Meet YPN member, Wale Soluade. Wale was recently appointed a board member of The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. We interviewed Wale to see what interests him about the St. Louis Rep. and how YPN members can benefit.
- What is The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis?
- The Rep is a non-profit, regional theatre that was founded in 1966. They are dedicated to excellence in producing an eclectic range of live theatre.
- What is the location of performance venues?
- The Rep performances occur at the Loretto-Hilton Center for the Performing Arts which is actually located on the campus of Webster University in Webster Groves. There are actually two stages at the Center, one of course is the Mainstage (760 seats) and another smaller, even more intimate black-box space – the Studio Theatre (average 125 seats).
- What makes The Repertory Theatre important to you?
- The Rep is important to me because it represents something that I feel is even more important now than never before. A commitment to an art that brings together imagination and talent from the playwright to the performer that takes on the character to the artist that creates the sets. The value of the arts unfortunately seems to be diminishing in our society and The Rep provides the perfect opportunity for younger generations to immerse themselves in an experience that can’t be replaced by movies. I think there sometimes is a misconception that going to plays is something that old people do and so we miss out on the feeling that comes with live theatre.
- What are your duties as a board member?
- My primary focus is to assist The Rep with engaging a new audience. As I touched on in my explanation of why The Rep is important to me, I noticed that fewer and fewer people around my age take in shows at any of the performing arts venues in the St. Louis area and that within that same space, there was a distinct lack of diversity in the audience. I’ve always thought that the experience that comes from enjoying the arts can supersede the different barriers we put in place and so when an opportunity to work with an organization that is committed to bringing new people into their audience came up, I jumped at it.
- How can YPN members become involved with the Rep?
- The very first step I would recommend is taking in one of the shows. One of the things I greatly appreciate about The Rep is the variety of shows that are put on. Everything from “Fly”, a show about a group of Tuskegee airmen and their experiences to Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap”. Of course, YPN members can also connect with The Rep on Facebook and Twitter (@repstl) to stay up to date on current and upcoming shows. There is a wide range of ticket and show times that make it very easy to become involved.
- What should other YPN members know about the St. Louis Repertory?
- The Rep wants you! Seriously however, St. Louis is considered one of the best cities for young professionals and recent college graduates and I think The Rep is a perfect example of why. We have the ability to see live theatre in a space that is intimate (which makes it perfect for dates), but also very affordable. The Rep provides an opportunity to not only see performers from right here in St. Louis but also bigger cities all over the country and we don’t have to travel to see them. The Rep cultivates local talent and offers backstage tours if you’re ever interested in seeing how things work!