Jay Perry narrated Plan-B’s first Free Elementary School Tour, Sergei Prokofiev’s PETER AND THE WOLF in partnership with Gina Bachauer International Piano Foundation, which was seen by more than 10,000 elementary students. Davis Arts Council and Salt Lake Symphony partnered on various legs of the tour.
I’ve been working as actor with Plan-B since 2005 and in that time I’ve had the pleasure of performing for some really wonderful audiences. Our audiences are smart, diverse and extremely generous. They are our friends and critics, our neighbors and family members, our contemporaries and partners and, when we’re lucky enough to perform for them, they’re our children.
Any actor who’s performed for kids will tell you that they keep you honest. They’re the toughest audience of all and need you to be engaged and real or they’ll quickly lose interest and start getting restless. They appreciate your authenticity and will let you know if they don’t see it. I’ve performed with Plan-B on both coasts, in concert halls and black box theatres, in rooms large and small, and no audience has been so immediately, viscerally communicative and engaging as an auditorium full of children. The feeling of an entire elementary school laughing, gasping, responding and making wolf faces back at pianist Kary Billings from Gina Bachauer International Piano Foundation and me as we told our story with music and words was absolutely magical.
I’ve always felt fortunate to be an actor working in a community that shows so much support for its artists and I’m especially proud to work with an artistic organization that honors and supports its community the way Plan-B does. The PETER AND THE WOLF tour allowed Kary, myself and our director Christy Summerhays to share a wonderful experience with over 12,000 of our community’s elementary school kids. I believe that children are our most important audience and I’m infinitely grateful to Plan-B and Gina Bachauer to have had the opportunity to share this enriching experience with them.