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Wood River Women’s Foundation Plants Seed of Confidence
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Thursday, August 8, 2019
 

STORY BY KAREN BOSSICK

PHOTOS BY KAREN BOSSICK AND MAIJA EERKES

While Lisa Wild talked about the future that the Wood River Women’s Foundation grant would help build for Hospice of the Wood River Valley, Yanna Lantz told women at the annual luncheon on Wednesday about the impact a $10,000 grant had had on the youth of the valley last year.

“We’re a little theater in the industrial section next to a dog wash and across from a car wash. And we do amazing productions,” she said.

The foundation supplied the money for The Spot Young Company, ensuring that 19 students from the every high school in the valley could put on “Pippin” for six free performances that filled every seat in the theater.

“It’s so much more than a show. We’re providing a safe spot, helping them find their tribe,” Lantz said.

And, at the end of the day, she said, the youth feel like rock stars, taking their newly found confidence into the world.

They learn not just how to say their lines but they learn how to read sheet music and how to design props and costumes, under the tutelage of The Spot staff, which trained at such places like NYU Tisch School of the Arts.

“I learned that hard work is always rewarded,” wrote one youth. “I worked with people who made me feel safe and let me be myself. And acting helped me work through my insecurities.”

“I learned so much about myself, and what I’m capable of,” said a second.

“The spot definitely influenced my confidence,” said a third. “Now I’m fantastic at public speaking.”

“I had the opportunity to see ‘Pippin’ and I thought I was at Broadway,” said Carol Shepherd.

Lantz left the women with an invitation:

“I hope to see you at this year’s Young Company musical—'Cats!’ ” she said to the applause of those in the audience. “It’s going to be the craziest thing our Young Company has ever done and the best thing they’ve ever done.”

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