Dallas Children's Theater Blog

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Memorable Moments at DCT: Amari’s story

My DCT Experience, Part 1

By Amari Howard

Young Amari at DCT’s 2012-2013 production of GOODNIGHT MOON

When I was younger, I was always very quiet, shy and introverted. My Uncle Rocky (who is a board member at DCT) took my dad Mar (who is now also a board member), my Aunt Ronnie and Uncle Corey to Dallas Children’s Theater when they were kids. So, when my sister and I were little, my dad started taking us to DCT. The first play I can recall seeing was GOODNIGHT MOON when I was 6 or 7. For as long as I can remember, we have always held season tickets. My mom and dad continued to take us to plays; we would always go on opening night.

GOODNIGHT MOON

Opening night was my favorite, because DCT always has something special that night, like Tiff’s Treats, craft tables, or cupcakes from Sprinkles (my favorite.)

I enjoy watching live plays better than watching television and movies, because it’s so real. I really enjoy seeing the different costumes and live action. My favorite play, by far is SEUSSICAL™! This was the first time I interacted with the cast after the show. I also got to go onstage that night to see the actual set, as well as the costumes from SEUSSICAL™ and other plays.

2016-2017 production of SEUSSICAL

DCT has played a big part in my adolescence. When we went to plays, my mom and dad made sure we were always dressed nicely, sat properly and understood what we watched. If there was a book related to the play, they would buy it before or after the play.

Amari and sister getting photographs after the show

Sometimes we would have three tickets and my mom and dad would rotate turns taking my sister and I. That was the time we had a girls day out or daddy-daughter time. DCT brought my family together; it was always a great outing to go see a play and afterwards go to dinner to discuss our favorite parts. Each time we went to a play, we were treated so kindly by all of the staff. They knew our family and called my sister and I by our name. I could tell they really cared about us. It felt like going to a relative’s house each time we went.

Amari enjoying the DCT lobby pre-show

What I find meaningful about DCT is how they put children first in everything they do. Each play tells a variety of stories that all children can relate to. DCT offers many classes and camps to help children like me find a fun and creative way to become more comfortable interacting with others and with public speaking. Once, I remember trying to put on my very own play for my mom and dad at home. I have fallen in love with live theater and musicals! I think I have come out of my shell and I am a bit more extroverted; I owe that to the DCT!

Amari today

I think it is very important for parents to invest in DCT productions, because live plays teach kids more than the screen does. It teaches children about storytelling, production, lighting, timing and so much more! I hope that the DCT will be around for a very long time. Due to COVID-19, the play LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET was canceled. My family was dedicating this play to my great-grandmother Eleanor.

Last Stop on Market Street 19-20 Season

Only a place like the DCT can give families in the community an opportunity like that. I encourage families to invest in DCT, so we can all enjoy more live plays that touch on new and old stories that children like me love. I truly believe it is an experience that will change a young person’s life like it has changed mine. I hope one day my children, too, will enjoy DCT plays like my dad and I have!

Next week: Amari’s mom, Constance, shares her memorable moments.

Photos by Karen Almond, Lawrence Jenkins, and courtesy of Amari Howard