Two Palo Alto High School students will head to Sacramento tomorrow to participate in California Youth in Theatre Day where they will perform for legislators and show the importance of arts in education.
Seniors Sarah Ohlson and Paige Esterly, accompanied by theater teacher Kathleen Woods, will partake in the scheduled events, which include chances to both show and tell about their experiences with the arts.
“[We] will get the opportunity to meet with our regional representative, take a photo with them and talk to them about why we believe arts education is incredibly important,” Ohlson said. “Then later, we get to perform a piece in front of many legislators to further demonstrate what we’ve learned – you know, ‘showing’ them why it’s important in addition to ‘telling’ them.”
Ohlson was selected to participate after winning a scholarship.
“A good friend of mine was selected to participate last year, so this year I auditioned for a scholarship to attend CYIT at Northern California’s Thespian Leadership Conference in September,” Ohlson said. “I won a scholarship, which is how I got involved.”
Esterly won unanimous superiors at a monologue competition at the California State Thespian Festival last year, qualifying her for CYIT.
Ohlson said her theater education has helped her in various aspects of her life, and she plans to share this with those present at CYIT.
“My education in theater has helped me grow as more than just a performer,” Ohlson said. “I have become a better public speaker, [and] it has taught me how to better see the world through someone else’s eyes, which encourages empathy. It provides the opportunity to work closely with many peers towards one goal. And, as with any organization it eventually gives opportunities for leadership in the program. All these things I’ve learned will help me later in life – no matter what I choose to do.”
Esterly said she looks forward to the chance to speak on behalf of art in education.
“This is a really fantastic opportunity to advocate for something I believe in and meet thespians of all ages from around the state,” Esterly said.
More information about CYIT can be found on its website.