ORLANDO, FL (October 20, 2015) – Orlando Family Stage (The REP) is pleased to announce the award of a $150,000 grant as part of the highly competitive Orange County Arts and Cultural Affairs Cultural Tourism program, to be used for the activities of The REP’s 16-17 season. This grant, matched dollar-for-dollar by the University of Central Florida, was unanimously approved this morning by the Orange County Board of Commissioners.
“We are delighted”, says Gene Columbus, Executive Director of The REP. “Our mission is to create experiences that enlighten, entertain, and enrich the lives of family and young audiences, and this grant enables us to extend our reach in doing just that as we continue to strive to be the finest in family theatre.”
“Our mission is to create experiences that enlighten, entertain, and enrich the lives of family and young audiences, and this grant enables us to extend our reach in doing just that as we continue to strive to be the finest in family theatre.” – Gene Columbus, Executive Director
Orange County Arts & Cultural Affairs’ mission is to elevate the status of arts and culture in Central Florida. This mission is accomplished through a number of services and programs funded by Orange County’s Tourist Development Tax revenues and General Fund dollars, including Art in the Chambers, Public Art, County-wide Arts Education, and funding for Cultural Tourism projects and Cultural Facilities.
It is the REP’s belief that a student’s exposure to theatre at a young age, and consistently as they move through their elementary and middle school careers, will illuminate new possibilities for life-long learning and appreciation for art and culture in their communities. Numerous studies report that the arts in any form can provide benefits including better self discipline, increased self-esteem, more hope for the future, reduced truancy, increased motivation and less interest in high-risk behaviors.
The REP is a place where young audiences can experience the adventure and creative wonder of watching their favorite literary characters come to life on stage. The staff and Board of Directors recognize their obligation to connect students to literature and theatre, and find ways to fill the arts void that exists in local schools and communities – particularly those classified as low-income and underserved.
The merger between the University of Central Florida Theatre Program and the Civic Theatre of Central Florida created the Orlando Family Stage in the year 2000. The REP, as it is commonly known, is a professional theatre for young audiences, which offers a main-stage season, classes, camps, outreach and performance opportunities for young artists, and a Masters of Fine Arts in Theatre for Young Audiences.
In October 2003, The REP marked the historical opening of a six-show performance series for family audiences in the old Civic Theatre Complex, known now as the Orlando Family Stage. Already unique in Florida and the southern region, the Orlando Family Stage strives to become a theatre of national and international prominence. The REP is Florida’s only professional theatre for young audiences and is now in its 13th complete season.
About Orlando Family Stage – The REP is a professional theatre with a mission to create experiences that enlighten, entertain, and enrich families and young audiences. In addition to productions, The REP conducts community engagement initiatives. The award-winning REP Youth Academy provides classes and workshops for children, along with professional development opportunities to classroom teachers. Housed in a three theatre complex in Loch Haven Park, The REP is also home to the University of Central Florida’s MFA in Theatre for Young Audiences graduate program.