FYT’S AMBER WAVES: A MICHIGAN FAMILY SEARCHES FOR HOPE IN THE MIDST OF ECONOMIC HARDSHIP AND GENERATIONAL CHANGE

Flint Youth Theatre’s production of Amber Waves follows a Michigan farm family’s struggles and triumphs while examining the universal message of hope amidst difficult circumstances. Written by James Still, Amber Waves is the third production in FYT’s 2011-2012 Signature Series with its season theme of RITES OF PASSAGE ENCORE: Transitions and Transformations. The play is on FYT’s stage from February 10 through March 4.

The Olson’s Michigan farm has been in the family for three generations. As Deb and Scott, the family’s fourth farming generation, approach adulthood they are left to wonder if the farm will survive these hard economic times. Their parents, Mike and Penny, struggle to balance their dwindling bank accounts while tending to their crops and cattle, their family and marriage. Despite their hardships, the Olson’s find hope in their dreams and in one another. As families all over Michigan struggle to thrive under stressful economic conditions, the Olson’s story could be our neighbor’s story or our own. An award-winning play, Amber Waves provides insight into farm life while speaking to the universal message of hope amidst difficult circumstances. As Penny Olson reflects, “I think that’s what I love about living on a farm. Finding faith.”

Amber Waves performances are Friday, February 10, 17, 24 and March 2 and Saturday, February 11, 18, 25 and March 3 at 7:30 P.M. with matinees on Saturday, February 25 and March 3 at 2:30 P.M. and Sunday, March 4 at 4:30 P.M. The performance on Sunday, March 4 is part of the Meet the Playwright Special Event. Patrons attending the event will have an opportunity to
participate in a talk-back and reception with the award-winning playwright of Amber Waves, James Still, as well as the director and cast of the production. Patrons attending any performance in the run of Amber Waves are invited to attend the talk-back and reception. Admission requirement is a ticket stub from any performance in the run. Performances are at Flint Youth Theatre, 1220 East Kearsley Street, on the campus of the Flint Cultural Center. Advance tickets are $12 for children, $14 for teens and seniors citizens and $16 for adults and are available at Flint Youth Theatre, by calling 810.237.1530 or online at FlintYouthTheatre.org. Day of performance tickets are $14 for children, $16 for teens and seniors citizens and $18 for adults. Amber Waves is recommended for ages 8 and up.

Amber Waves is directed by FYT Artistic Director Designate, Jeremy Winchester. The production is designed by Jeremy Winchester and Guest Artists, Shelby Newport and Andrew D. Smith with original music composed and performed by Guest Artist, Kenneth “Pops” Jones. Members of the Amber Waves production company include FYT Resident Artists, Rodney Creech and Jean McDaniel, FYT Junior Resident Artist, Bary Lehr, FYT Guest Artists, Kevin L. Dzurak, William Kircher, Gene Oliver and Shannon Olsen and five middle and high school students from Flint and Genesee County.

“The Olson family’s struggle with the often harsh reality of modern-day farming provides our audience with a rare glimpse into a vanishing way of life that was once quite common. At its heart, though, the story is about a family that finds the strength to rise to the challenge of modern life by turning to each other for support. Whether we’re rural folk or city people, this is a journey we can all relate to,” commented production director, Jeremy Winchester.

On December 20, open auditions and technical interviews for Amber Waves were held for area students in grades 7 through 12 from Flint and Genesee County. Of the students who auditioned, five were selected to be a part of the Amber Waves student company. The selected students are part of a cast and crew totaling 16 artists.

 
Amber Waves graphic

Amber Waves
dates and times

Friday, February 10 at 7:30pm,
Saturday, February 11 at 7:30pm

Friday, February 17 at 7:30pm*,
Saturday, February 18 at 7:30pm

Friday, February 24 at 7:30pm,
Saturday, February 25 at 2:30pm and 7:30pm*

Friday, March 2 at 7:30pm, Saturday, March 3 at 2:30pm* and 7:30pm, Sunday, March 4 at 4:30pm**

*A conversation with the creative team will follow this performance.
**This performance will be followed by an opportunity to meet the playwright, James Still.  Performance of Amber Waves at 4:30pm followed by a talk-back and reception with the playwright, director and cast.

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