Tuesday, April 28, 2015

WFT Actors: Lexi Ryan in Shrek the Musical

"My first experience with WFT came when I was ten years old, playing Cindy Lou Who in Seussical. I grew up on this stage. But more importantly, I grew up a part of this family. The people at WFT, from the directors to costume designers, from the crew to my fellow actors, are among the most caring, kind, and talented members of the theater community, and of the world. Nowhere have I found a more supportive, hardworking, and transformative group of people. 

A key theme of WFT that has stuck with me is the idea of storytelling. I have learned that that is an actor’s true craft. Wheelock brings stories to life in a very special way. Beyond colorful costumes and impressive high notes, the point of theater is to touch people through effective storytelling. Storytelling is a means of sharing experiences through bridging cultural divides. The best stories show how all humanity is connected. 

What is truly magical about Wheelock is that it brings positive messages to children through its incredible storytelling. Where adults may be judgmental, children are prejudice-free. WFT helps to cultivate acceptance in its audiences, from the youngest children to the oldest patrons. Children start colorblind. They accept WFT's colorful casting without a second thought. Children will view avant-garde art as fun rather than weird. As I've gotten older, I've realized that WFT creates family-friendly theater with a message, something young viewers won't even register at the time, but guides them to become better people as they grow older. Shrek marks my sixth show at WFT in seven years and perhaps the most fun of them all. Shrek is a delightfully whimsical story that will make children and adults alike laugh out loud, but it also teaches an important lesson, one near and dear to most in the theater community: be true to yourself and 'let your freak flag fly!'"

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