Acting the Part and Learning the Role
On any given day throughout the school year, the Sherry Lansing blackbox theater in Gordon Parks Arts Hall is abuzz. Building sets, auditioning actors, finalizing costumes, or managing run-throughs, the students involved in orchestrating three full-scale productions each year rarely get a day off. And they wouldn't have it any other way. Lucijia Ambrosini (a teacher at Lab for an amazing 52 years!) and Allen Ambrosini shepherd their theater community through the life lessons needed to deliver a show, work collaboratively, and strive for excellence.
"Together, these kids have a common desire to create something beautiful," shared Lucijia. "There's an intense community spirit in not only needing to work together, but in wanting to create something excellent." But the lessons go beyond the creative. Theater is art with deadlines. It's a real life lesson to understand that the audience is coming on a certain date and time no matter how prepared you are.
From backstage to onstage to front of the house, the students drive and manage every aspect of a U-High production. Through hands-on learning, they satisfy their curiosity about the inner workings of a theater. They become leaders, adept in change management, ready for life's most demanding situations. But the Ambrosinis never lose sight of their ultimate measure of success: "Most importantly, it's a kind community and that means the world to us."
- Fund for Lab