Tap Productions and The Value of Community Theatre

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Tap Productions and The Value of Community Theatre

Summer Wadleigh

There are many different ways in which growth and impact can be evoked within a community. Apart from the routine necessities of life, people need a place of interest, where they’re able to express themselves as authentically and openly as they may not be able to elsewhere. Tap Productions, a nonprofit organization that helps foster members of the community, is providing a creative environment in which artists have been able to flourish as they gain irreplaceable experience, specifically in the art of theatre.

Photo Credit, Monica Silvestre

Artistic director, Jaycie M. Cohen, said that Tap Productions began initially through the respect others had for her work within the community. They knew of her experience and her passion for theatre, making her ideal in establishing a more apparent theatre presence. After six months and thorough consideration, Tap Productions was founded and her mission began. Tap Productions has since been an immense success in furthering Wellington’s artistic image. Through presenting live theatre productions at Wellington High School as well as developing theatrical workshops that refine artistic skill and encourage cultural education, Tap Productions is making an ineffable impact.

The most rewarding aspect of such a successful organization, Cohen says, “watching the children grow”. Approaching their auditions shyly before blooming into confident performers really highlights the extent of Tap Productions community impact. “In our production of The Lion King”, Cohen says, “I had two students who played the giraffes and we taught them to walk on stilts. One of them had a fear of heights that was so bad that she wasn’t able to ride a bicycle. By the time of the production she was able to walk on these stilts without help from anybody, flying across the room”. More than anything, Tap Productions has been able to promote growth beyond the kid’s initial comprehension. They are being taught to surpass their own expectations through the strength of artistic freedom, “doing things that they never thought they could achieve”.

Tap Productions has also been able to maintain this sense of achievement throughout Covid-19. They recently closed their musical production of Newsies, which was done entirely over the course of the pandemic. “We started off online, providing free classes for the cast for the first three months before moving to in-person rehearsals”, Cohen says. They provided free tap classes, accent work classes, character development classes, and tech classes to ensure each cast members full understanding of the show as well as how it was going to work. It took an immense amount of creativity in reimagining ways to do things that one is so used to doing everyday, but Cohen saw it only as a catalyst for innovation as she pulled together an amazing show.

Tap productions is continuing to positively impact their community and produce shows that are soon to be open for audition! They’re holding auditions for Shrek the Musical on April 30, and May 1, with callbacks on May 2. In Summer 2022, they’re also doing a production of Matilda. Further audition information can be sought by both phone and email, phone number being 561-568-8659, and email being tapstars.info@gmail.com. “I’m excited to jump in with this next season and really run with it!”, Cohen shares about their upcoming set of shows.

Tap Productions is redefining the value of community theatre, allowing their participants to grow artistically and to challenge even their own limitations. Thank you so much to Jaycie Cohen for your kindness and for sharing such a special story with me. This organization is providing opportunities that are hard to find elsewhere as well as encouraging a universal passion for theatre to prosper in the years to come.