In 2014, Little Mermaid Jr. was my first time as a Production Manager for MTVarts. I had seen it done before, had assisted others in the role, but this was my first time in the role myself. I knew enough about it that I knew I could fulfill the role, but was nervous about venturing out on my own.

My favorite part of being the Production Manager for the artsIQ workshop and production is the 60 kids that need me to help, mold, and take care of them for 2.5 months. Those who know me know I love hugs already, kid hugs are fantastic! Bigger than that is the responsibility to teach, care and nurture these young minds with something that I enjoy so much, theater!

During Little Mermaid’s tech week, one of my hardest moments was the amount of children that would continually tap me on the shoulder and call my name so they could ask me a question. I would wake up during the night hearing children’s voices call my name repeatedly. A couple nights ago, during the Aladdin tech week, I realized that not a single child had done this. I had to think about why that would be, and I realized it was because we have an awesome team of volunteers. Not that the kids can’t come to me or don’t want to come to me, but that each volunteer knows their job so well that they don’t have to come to me for every question or concern.

I wanted to share just a little bit about these hardworking people who are now great friends:

  • Laura Ackert, our vocal director, is a music teacher at Pleasant Street and Dan Emmett Elementary schools. She not only teaches the kids to sing great music, but she teaches poise. She makes music fun and still can have control over the kids so they can learn the music in time for show opening.
  • Michelle Betz, our choreographer, has danced for a long time. Sometimes, I feel like Michelle is in my dreams picking the best moves that feature our wonderful little actors. She always has a smile on her face, a hug to give, and a kind word to say. She is way better than me at rolling with the punches that sometimes come as we find scenery, music and stage direction does not fit with her vision of the dance.
  • Amy Anglin, our costume madame, has never done costuming before. She is a high school teacher out of Westerville. With 60 kids to costume, some of them needing more than one costume, MTVarts decided we needed to rent our costuming this year for our youth show. Amy was the perfect person to pick for this role as she is highly organized, not afraid to ask questions and works super hard for all aspects of her life. She is always coming up with ideas and videos to make things easier. Amy’s positive attitude and fun is contagious! If you meet her, you’ll know instantly why we all love her!
  • The best way to describe Kristen Campbell, our parent coordinator, is passionate. She loves the kids, she loves the interaction and she loves watching the growth. Kristen is the ball of enthusiasm that makes every activity fun and exciting. She knows what’s important to parents and advocates for their needs. This way parents can get answers efficiently and with explanation. I love watching Kristen work with the kiddos because you can see the joy radiating off her face.

These are just a few of the amazing people we have on our team. They each have an assistant, plus there is lights, sound, box office, stage crew, makeup, hair and so much more that is needed to make these shows entertaining, enjoyable and exciting. I look forward to seeing you all at Aladdin Jr. Enjoy the show!