Tim Maynes – I love when various parts of my life connect – and that will happen in a big way this summer, when young artists perform The Lion King KIDS and Frozen KIDS as part of the LyricKids Camp.
I am currently living in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where I am the Education Programs Manager at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. So you might be wondering: What connection do I have to a group of students putting on a show over 1,500 miles away from me?
To understand that, we must rewind to a cold morning early in 2003…
I am a senior at South Burlington High School attending auditions for the All State Music Festival when my phone rings and I get a call that will change the course of my life: I have been cast in Lyric Theatre’s production of The Secret Garden as Dickon Sowerby. That was the moment I became part of the Lyric Theatre family, and set off on an exciting path in the world of theater.
After debuting on stage with Lyric in 2003, I went on to perform in five Lyric productions (including Titanic, Hairspray, and The Full Monty) and direct two others (Peter Pan and Oliver!). Additionally, I served on the Board of Directors as Education Chair, and as the Artistic Director of the LyricKids program. Through all these various avenues of participation, I met and worked with incredible people who have become life-long friends. I saw what can be accomplished through the hard work of hundreds of volunteers. I taught—and learned from—young performers, whose joy and love of theatre kept me inspired. As I gained invaluable skills, my experiences as a part of the Lyric community propelled me to where I am today.
I have many fond memories of hot summer days spent inside the Williston Central School auditorium (where LyricKids camps used to be held) rehearsing shows alongside other Lyric artists, including Matilda production team members Nate Venet and Kim Nowlan Hathaway. I also had the privilege of working with the legendary Al Myers, whose spirit and approach to education I keep with me every day. Many of those LyricKids are all grown up now. Most have graduated college. (Some are even married!) But I hope they, like me, still look back on those days fondly. I love knowing that LyricKids continues on, and that each and every summer students are making new wonderful memories together.
In 2013, ten years after first joining Lyric, I enrolled in graduate school at Syracuse University, and then moved to New York City, where I worked in the Education department at Disney Theatrical Group. Part of my job there was to work on the line of shows designed expressly for middle and elementary school students—the Disney JR. and KIDS Collection. In this role, I was able to draw on my experiences directing LyricKids, where we had produced multiple shows from those very collections, including The Jungle Book KIDS, The Aristocats KIDS, and Alice in Wonderland JR. Because of this experience,I was able to bring the perspective of a teacher and director to the table to help guide the content of the shows and the supplemental materials (including lesson plans, blocking tips, and design ideas) that come with the shows to help other educators stage their own productions.
Here is where the parts of my life come fully together: Two of the shows I worked on while at Disney Theatrical group were—you guessed it—The Lion King KIDS and Frozen KIDS. I worked alongside many brilliant people who helped put those shows together, and I know the students in this summer’s LyricKids camp are in for a real treat!
Lyric Theatre is an incredible
company and an incredible family. It not only builds community and puts on high
quality productions, but it also provides opportunities to learn skills and
s on a scale that few people ever get. I know that
receiving that call as a high school senior all those years ago, and then being
welcomed into the incredible group that is Lyric, provided me with the
experiences that allowed me to discover my passion for arts education and
develop the skills necessary to allow me to succeed in pursing that passion.
As I write this from Florida, where each day in my current role I get to work on arts education programs for students, I remain thankful to Lyric for the path it set me on. While I’m not there day-to-day, and I may not get to see every show, Lyric remains a huge part of who I am.
No matter how many miles away my path takes me, I will always love my Lyric family—and will always be “Dickon with a Stickin” at heart.
If you are interested in camps – you can register here: Lyric Kids Summer Camp Registration 2020