I had a moment of realization after our premier of “Ghost in the Typewriter” that we are not as well-known on the island as I thought. My “Ah Ha” moment came when I read this comment on my Facebook Page “Love your shows, but you need more publicity around town because most people I talk to don’t know about you…just saying.”
Yikes – I thought the island knows us as one of the premier theaters for youth, teen, and young adults. Apparently, I thought wrong. It is about time our island found out who we are, the work we do, and the talent within the theater doors. In a nutshell our mission is to create an amazing theater experience that educates, challenges, and inspires youth into their adulthood. There is much more to the statement; however, the bottom line is we build confidence in our performers where they can express themselves and apply learned skills into their day-to-day life.
I have been in the theater business ever since I first arrived on Marco Island where I performed as an actor and sat on the board of the Marco Players Theaters. The next step was to take my theater experience to the YMCA and develop programs at the “Y” facility. After leaving the YMCA and beginning a new career in contract sales I found my love of the theater did not wane. I needed to come back bigger and better. I missed my kids and needed to create again. For a time, I was contracted by the Marco Players, Island Community Theater, and the Marco Island Historical Society to direct productions. I decided to strike out on my own for several reasons. I’m not a rule follower and do enjoy being my own boss. The most important was the classic productions we all know and love are outdated and have dialog that can be deemed inappropriate and discriminatory for today’s times. Due to “royalty rules”, you cannot change the language in the script. I did not wish to cause controversary in the existing theaters on the island and place them in an awkward position subject to fines and closures. Writing my own plays has allowed me to creatively break away from the rules of royalty, control the language, not to mention there is nothing more exciting than directing your own work.
Our home base for performances is the Marco Island Charter Middle School auditorium. We have worked on upgrading the mics for the actors, replaced the lighting on the stage, and hopefully, if we received enough donations from our next performance, purchase curtains to rid ourselves of the three black walls to shield actors and create a backstage area.
My staff are my actors who have been with me through the years. Not only do they act in the mainstage plays they are instructors, directors, technicians, and backstage managers. Some have graduated high school and college and I have watched them become young adults and entrepreneurs within their own rights and talents from Podcast Host (you may have seen episodes of the Pickle Jar with co-host Ryan Sullivan and Keaton Ashby), producers and studio recorders, rappers, jazz artist, writers, television and film editors, award winners in their chosen fields and mentors to our younger generation of actors.
Our studio and rehearsal space are located above Marco Office Supply and Islander Pools. It contains a small stage, rehearsal space, small classroom and breakroom and storage for costumes and props. Our walls are decorated with posters and pictures from past performances. I like to call it the wall of fame.
The programs that are run through the studio are:
One Mainstage Play (our next production will be “American Abbey” premiering December 2021).
Two YMCA classes called YMCA Theatrics in the fall and winter.
We run the theater club at the Marco island Charter Middle School. The upcoming play is around the corner; “Misfit Gym Rats” premiering April 16 and 17.
YMCA Summer Theater Camp is the last week in July.
We have created a new program for five- and six-year old’s this summer starting in June (the week after school). It will be every Tuesday and Thursday from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM.
We have two one-week workshops run through our own studio in July.
We have been contracted to preform Murder Mystery Parties, Storytelling and Leadership Training programs.
We grow with each year. We are not interested in creating a million-dollar facility, we are interested in creating million dollars minds. We do seek donations from local businesses and families to help offset the cost of our productions and raise money for upgrades for our productions.
If you wish to get involved as a donor or volunteer, or learn more about the studio, I am happy to sit down with you for a quick tour and discuss how you can support our Island youth. We are a not for profit and our website is www.sisbarroactingstudio.com I can be reached at 239-537-8353.
We are SISBARRO ACTING STUDIO, where “We do turn Dreams into Reality” right here on Marco!!