Summer Youth Musical Theatre Program has been in existence for over 20 years and provides arts opportunities and education to many members of the Globe-Miami-San Carlos community. With a focus on theatre, including music and stagecraft, we offer one of the most engaging project-based learning experiences for children in this region. We regularly hear about how our participants have grown in confidence and competence in both character and academics because of their experience with our program.
Our Arts Outreach Program also provides theatre arts classes at local elementary schools, serving over 1,500 children annually. In recent years, we developed our own mini-musical theatre curriculum, choosing themes from popular children’s stories like Peter Pan and Jungle Book. The children developed skills in movement, rhythm and singing while exercising their imagination and developing empathy for the characters. And most of the time, the children thought they were just having fun! We also had the privilege of introducing many of these children to live theatre for the first time, sponsoring school trips to see our production of Mary Poppins Jr. and Lion King Jr. and others.
For several years, SYMTP has prioritized creating opportunities for older youth to develop skills as instructors through work with our younger children. Last year, we formalized this process with a Teen Mentorship Program. Our teen mentors work with children ages 6 to 14 in various theatre productions, giving acting direction, music direction, as well as working in stagecraft and theatre technology. These teenagers worked directly under our experienced staff and have grown in their ability to educate and empower the kids, while being effective and inspiring role-models as both performers and people.
SYMTP 2020 Staff
Visual Arts Director
Diana Tunis is an Arizona certified K-8 teacher with a Highly Qualified endorsement in Art. Diana has a lifetime of artistic experience and is a multifaceted artist. She has instructed classes at Gila County Community College, High Desert Middle School, as a full time art instructor, and as the Visual Arts Director for the Summer Youth Musical Theatre Program since its inception over 20 years ago. Diana continues to strive for perfection as she transforms deceptively mundane fabrics and sticks into something truly magical and unique for the children on stage.
Music Director, Co-Director of Programs
Leslie Kang Kim
Leslie Kang Kim fell in love with the children of SYMTP before she even moved to Globe when she saw Jungle Book Kids in 2009. She felt privileged to join this vibrant community as Music Director and has since worked on thirteen productions. While she remembers getting the goosebumps during the kids’ performance of “Do You Hear the People Sing,” she is probably happiest when hearing the kindergarteners sing “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, what do you see?” Leslie delights in all the ways that the kids are growing as artists, people and leaders. They are the ones who make her heart sing.
Drama Director, Co-Director of Programs
Lyndon Baker has starred in several SYMTP productions with his most memorable role as Sebastian in The Little Mermaid Jr. Since graduating in 2013, he has helped on numerous shows with set building, lighting and sound. The highly acclaimed production of Lion King, Jr. was Lyndon’s debut as Drama Director, with a record of 56 cast members and a crew of mentors to lead. With his natural empathy and focus on each child, Lyndon created a culture of exploration and empowerment for each participant. In addition to his theatre resume, Lyndon brings to SYMTP his experience with children, business management skills and expertise with technology and design.
Supporting Director, Outreach Program Lead
Marissa Baker hails from Toronto, where she worked several years in summer camps and after school programs for children as well as a program director for an assisted care facility for the elderly. Always willing to help, Marissa’s cheerful efficiency was a welcome addition to our dressing room during Shrek Jr., which had a record number of quick changes. For our mammoth production of Lion King Jr., Marissa brought her talents in dance and movement as well as organization and creative problem solving with set building. With her natural warmth and individual care, no child felt left out or behind with Marissa around!