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  • Daniella Pacheco

Community theater pushes for age inclusivity in production

This photo was taken during the Grease show and contains actors whose ages range from 17 to mid-40s. (Photo courtesy: Luxe Photography)

The Barn Theater is known for its inclusive cast, which spans a range of ages and backgrounds. Since its opening in 1970, the theater has become a staple in the community, partnering with local businesses and hosting programs for high school students interested in technical theater. They strive to be a place that welcomes all backgrounds by producing shows to attract different people to participate.

Bryan Childe, the theater director for the past six years, oversees every aspect of the productions, from lights to sound to set design. To maintain its inclusive atmosphere, the theater produces shows that attract a diverse range of individuals.

“We are a family that always wants to keep growing,” Childe said. “It's a huge family, and we all work together to make it an enjoyable experience.”

Grease, a classic show full of lively music and dancing, was the last show put on by the Barn Theater. The production showcased the theater’s diverse cast, with performers ranging in ages from 17 to 78. The recent production proved the hand jive is for all ages.

Jyrieze Bennett, an actor from the playhouse, reiterated the importance of having different ages on stage.

“I think it’s exciting that we can get people of all ages to perform, each individual has so much talent to bring to the stage,” Bennett said. “It's exciting to see ‘older’ people keep up with the choreography.”

Childe agreed the age range has worked in the theater’s favor. The diversity gives the shows a certain kind of depth that would not be achieved by having a limited age group. The Barn Theater offers everyone, no matter what age, the chance to get on stage and express themselves creatively.

“Each individual has a different personality and a different persona, and it's interesting and fun to watch them all blend as one big group to put on an incredible show,” Childe said.

Bennett also noted the unique atmosphere of the theater, which values intimacy over size. Despite its small size, the theater always finds a way to make it work, he said. He says that to see a theater of that size do what the Barn Theater does is impressive.

The Barn Theater is looking to expand in the future, building a more modern space to enhance production value and provide an even better experience for patrons. The future expansion will enrich the production value and be an excellent place for patrons and support to come and enjoy. The Barn Theater is eager to welcome new faces and continue growing its community in South Florida.

By Daniella Pacheco

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