Rising up watching her mom Cindy Genzano direct reveals at North Branford Excessive College (NBHS), Robyn Genzano has fond recollections of watching rehearsals, interacting with college students, and seeing the manufacturing come collectively. Robyn grew up in East Haven, attending East Haven Academy, Melillo Center College, and East Haven Excessive College (EHHS).
“I just about grew up in North Branford although I lived in East Haven and with two older sisters, I’m the one which theater caught with,” says Robyn. “I grew up round theater, watching my mother and father construct one thing miraculous out of nothing and I’ve been in awe of that ever since. It has fueled me and impressed me and there’s a part of me that’s all the time looking for to convey theatrical alternatives to individuals in the identical approach.”
Robyn now lives North Branford together with her husband Richard Genzano, and their daughter Leona. Although she and her husband knew of one another going to the identical colleges rising up, they didn’t begin courting till they have been reacquainted via theater as adults. Now Robyn is remembering her childhood as she shares her love of theater with Leona.
“I’ve all these pretty footage of her when she was an itty bitty child together with her asleep on my arm or whereas I used to be baby-wearing,” says Robyn. “Now she’s 2 ½ and he or she learns the songs and dances with us. It’s wonderful to have her round it.”
Although Robyn lives in North Branford together with her household, East Haven roots have held agency as she has been volunteering with the East Haven Arts Fee (EHAC) because it was based, alongside her childhood buddy Kari Collins.
The East Haven Arts Fee was reinvigorated in 2009 with the corporate working to resume the humanities scene in East Haven. In 2012, th group produced its first present, persevering with via the years with one or two every summer time relying on demand.
This 12 months, nonetheless, COVID threw a kink into the plans. Cindy Genzano was slated to direct her remaining present with NBHS—Mamma Mia—and Collins was directing a present at EHHS. Each have been placed on maintain after months of preparation.
“I assist my mother together with her present at NBHS and he or she and Kari weren’t in a position to placed on their spring musicals,” says Robyn. “[For EHAC], we hadn’t hadn’t gone via the method of choosing present or promoting auditions. All of us had this void and it was actually unhappy.
“We additionally noticed the children we labored with feeling unhappy and beginning to the texture the affect of not having this factor we do each summer time,” provides Robyn. “We have been on this scary place the place we didn’t know the way forward for our trade—they introduced Broadway was closed for remainder of 12 months.”
Whereas they knew they couldn’t run their summer time theater program in individual and maintain EHAC’s eighth present, they knew they needed to seek out an alternate answer. Having labored with the EHAC for the previous decade, Robyn and others concerned with the group started brainstorming about methods to interact these within the arts whereas following the protection tips surrounding COVID. They created a collection of digital lessons.
“Kari got here to me with the thought of performing some sort of on-line programming and put collectively her group of individuals to show,” says Robyn. “I work for a efficiency firm, so I had a ton of expertise operating on-line occasions.”
Robyn works because the director of operations and group engagement for the Judy Dworin Efficiency Mission, an arts non-profit in Hartford. She is the one full-time worker on the four-person employees. Robyn not solely does the digital occasion planning however works on the non-profit’s common operations as properly.
Robyn wasn’t all the time positive she would pursue theater as a profession. She started by learning regulation and after taking the LSAT, she modified course, incomes a grasp’s in arts administration, studying to handle the behind-the-scenes side of theater and non-profit administration.
“Theater actually has been my ardour and there’s nothing I like greater than to share what I’m obsessed with with different individuals,” says Robyn. “Between work and theater, they’re each so all-consuming, however theater dips into the pastime aspect for me, for I take pleasure in it and I like spending each spare second with my daughter.”
Robyn’s expertise with on-line occasions proved essential this summer time as EHAC shortly pivoted to proceed to offer theater alternatives. EHAC noticed success in its first session, providing packages reminiscent of short-play manufacturing, method for the actor, motion for musical theater, introduction to faucet dance, artistic writing workshop, and particular person vocal method.
As the primary session progressed, EHAC determined to rejoice the achievements of these concerned by holding a culminating on-line stay efficiency. The group additionally launched a second session.
“We’re hoping we will have our culminating session in individual or a hybrid of that and on-line the place the children could possibly enter the auditorium to do their monologues or stay scenes,” says Robyn. “We simply held the primary session’s efficiency and it was great to see. It’s been fairly wonderful to maintain the connection alive as we’ve labored loads of these youngsters with for a very long time. It’s been actually significant to maintain that connection to them and be capable to stick with them via the humanities.”
Having been concerned in theater for her entire life, Robyn has seen the advantages, not just for herself however for others as properly. She has seen individuals develop and construct vanity and that has been considered one of her favourite elements of theater.
“The self-worth increase is considered one of largest issues that warms my coronary heart—when youngsters go from being shy to getting up there on stage and also you see a aspect you by no means thought you’d see,” says Robyn. “When youngsters and folks do issues they by no means thought they’d be doing in entrance of an viewers is a reasonably wonderful confidence increase and I like seeing that.
“Theater has additionally been a tremendous approach for me to construct relationships all through life,” provides Robyn. “I’ve seen lifelong friendships shaped again and again. If you’re in a present, you turn out to be like household. You’re feeling such as you discovered your individuals, the individuals you may be your self round. I’ve by no means discovered something prefer it every other realm.”
Robyn encourages anybody who has an curiosity in collaborating in EHAC by volunteering or by serving on the fee. The group is 100 p.c volunteer primarily based.
“We’re all the time searching for people who find themselves within the arts, not simply theater,” says Robyn. “Anybody who’s or impressed ought to attain out.”