Amid the global pandemic which has forced the temporary closure of many performing arts venues, 16 youth-serving theatres across the country have come together to share a national tribute, performed by children within each community, to honor frontline workers.
Led by Seattle Children’s Theatre’s Interim Artistic Director Kathryn Van Meter, the project titled So Many Heroes empowers and amplifies the voices of young people during this time.
“We will be forever changed by our current events, and forever connected and bound together by our shared experience of isolation. As we begin to redefine what it is to share space, there is hope in our future because we are resilient…just like the young people in our communities,” said Van Meter.
Jeff Revels, Artistic Director of Orlando Repertory Theatre and writer for the nationally televised Memorial Day parade, presented the idea knowing that the network of theatres for young audiences could mobilize this tremendous effort. Together, Revels, Van Meter and Rich Gray, songwriter of So Many Heroes, began collaborating on what the national tribute could be.
“We have heard from the doctors and politicians, but not much from the kids of America. Writing musicals for young audiences has taught me how observant kids are. They see everything and absorb it all. They have been processing this like crazy, so, when asked to write this tribute, I knew it had to be in the direct, honest language that kids use,” said Gray, emphasizing the importance of hearing from young people during this time.