Richmond, VA.–Cadence Theatre Company (CTC) recognizes that teenagers are vibrantly fruitful champions of the arts; their voices resonate with enthusiasm, conscience, and clarity. CTC values the unique perspective and unconventional methods of this furtive group. With the opening of their production of Stephen Karam’s Sons of the Prophet, Cadence boldly launches The Fourth Wall Student Forum, a critical review network created to enhance Richmond’s theatre arts community.
The mission of The Fourth Wall is to enable young theatre lovers to understand and write meaningfully about relevant, compelling performance and theme, and to experience the powerful effect their words can have on the broader community. Through professional guidance, member insights and conjecture will appear on CTC’s website, Facebook page, and other community publications. Fourth Wall members will invite their peers to contribute actively to the arts community, thereby invigorating the growth of young audiences and by extension,
strengthening all artistic endeavors.
The Fourth Wall founding members come from the entire Richmond metro area schools, including Appomattox Regional Governor’s School, Collegiate School, Deep Run High School, Maggie Walker Governor’s School, Open High School, St. Catherine’s School, St. Christopher’s School, Thomas Dale High School and Trinity Episcopal School. Young adult mentors represent John Tyler Community College, University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University.
These young critics attend Invited Dress Rehearsals and afterwards have the opportunity to uncover the complex implications of the work they’ve seen through candid discussion with the play director, cast, and artistic contributors. Students will write reviews and posts, and even create original videos promoting CTC productions. Wherever their creative urges take them, 4th Wall leaders will support, encourage, and mentor their efforts. They receive two additional tickets to each show so they might encourage others to share their experience, then spread the word that Cadence Theatre Company and Virginia Repertory Theatre offer discounted student tickets and UTIX.
CTC’s pilot program, The Fourth Wall Student Forum, fosters the essential flow of communication across the proscenium arch, allows a generation to speak out in a world dominated by their elders, and hands them the power to advocate for youth leadership in Richmond’s greater theatre arts community.