There is so much to see and do in the lobby before a show at Orlando REP, it is no wonder families are encouraged to arrive early! Making crafts, viewing art, learning about the show, scavenger hunts, and fun facts about the cast are just some of the ways you can spend your time pre-show. Setting the stage for each production, bringing visual art and theatre together, is Orlando REP’s Young Artists in the Spotlight!
Young Artists in the Spotlight features work generated by visual art classes in local schools and organizations that tie to the theme of the current Orlando REP production. We encourage young people to connect with our productions on many levels, and for many, a piece of art might be the bridge they need to fully immerse in the story they are about to see.
For Tuck Everlasting the Musical, Orlando REP worked with a technical theatre class from Freedom High School to bring this magical story to life through art. Students created pieces representing the themes and motifs in Tuck Everlasting. Artists were instructed to use recycled materials and include a 3D element to their design. This resulted in some lovely sculptural pieces representing the tree, the spring, and the man in the yellow suit, among several other key visual elements of the play.  For a theatrical design focused class, this project is a fun way to exercise student’s skills in script analysis, creativity, and use of color, line, and shape. All of these the same skills they would use in designing a piece of scenery or a costume.Theatre teacher, Sara Skinner-Probst explains, “Young artist in the spotlight gives my students an opportunity to create based off of the script and their own ideas. They are able to release their creativity and see their work on displayed for the community.”
On our stage currently is the hilarious musical, How I Became a Pirate, full of larger than life pirate characters and their antics, and there is a crew of pirates on our lobby walls that are just as colorful and exciting! Orlando REP worked with ArtWorks, an organization who aims to build self-esteem in young people through visual art. ArtWorks partnered with a 5th grade class at Maxey Elementary to create pirate portraits. Students started by creating pencil drawings and then transferred them using marker and watercolor to the final pieces of art you see in the lobby today!  
Renée Schneider, head of the Art Works program, values the opportunity for her young people to be seen and identified as artists, “The children are excited, and motivated to do their best work when I tell them their art will be displayed at the Orlando Repertory Theatre. Their faces light up with obvious pride when they attend the play and actually see their art hanging in the Orlando REP lobby. That sense of pride and accomplishment is invaluable for all children, but especially for children from under resourced communities.”

Each production this season will have a different Young Artists in the Spotlight display, so be sure to look for them each time you visit Orlando REP! If you are interested in having your school participate in an upcoming season, please contact [email protected].  Our current partners for artwork creation are Freedom High School
and ArtWorks

More selections from this season’s installations are below.