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Upper Darby Summer Stage

Produced by Karen Smyles

July 2012

Each year more than 50,000 audience members from around the Delaware Valley, come out to enjoy the magical performances of Upper Darby Summer Stage at the Upper Darby Performing Arts Center, and you only need to experience one performance to discover why. Year after year they produce high caliber shows guaranteed to please everyone in the family.

The mission of Upper Darby Summer Stage is to encourage young people ages 11 thru 28 to build self-esteem through the theater arts. Every summer hundreds of young people participate in programs that develop skills in acting, singing, dancing, set building and the technical aspects of putting on a show.

This month Friday Arts visits Summer Stage for a behind-the-scenes look at how it all happens. We talk with founder, Harry Dietzler, a native of Upper Darby Township. While in college at Temple University, he saw the need and great opportunity for a youth summer theater arts program and, with the support of the Township of Upper Darby and the Upper Darby School District, founded Upper Darby Summer Stage in 1976.

Today Upper Darby Summer Stage is considered one of the most successful youth theater programs in America. Its distinguished alumni include Emmy Award-winning actress and writer Tina Fey, Terrence J. Nolen and Amy Murphy (the founders and directors of The Arden Theatre, who met at Summer Stage), playwright Tom Donaghy, and many others.

Watch now and meet some of the stars of Summer Stage 2011 and see what makes it so spectacular and why you won’t want to miss Summer Stage 2012!