Fairview Youth Theatre Provides Plethora of Possibilities
Walking through Fairview Youth Theatre (302 Town Place Fairview, 75069, in the Shops of Fairview), is similar to reading a well-crafted, colorful pop-up book. Open one door and you’ll find a group of students rehearsing for a production, open another door and you’ll find a parent volunteer creating a set, open another door and you’ll find costumes and props and so much more.
One of the eight shows currently in various stages of rehearsal is Into the Woods by Stephen Sondheim. Mia Dorsett (daughter of Tony Dorsett, football legend and former Dallas Cowboy) has one of the lead roles as the Baker’s Wife. Dorsett describes Into the Woods as an intertwining of Grimm’s fairy tales. Cibby Bowden, Managing Director of NTPA – Fairview adds that the musical teaches that the grass is not always greener on the other side. The characters face consequences based on what they wish for. Dorsett points out that her character dies in Act 2 (this is a two act, almost three hour production) due to consequences of what she wished for. This is Dorsett’s first production with Fairview Youth Theatre (FVYT), but she has been in numerous other productions. She feels the audience will enjoy seeing familiar fairy tale characters in a new and entertaining manner.
Bowden explained the history of North Texas Performing Arts, FVYT, “NTPA began 27 years ago. Plano Children’s Theatre had families driving from all over North Texas, many from McKinney, so McKinney Youth Theatre opened. McKinney Youth Theatre moved to Fairview in January of 2017, and changed their name to Fairview Youth Theatre.” Bowden proudly said that FVYT is debt free because they conducted fundraisers before opening raising a quarter of a million dollars and FVYT families, who are professional builders and contractors, volunteered their services. She also said that the Town of Fairview gave a large donation and continues to be very supportive.
“Raised on the stage” is how Bowden describes herself. She said she attended Broadway shows at a very early age. After college, she performed in Hollywood on Ghostbusters II, Full House, Days of Our Lives and Cheers. She took a break from acting when she had children and started a theatre program at a private school, which was where “I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.” She managed a community theatre in Houston for five years then came to FVYT in April of 2017.
She manages 35 shows a year and directs several of them, Into the Woods being one of those. In addition to the eight productions currently in rehearsal, there are also summer camps for grades kindergarten through 12th. They have a variety of times and dates camps are offered. Bowden said the camps are pressure free, “Camps are an intro into who we are and what we do. We hope they catch the performance bug, many of them do, and sign up for a bigger production.”
At FVYT, they have a no bully policy. Bowden said they have all types of students at FVYT. She said she and the other directors love it when a student walks in who feels like they don’t fit in anywhere, they think they are funny looking, not athletic, etcetera, but after time spent at FVYT they find out they are valuable and they walk out confident and proud.
Bowden said their first goal is not the production, but to embrace the 10 characteristics on which NTPA is founded: teamwork, leadership, responsibility, respect, confidence, integrity, discipline, creativity, positive attitude and love one another.
Illustrating the growth experienced since opening in the Fairview location, Bowden said that McKinney Youth Theatre produced four to five shows a year. At FVYT, they produce 35 shows a year and average 25 – 40 students per show.
To get involved with FVYT and/or to get more information, go to ntpa.org, navigate through the menu options, select Fairview Youth Theatre and find the event that fits your children’s interests. Scholarships are available if needed.
In addition to Into the Woods, there are many upcoming productions scheduled at FVYT. Show times and tickets for all shows are available at ntpa.org.