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Pittsburgh Musical Theater
February 9, 2010

Many students and plenty of parents appreciate PMT for its forte – teaching kids to be outstanding performers in musical theater. Week after week, PMT kids become better dancers, better actors. They gain stage presence. They learn everything teachable about the art. But our family loves the “way cool school” for something that doesn’t appear in its brochure. My daughter was a shy 13-year-old. Because of my husband’s work, we’d moved a lot, even overseas for a few years. The last move was to Pittsburgh when she was 10, a tough age for a girl to find a place to fit in. School was hard. All the girl groups seemed to be set and there wasn’t a spot for someone new. For three years, I watched her confidence dwindle and her sense of self fall away. One day when she was 12, we went to a high school production of the Broadway musical “Cats,” and she fell in love. We bought her the “Cats” DVD and all summer long, all alone, she danced in the living room. And then that August – because everything happens for a reason – a brochure came in the mail. The Way Cool School, it said. Kids in costumes danced and sang all over the pages. “Hey, honey, check this out,” I said. Her face lit up. A couple weeks later we went to the PMT open house. The director sat at a table with us, explained the program to me and my husband. She looked directly at my daughter, spoke to her about how the kids support each other at PMT and about how, even with no dance or theater experience, she would fit in. And, boy, did she. She fit in from day one. She made friends. She had fun. And at nearly 16 now, the girl who once barely spoke above a whisper recently sang and acted in PMT’s production of her favorite Broadway musical on a professional stage in downtown Pittsburgh. You should have seen how great she was. So personally speaking, I think the best lesson my daughter has learned from the fine teachers and supportive staff at PMT is that it’s safe to be yourself. In fact, that it’s important to be yourself. The “way cool school” supports and celebrates our children on a shoestring budget. They’re masters at doing an awful lot with just a little. We’re not rich, but if I ever won the lottery, I’d donate a substantial amount to them. It would be money well spent. Bet everyone in the PMT family feels the same.

More feedback

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

being a part of something so worthwhile.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

grow its walls, expand its program and play an even more amazing role in the lives of its students and in Pittsburgh theater.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

MY ROLE:
Client Served & My daughter is a PMT student and I volunteer when I can.