Tonawanda News

Local News

June 2, 2013

Acting ... in good company

Non-profit group aims to make theater accessible to kids

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — ”I love it. I met my three best friends through IGC,” she said. “That’s my summer. What people don’t understand ... We put in 24 hours a day. It’s not just put in a few hours for rehearsal and then leave. But I can’t imagine my summer without it.”

While Olivia doesn’t plan to go into any form of theater in college or beyond, she can see starting it up for a fourth generation someday. And she said she’s learned a a lot about public speaking and self-confidence over the years.

”I can use that forever,” she said. “It’s not just theater.”

•••

While the family might form the core group, In Good Company Productions has grown over the years, pulling in friends and community members who often wind up involved for good.

Julia Nowak of Amherst, who serves on the advisory board, became involved because her oldest daughter was a classmate of Olivia Tober. Now, both her daughters, now 12 and 14, take part.

”We were in as soon as they started. Now I don’t know what we would do with our summers,” Nowak said. “Everybody enjoys it. My younger daughter, she’s not an actress, she’s a gymnast ... and they find something for her to do. They play to the kids’ talents.

”It’s really been an amazing experience. Now my older one is very involved in theater; she’s been in all her school plays, and productions outside school. She’s found her niche here.”

Jen Bogart of Amherst and her daughter, Annabella, gave IGC a try about four years ago, when the 7-year-old developed an interest in theater. 

”We thought this was a safe environment for her to try it out and see what theater was all about,” Bogart said. It stuck; Jen played Miss Hannigan in the 2010 “Annie,” with her daughter in the title role.

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