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Meet the Youth Works Festival Participants

We asked a few of the students involved in our first Youth Works Festival (June 25 and 26) to share details about the rehearsal process, what they've learned, and much more. Hear from Leah Thomison, Thea Frances Yumang, and Nova Rietberg.

How did you get involved with Seattle Rep and their inaugural Youth Works Festival (YWF)?

Leah Thomison (LT): "I learned about this program from watching a few friends in the Next Narrative Monologue Competition and from Seattle Rep Teaching Artist Deanna Martinez."

Thea Frances Yumang (TFY): "I was recommended to the PITB team by Deanna Martinez when they needed new cast members." 

Nova Rietberg (NR): "My English teacher sent my class the link to the audition form for Party in the Bathroom (PITB) and I decided to give it a shot."

What's your role in the YWF? 

LT: "Actor in Party in the Bathroom"

TFY: "Actor"

NR: "I'm acting in Party in the Bathroom." 

What's the rehearsal process been like?

LT: "It’s been really amazing meeting new people and watching people my age grow their abilities."

TFY: "It was strange at first to come in midway through, but the cast was very welcoming. I’ve never done a show in this area and I’m very pleased with how respectful and fun everyone in the room is. I’ve had a positive experience."

NR:"It’s been different from any theater experience I’ve had in the past. The community is very accepting and mindful."

Why do you think it’s important for people your age to participate in theater and programs like YWF?

LT: "Theater is important for young people because you learn stories from different perspectives. And being part of a production you learn about teamwork, hard work, and gain confidence."

TFY: "Theater teaches many things such as creative thinking, confidence, and teamwork. I feel like theater is important because it’s a great tool to learn about people with different experiences in life. You learn empathy from it. In addition, it promotes an appreciation for the arts and humanities, which are things that are being lost in our modern day." 

NR: "Theater for me is really empowering. Since I started acting my confidence has increased a lot."

What do you hope audiences take away from YWF?

LT: "I hope the YWF inspires people to think about their impact on the world and to get involved in the performing arts."

TFY: "For PITB, I hope audiences can see how powerful, intelligent, hopeful, and beautiful today’s youth are. PITB showcases how young people take charge of the future. I hope when people watch this show that it will remind them of the incredible youth and young people in their lives. And that it will make people understand, that it will take everyone calling to make this world a better place for people of all different walks of life."

NR: "I hope audiences will gain a clearer understanding of the youth experience, not only in theater but in life. Particularly for PITB, I hope that audiences will take away some empathy for LGBTQ+ teens and their safe spaces."

What three words would you use to describe YWF?

LT: "Fun, fast, and friends"

TFY: "Flexible, different, and rewarding."

Bonus question: Favorite rehearsal snack

LT: "Gummies"

TFY:  "Fruit leather (strawberry flavored)"

NR: "Fruit roll-ups"


Watch these incredible young performers take the stage during our first Youth Works Festival on June 25 and 26! Reserve your tickets today to see original youth-written works from some of the region’s most talented young writers.

Youth Works Festival