On November 18, fifty-three LIHSA students attended the 2022 Stage the Change Conference. Stage the Change is a conference that’s been held since 2013 and encourages high school students to use performing arts to find their social voice and be catalysts for change.
Former LIHSA Student, Anna Zeralla of Post Dance Company, currently a senior at LIU Post for Dance, taught the workshop “Dance Your Voice” which LIHSA students enjoyed.
Kai Richberg (Freeport) who is studying Theater at LIHSA auditioned last spring to perform in a performance at the conference. Says Kai, “I performed Right Before I Go. The rehearsals were about twice a month.” He explained it was a departure from the type of shows he typically performs in which lean toward comedy. He also shared a bit about his conference experience.”One of the workshops I attended at Stage the Change created flash mobs with each other. Another one was connecting with partners and each other by using hand movements to follow each other where you go. That was really fun also.”
Faculty member Kim Larkin reflected, “Stage the Change was such a great opportunity for our students, especially since we are all currently working on Activism performance pieces. The performances they got to see were very powerful and the workshops they attended gave them more insights and skills to use in their work. Getting to hear Brian Stokes Mitchell speak about his life AND SING “Make them Hear You” was the perfect way to end the day – and for me personally was a highlight.”
Dance Teacher Natalie L’Etoile also thought the conference was wonderful. “For me, Stage the Change was about seeing the students connect. They got to connect with and get to know students from other schools. The dancers physically connected their bodies to the concepts introduced in workshops. They connected their passion and ideas in the pieces they created. We all experienced an emotional connection to the play about losing a loved one to suicide. The students connected to all the guest artists and presenters, and the valuable insights they provided about their art and their activism.”
Ava Doonan of Hicksville also studies theater at LIHSA. “I did the Art of the Interview and From Story to Stage workshops. I learned how to make people comfortable in an interview. In the Story class, someone talked about an experience they had with their grandma, and even though it happened years ago, it still affects him. The event connects with my activism class because I could resonate with people’s stories and figure out how to present them correctly and perform them artistically.”
LIHSA’s Roman Vseticka is a Dance student from Glen Cove. He attended a dance workshop about activism. In the class, they talked about how they see dance and how they use their bodies. He says about the conference, “It was really, really fun. Especially to connect with the people and see how they see the whole world.”
See more photos of LIHSA Students at Stage the Change.