Friday, July 18, 2014

Pyramid delivers arts, crafts, magical performance

LYNN HAVEN — A special event marking the 20th anniversary of a special program will offer guests the chance to purchase art and see a main stage performance of “The Magic Carpet Ride” on Saturday.

This is the second year The Pyramid Players will perform at the Kaleidoscope Theatre, 207 E. 24th St. in  Lynn Haven. Doors open at 5 p.m. with an exhibit of art, archival prints, crafts and jewelry created by the members of Pyramid Panama City, a non-profit organization serving more than 100 adults with disabilities.

The play begins at 6 p.m. Admission is free, but donations are suggested. Some of the artwork and other items will be available for purchase.

Pyramid Panama City opened in June 1994, along with four sister programs located throughout the state. It serves adults with a wide range of abilities, needs and interests, and is best known for its innovative visual and performing arts programs. Statewide, Pyramid currently serves more than 700 people.

The Pyramid Players are all adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities whose true talents shine through on stage.

“It has been a privilege to see our students grow through the arts and other training,” said Marilyn Yon, co-founder of Pyramid, in a recent news release. “All they need is someone to believe in them and give them the tools and opportunities.”

“The Magic Carpet Ride” is described as a family-friendly magic show and play in one that will carry viewers on a worldwide adventure to meet favorite magicians, including Harry Houdini. The performance showcases the acting skills of the Players with the added attraction of magic. Add some singing, a little dancing and the promised hilarity of the Pyramid Clown Troupe, and you have the makings of an evening that will entertain the inner child in anyone.

Additionally, the show will provide the audience with a glimpse into the talents of a group of people whose ability to contribute to their communities too often goes unrecognized.

“Pyramid’s students face many challenges in their lives.” Panama City Director Cindy Coleman said. “Performing gives them the opportunity to demonstrate their abilities.”

According to information provided by Pyramid Panama City’s performing arts coordinator (and Kaleidoscope Theatre regular) Rachel Eiland-Hall, cast members learn that their hard work and dedication permit them to excel, not only on stage, but also in their personal lives. The demands of performing allow The Players to stretch their talents and improve everyday skills.

They develop clearer, more expressive singing and speaking voices, and improve coordination, balance and rhythm. They also learn responsibility to each other through commitment to months of demanding rehearsals.

“They put in a lot of time and hard work rehearsing for the show, which allows them to learn their lines and dances, but they are also learning to work as a team toward a common goal,” Coleman said. “I never cease to be amazed at what they are able to accomplish.”

And that’s the magic secret to success, isn’t it? It only looks easy because you put in so much hard work before the curtain opened.

Peace.

(This was my Undercurrents column for July 18 in The News Herald and at PanamaCity.com)

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