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Successful youth-inspired events filling Arts Council with fresh ideas

Published on Wednesday, December 10, 2014

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'We stepped up our game in terms of costumes and makeup and building the dragon. We had a lot of special effects we had never done before.'
Robin Byouk
On producing 'Shrek: The Musical'
 

'We stepped up our game in terms of costumes and makeup and building the dragon. We had a lot of special effects we had never done before.'

Robin Byouk

On producing 'Shrek: The Musical'

 



Enlarge photo

'Aladdin Jr.' will be the Greer Children's Theatre first production in 2015.
 

'Aladdin Jr.' will be the Greer Children's Theatre first production in 2015.

 

By JONATHAN KING

Vast growth and innovation has been a regular event this year for the Greer Cultural Arts Council and Greer Children’s Theatre.

Robin Byouk, Cultural Arts Supervisor, is excited by GCT’s progress. “We’ve always been the little Greer Children’s Theatre,” she said, “the little community theatre, and I think we’re stepping up our game and starting to compete with Greenville theatres.”

Most notable was the quality of GCT’S latest show, “Shrek: The Musical.” “In Shrek,” said Byouk, “we stepped up our game in terms of costumes and makeup and building the dragon. We had a lot of special effects we had never done before.”

GCAC also took a chance with “Disney’s Sleeping Beauty,” handing over creative control to the younger generation. “The choreographer, the music director, the scenic designer, the costume designer, and the makeup people were all high school students on our student board,” said Byouk.

Ultimately, the choice paid off. “I wish we would have done it two weekends, because it was a fantastic show. We filled the theatre all three nights,” said Byouk.

Nina DeMaria, GCAC Treasurer, said, “I would love to see our student board be able to take ownership of more projects. I know the teens really enjoyed being able to show what they can do, because they are all extremely talented.”

Outside the world of theatre, GCAC has been bringing more new events to Greer, including International Festival. Byouk has fond memories of the festival. “It was so exciting to see all the people come. The little girls in the dance troupe representing China were just so adorable.”

DeMaria emphasized GCAC’s growing relationship with the city administration. “We have the Cannon Centre practically at our disposal, they let us borrow the Parks and Rec employees when we need to move sets, and they let us use the trucks and trailers for things like moving sets and being in the Christmas parade.”

DeMaria said the most scholarships given in a year were provided to ARK Camp (Arts Reaching Kids), which gives children the chance to get involved in the arts.

GCAC’s growth means cultivating more resources. “We always need volunteers,” said Byouk. “We need people to do anything and everything from sewing costumes to handing out playbills, helping with crafts at the International Festival, and helping sell Pepsi at the Pepsi booth in the summertime.”

“I’m just the luckiest girl,” said Byouk. “I have a great job. I get to do all kinds of great artistic things. I love it all, really.”

2014 in Review

  • Disney’s “Tarzan”
  • Hosted Foothills Philharmonic Orchestra (5 performances – once at Cannon Center)
  • Juried Art Show
  • Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty”
  • Tall Tale Tuesdays (storytelling at the Cannon Center – in partnership with Parks & Rec)
  • International Festival (entertainment & crafts)
  • ARK Camp: “Into the Woods Jr.”
  • Freedom Blast Mural Competition
  • Beverage Provider for Freedom Blast
  • Greer Idol & Greer Idol Teen
  • Tunes in the Park (4 weeks)
  • “Shrek: The Musical”
  • Giving Thanks Art Show
  • Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
  • Jazz & Tap Dance Classes
  • Art Classes
  • Drama Classes

Ahead in 2015

  • Disney’s “Aladdin, Jr.”
  • Foothills Philharmonic
  • International Festival
  • Tunes in the Park (6 weeks)
  • Tall Tale Tuesdays
  • Summer Play (undecided)
  • Fall Play (undecided)

 

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