BOUNTIFUL—There’s a kinship that comes through working in the theater. Students at Kaysville Junior High are experiencing that first hand through a special theater troupe developed to connect them to kids at GiGi’s Playhouse in Layton.
GiGi’s is a Down syndrome achievement center with programs to help individuals and families succeed.
“My friend is involved with GiGi’s and she asked if I’d like to start up a drama program,” said Tricia Bishop, a theater and dance teacher at Kaysville Junior High. “Last summer we launched it. This year I set it up to draw on volunteers from my drama classes here to facilitate with the GiGi kids.”
Bishop formed the theater troupe that practices twice a month for an hour and a half. “The students help the kids with enunciation, projection, eye contact and how to express themselves,” she said. “It helps them with their self confidence. We did a Christmas show and then in January we started working on this show.”
The next performance is April 26. “It’s a super hero talent show with super heroes in our community,” said Bishop. “My students and the GiGi kids will tell super hero jokes in between talents. Each GiGi child will be spotlighted with a talent they’ve chosen. There will also be an ensemble scene and a finale that they’ll all be in.”
Bishop’s students will mainly be there to support the GiGi kids. “They’ll help them on and off the stage,” she said. “If they forget their lines they will help them. It’s a great opportunity for my kids here to be a teacher and have a support role. It’s a good mix of kids.”
The show will be at the junior high, 100 E. 350 South at 7 p.m. It’s free and open to the public, but donations are appreciated.
“It’s surprising how effective the arts can be,” said Bishop, who has been teaching for 15 years. “I’ve seen kids who were non verbal and made no eye contact come out of their shell through the theater process. It’s been fun to watch them. These kids like to interact with kids their own age. Some of them like certain kids to be their helper and friendships form. They’ll give them hugs and high fives. There’s a tight bond all the way around.”