FAME! production at Lambton College focuses on youth engagement

The blue eye shadow, big hair, neon colours and leg warmers of the 1980’s are alive and well in Sarnia-Lambton!  Final details are being ironed out by Sarnia-Lambton youth and a handful of Lambton College faculty and students who are moonlighting with key roles for the musical production of “FAME! Jr. I’m gonna live forever!” featuring youth aged seven to 18 through Sarnia-Lambton Rebound.  The $10 tickets are moving fast for the three productions scheduled for Friday, September 21 at 7:30 p.m. or Saturday, September 22 at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

“Following two years of Disney productions, the youth chose FAME! this year because many of the issues it discusses mirror the issues of youth in Sarnia-Lambton today,” said Michelle Shelswell, Producer of FAME! and part-time faculty in the Child and Youth Worker program at Lambton College. 

These topical issues are a big part of Shelswell’s day job. The same is true for Richard Teskey, faculty from the Child and Youth Worker program and Kelly Wilson, faculty from the Social Service Worker program at Lambton College (and all three Lambton College graduates) with key roles in the production.  Teskey is Director and Wilson is Co-Producer.  The team of three have a special relationship with Rebound either as staff or engaged volunteers.

“The whole production of the show is based on youth engagement principles, which are directly in line with the mandate of the Rebound agency,“ said Shelswell. “It’s been great to see the fluidity of principles we teach in class being practiced within the production as a whole.  Youth involved are from all walks of life in Sarnia-Lambton having all gone through the same audition process.  To further engage the group, we’ve paired every volunteer position held by an adult with a youth counterpart.  The cast and crew of the entire production is volunteer.”

“This speaks to the level of expertise students at Lambton College are receiving within the classrooms of social justice programs,” said Wendy Asher, Dean, School of Community Services and Liberal Studies. “We’re thrilled at the level of involvement from so many folks connected to the College.  Michelle, Richard and Kelly – all amazing people.”

Students also play a big role in the production.  Several Child and Youth Worker students in second and third year are involved in aspects of the show including an assistant stage manager, a co-producer, and a choreographer.  A Business Administration – Marketing student has been busy throughout the summer aligning sponsorship and selling advertising and one Child and Youth Worker student will be on stage as a member of the cast.

Rebound Sarnia-Lambton is a nationally recognized, local agency who works with at-risk youth, offering a multitude of programs that adapt based on need.  Many of the staff at the organization are Lambton College graduates from the Social Service Worker and Child and Youth Worker programs. 

For more information regarding Rebound Sarnia-Lambton, visit www.reboundonline.com.

For more information regarding the Child and Youth Worker program at Lambton College, visit www.lambtoncollege.ca/CYWK.  For more information regarding the Social Service Worker program at Lambton College, visit www.lambtoncollege.ca/SSWK.

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