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A Second Summer Of Theater From the 12.14 Foundation

To the Editor:

As the parent of a child performing in the 12.14 Foundation's theater productions this summer, I want to thank the Foundation and the many theater professionals who returned for a second summer, working six days a week with more than 200 local area children to produce “101 Dalmatians: The Musical” and “A Rockin’ Midsummer Night’s Dream”!

The Foundation is already delivering on its longer-term mission of providing healing and strength through the arts. We see it on our kids' faces when they’re done with a long day of rehearsals, satisfied with the hard work and dedication that they’re learning at a young age. We hear it in their voices as they talk about the personal insight they’ve gained as they learn to look deeply into a storyline and relate to it with their own experiences. And we see it in the many friends they’re making during production; strong bonds formed as they go through this amazing experience together.

Last year’s production of “Seussical: the Musical” was a huge undertaking that entertained and inspired many and laid a foundation for the coming years.

We were thrilled as the Foundation and production crew returned as promised for another summer, bringing an even more ambitious plan of producing two plays to ensure enough meaningful roles for even more children as they knew there would be greater interest as a result of Seussical. I'm impressed with the thought that goes into choosing these productions, and the custom writing that ensures rich entertainment with an inspiring message just for Newtown.

For example, “A Rockin’ Midsummer Night’s Dream” is a new musical version adapted by Michael Unger and Eric Svejcar with the score written by Mr Svejcar. And Mr Svejcar was been working directly with the cast. “101 Dalmatians: The Musical” includes a score by Dennis DeYoung (the lead singer/songwriter from Styx), and has been adapted specifically for Newtown by director Michael Unger and Mr DeYoung. And both productions include Broadway actors playing lead roles and being awe inspiring to the kids.

So again, thank you to the 12.14 Foundation and its founder Dr Michael Baroody, director Michael Unger, and all of the other theater professionals and many volunteers who have provided a venue of learning and exploring to help our children as they move through life. Our kids have something to be extremely proud of, and an expanded network of support as they remain involved with the 12.14 Foundation going forward and maintain the many new friendships they've made in the course of the productions throughout the summer.

David Deschenes

9 Saw Mill Ridge Road, Newtown   July 30, 2014

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