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What a summer it’s been! First and foremost we want to thank every parent and student for their flexibility and understanding with all of the program rescheduling. We know it was extremely inconvenient and that several of the changes we made prevented some students from participating in the final show, and that truly makes our hearts heavy.

At multiple points throughout this summer we found ourselves asking “why are we doing this?” …and at times we weren’t sure we knew the answer.

Now that summer has wrapped, and we’ve had a chance to debrief with our teaching artists and staff, we’ve been told some incredible stories. Here are some examples of why we do what we do.

 

STORIES FROM STAFF

 

“We’ve had this student in previous programs at PAA but due to anxiety issues they’ve never been able to display what they are truly capable of. For whatever reason, this summer was the time that this student overcame their personal battles and they BLEW US AWAY with their talent, their heart, and their resiliency. If this summer at PAA had never happened, I’m not sure when we would have seen this student truly shine.”

 

“Not being able to watch students live on stage was a big disappointment for both parents and students. After several of our youngest students performed, I witnessed parents standing by their cars with bouquets of flowers waiting to congratulate their little performers. It was so heartening to see parents keeping this theater tradition alive and I know it meant so much to the students.”

 

“The night we cancelled Jungle Book (before we rescheduled) a parent told me that their child was so disappointed that they cried themselves to sleep singing Bare Necessities. It means so much to our students to be able to perform. This is why we had to find a way to make performances happen.”

 

QUOTES FROM PARENTS

 

“Thank YOU! The entire PAA faculty and staff have been amazing this summer. I can only imagine what kind of nightmare it’s been to amend the schedules based on state, county, and UMC guidelines, plus to then have people still arrive exposed …  You all could have thrown in the towel in the spring and definitely a few weeks ago, but I am teary-eyed with gratefulness that all the shows eventually performed!” – Parent

 

“THANK YOU for all your hard work and adjustments during these times. We cannot thank you enough for doing so much to keep the kids safe, manage these circumstances, and still provide a wonderful experience for our daughter.” – Parent

 

“All of the precautions you put in place made us feel confident sending our kids to PAA” – Parent

 

“I wanted to share that because rehearsal was cancelled yesterday, our daughter decided to put on the entire performance for us, complete with costume changes and all. She even designed her own elephant costume (as best she could). She loves these programs so much and we are so thankful for PAA!” – Parent

 

“I just want to share our thanks and appreciation for all the hard work and creativity you and your team have put in to continually overcome these challenges! Nobody knows what will happen next and you guys just keep rolling with the punches. I can only imagine how much work has gone into making these camps happen (that stage is amazing, by the way), and you end up with a new challenge around every corner! We really appreciate all you’ve done and continue to do!” – Parent

 

“Thank you for your thoughtful and compassionate response to this difficult situation. I stand by you and commend you for making this tough call. Being a leader who makes decisions with safety and altruism first is not always greeted with warmth but I truly appreciate it. Our kids will respect that and admire it. Thank you and keep trusting your gut.” – Parent

 

“Thank you for all you have done and continue to do to give the children a lovely experience.”- Parent

 

“Thank you so much to everyone at PAA for hanging in there and getting the show done! It meant so much to all the kids and families.”- Parent

 

“Great job guys! You will (hopefully) never have such a challenging performance – between the constant interruptions during the rehearsal period right through the performance itself — you persevered and you should all be proud. Thank you AGAIN for all you did for the kids and the company. Our family had people across the country watching the show live and more will enjoy it later today before the links go down. Bravo!”- Parent

 

“Seeing our daughter on stage made all of the rescheduling worth it. Her confidence, her pride, it makes it all worth it.”- Parent

 

We learned some extremely valuable lessons this summer on how to hold in-person classes with students during a global pandemic. Things like, how to prevent exposure between classes by assigning dedicated teaching artists for that class only. How limiting the total number of students on campus at one time prevents students from unnecessary quarantine. How the combination of learning outside, wearing masks, and frequent hand sanitizing prevents the spread of germs between classmates.

These lessons and more will make our Fall programming even more resilient to interruptions. We are excited to put everything we’ve learned in to practice!

Please check out our line-up of in-person classes and performance classes. We also have a great selection of online classes.