she does when she’s not doing Light Rail Plays: “I go to school at Desert Star. I also do cheer—I’m a flyer.”
How she got involved with RYT: “I got involved with RYT through the Boys and Girls Club, when they came to the Boys and Girls club to see if anyone wanted to audition, and my friend made me do it, so I did. That was for a different show, Summer Beginning about three years ago, and I’ve been with them ever since.”
Why she’s stayed: “I love the uniqueness of it. How different they do things than other theaters. Other theaters would maybe do classic plays, while Rising Youth Theatre does original plays. We do things like this, on the light rail, and it’s not always in a theater or on a stage.”
Something that has surprised her: “I didn’t expect to be able to have the audience to listen to music through their own headphones as we are performing.”
One thing she will take away from the experience is: “Dancing! I don’t dance much, so this helps me be better at it!”
What she does when she’s not doing Light Rail Plays: “I am primarily a contemporary/modern dancer. I’ve worked here in the Valley for over ten years, and currently I am the dance teacher at Carl Hayden Community High School in Phoenix.”
On teaching dance: “I’ve always felt connected to youth, and I especially like where I teach, which is a low socioeconomic environment where they don’t have that sort of exposure generally. That’s something that I’m definitely passionate about, bringing the arts to people who don’t generally get the chance to have access”
Why she loves working with youth: “They’re entertaining, they’re so funny, and, mostly, I think that they have way better ideas than anybody I know.”
How she got involved with RYT: “I got an email from Ashley asking me if I wanted to participate. This is my first time working with RYT, and I was really surprised, because initially, I think of the word “plays,” and “actor,” and I’m like I’m not an actor—I don’t like to speak in front of people—I don’t know if I’m going to be good for this…so it’s been really interesting and really different for me, and out of my box.”
Something that has surprised her: “I think what I’m most surprised about is the diversity, not only in the youth, but also in the professional artists. There are so many different things going on. People are in for a treat!