Rensselaer County Lends Support to Young Actors Guild
The Young Actors Guild (YAG), a not-for-profit program supported by the Rensselaer Union with facility and administrative support, will be entering its 23rd season on the Rensselaer campus this fall. The theater organization is best known for teaching the performing arts to students ages 6 to 18, while working to build good character both on and off stage. Over the years, the group has also enjoyed some wonderful community opportunities that included singing with Celine Dion and Andy Williams at the Pepsi Arena (now known as the Times Union Center) and also participating in the Character Education Youth Leadership summit at Russell Sage College.
“The purpose of the RPI Young Actors Guild is to encourage a child’s self-discovery, incorporating the highest ethical, moral, technical, and artistic standards into a supportive environment where children can enhance their self-expression, stimulate their imagination, and develop strong character,” said Mary D’Amico, YAG director.
Earlier this month, the program received a donation from the Rensselaer County Legislature. The check, in the amount of $823, is the third donation the program has received. The check was given to D’Amico by Martin Reid, chairman of the Rensselaer County Legislature.
“These funds will not only help us to continue our mission, but it will also enhance the program by supporting students who otherwise would not be able to participate in the performing arts on this level,” said D’Amico. “Our work in the classroom is done with an emphasis on development both in the skills of music, acting, and dance as well as the disciplines of commitment, hard work, and leadership. Our students truly learn to understand that theater is a team sport like any other and community responsibility is easily taught in this environment. We are delighted by the continued support that we are receiving from Rensselaer County.”
Annually, the program serves more than 150 elementary, middle, and junior high school students from more than 40 Capital Region public, independent, and parochial schools. In addition to one-week vacation camps throughout the year, students have an opportunity to participate in classes that include acting, dance, and music, both during the school year and also on Saturdays and throughout the summer. All classes are taught by professionals.
In addition, students have the opportunity to perform in one or more professionally choreographed productions following each session.Students participating in this year’s spring 10-week program will perform the critically acclaimed Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. The performance will be held in the RPI Playhouse May 18-20.
For more information, visit yag.union.rpi.edu/