"Voices in the Mirror" Gets a New Director
June 1, 2017
When the 21st annual production of "Voices in the Mirror" opens at The Theater Project on June 2, something will be different. The original sketch comedy show that has become a hallmark of The Theater Project's season is created from scratch by dozens of local teens every year, but this year the director helping to shape the show is not Executive Director Wendy Poole - who has helmed the production for the last 20 years - but Karin Baard, an alumna of The Theater Project.
"My first introduction to Voices was my first year of high school" says the 27 year old Baard, who in addition to teaching and directing at The Theater Project, now works at Family Crisis Services as an advocate for survivors of domestic violence. "I had moved to Brunswick from Arizona, so I hadn't grown up in and around the Theater Project like my friends. I had never seen Voices before, and had no idea what it was. I just kept hearing about Voices all year long - how fun it is, how amazing it is, how it's the best...just wait until Voices. You'll see. And I did."
What is it about "Voices in the Mirror" that speaks to the teens who participate each year? According to Baard, "I think it demonstrates so beautifully what the Theater Project is all about. It gives time and space for teenagers to explore and express what's important to them. The title of this show says it all. It's these kids' voices - what they think, how they feel, what they find funny, etc. The Theater lets them come, work together, collaborate, encourage each other, laugh together, work through hard things together, and build a family."
Working through hard things together is not just for the actors. "Passing the torch was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do at The Theater Project" says Wendy Poole. "Voices became my baby, and I watched it grow for 20 years. I was lucky to spend so many afternoon laughing with those kids - they taught me to be a better listener." As for handing over the reins, she says "Karin was the obvious choice. We're so lucky that she's returned to The Theater Project as a teacher, director, and board member - she loves the kids, she loves Voices, and she just gets it."
When asked what she learned by participating in Voices as an actor under Poole's direction, Baard offers this: "Go for it. And listen to other people, because their idea is probably better than your own. Also, trust your instincts." She'll be helping to bring these ideas and more to the stage in the 21st Annual Voices in the Mirror production this June.
VOICES IN THE MIRROR will be onstage at The Theater Project on Friday, June 2 and Saturday, June 3 at 7:30 pm, and on Sunday, June 4 at 2:00 pm. This show is recommended for audiences age 14 and up, due to occasional adult language and subject matter. Tickets are Pay-What-You-Want with a suggested price of $12, but really, pay what you want! Tickets are available at 729-8584 or online at www.theaterproject.com. The Theater Project is located at 14 School Street in Brunswick, and is a 501(c)(3) organization. This production is sponsored by Morning Glory Natural Foods.