Hello! My name is Lyssa Willis, and I have the great honor to be the Education Creative Director for the 2023 season at Marshfield Community Theatre!
Before we dive into my role, I’d love to tell you a bit about me! I have been in love with theatre since my first show, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, in 2012. A few years after that I stumbled my way into MCT to play the Tweedle Dee to my little brother’s Tweedle Dum. We begged our parents to audition with us for Shrek the Musical, Dad got ‘voluntold’ (our family’s way of volunteering someone for something) into helping backstage for a show, and the Willis Family were soon sucked into the beautiful community that MCT offers.
My family and I have had the joy of being a part of many of the MCT shows over the last eight years (We even got Dad to dance once! That was an absolute feat.). I have been in many of the roles of a production, from acting, to backstage work, to directing The Lion King Experience Jr. this past summer. Through all of this, it is impossible to deny that teaching theatre is my passion. I decided to pursue this by attending Missouri Southern State University to study Speech and Theatre Education.
I am beyond grateful to be adopting the new position of Education Creative Director this year. I am even more excited to be helping roll out exciting old AND new programs this season.
As always, our scholarships are coming back in full force! In 2021, I was the recipient of the annual Education Scholarship. This was beyond helpful in the beginning of my college career, so I am thrilled to see how the programs have been expanded in the years since. Another recent addition are the Benevolent Scholarships. These allocate financial aid to students who may not be able to afford the classes or supplies our Education Department offers.
Coming up soon, MCT is delighted to be presenting Almost, Maine. The production team on this project are absolutely fantastic, and the show is sure to be a can’t-miss-experience. More information can be found under the “Shows” tab on our website!
If you can’t participate in that show, no worries! There are many upcoming opportunities this year for those of all ages. We will be having masterclasses of all different varieties open to all ages. For our school-aged folks, we will be announcing weekly classes all year! These are affordable opportunities to learn skills needed to have a better show at auditions for future shows. It’s also a great way to be further involved in the interims of productions you can be involved in. Plus, they’re beyond fun, so what other reason do you need??
The last upcoming opportunity I will gush about is the one I am personally most excited for: Troupe! For anyone not familiar with what Troupe involves, it is a group of high schoolers who all work together for a semester to learn and grow as performers. After auditions are held, those who are cast will be learning and performing musical pieces for the semester. This can involve traveling to venues, meeting new people, and growing your performance skills. However, the thing that I loved most about my Troupe experience was the tight knit bond that forms between the group. I still speak to friends from Troupe years later. There will be more information on both classes and troupe as we travel into 2023!
Any time anyone makes the mistake of asking me what I love about MCT, (they had better strap in for the next three hours) the thing I can pinpoint that I love most about it is the friendships and family I have found along the way. The opportunities that the Education Department is offering in the 2023 term are an excellent way to get a first class ticket into the loving community that I, and many others, have learned so much from.
I cannot say how grateful and excited I am to work with Marshfield Community Theatre and Grace this year. I cannot wait to see each and every budding, experienced, or ‘voluntold’ performer in the MCT Building this year.