ST. GEORGE — Broadway Bound Washington City Center for Music and Theater hosted a mini performance and fundraiser Saturday night to raise money for their upcoming programs and promote community involvement.
Broadway Bound is a family-run theater company that serves kids ages 5-18 across Southern Utah. Broadway Bound provides year-round opportunities for kids to participate in shows and train in music, dance and theater. The company is the culmination of a dream for 19-year-old co-owner Delanie DeMille, who, with the help of her father Terry DeMille, started putting on shows nine years ago.
“I didn’t really think it was going to be a big company,” Delanie DeMille said. “I just invited some of my friends over, 11 of them, and I wanted to put on the show ‘Wicked.’”
After impressing her neighbors with her production skills, Delanie moved on to inviting kids outside of her social circle to join her shows. More than 40 kids she didn’t know showed up to audition for her production of “Willy Wonka,” which they performed in the park.
“Right there that just showed me how much of a need we have for theater right now with all these kids,” she said. “They all want to do something, especially with Tuacahn right by us. They all want to be onstage, but most of them don’t know where to start or they don’t have the confidence.”
From performing with her friends in her backyard to producing six professional shows a year, Delanie and Broadway Bound have grown out of their backyard-sized glass slippers.
The Golden Gala event on Saturday featured 12 dedicated young stars and starlettes from past shows who dazzled attendees with a series of musical numbers and monologues. Between numbers, including a “Greatest Showman” medley that featured the entire staff, Terry and Delanie spoke to attendees about how to help Broadway Bound provide space for as many kids as possible.
There are currently 120 kids on the waitlist for Broadway Bound’s upcoming shows. Although they try to admit everyone who auditions into the shows, Delanie said, the demand has outgrown Broadway Bound’s stage. Broadway Bound also sponsors children who cannot afford extracurriculars through scholarships. There are currently 28 kids on scholarship, and primarily all of the money that Broadway Bound receives from community sponsors goes directly to scholarship funds, Terry told St. George News.
“It’s for everybody,” he said. “There’s enough different options for them that anyone can try it out and see where they want to go with it. They may not realize that they even like theater, but they come and they try it for three weeks and they decide, ‘Oh, I like theater.’”
Broadway Bound will open its first session’s production of “Aladdin” on Friday. To allow as many kids as possible to participate, three sessions of the show will run. Broadway Bound will also put on “Annie” and “Cinderella” in the summer, and then “Beauty and the Beast” and a Christmas show later in the year.
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