Fulton Co. high school senior brings free theater classes to local youth

Mai Ideshita wants to make theater arts accessible to everyone, especially kids in her community.
Published: Jul. 31, 2023 at 5:37 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MARIETTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - A pirate and parrot took center stage on Monday at a Cobb County senior living community.

The play is about being shipwrecked on a magical island with nymphs, knights, and royalty and it’s from rising high school senior Mai Ideshita’s creative mind.

“Theater was like a way to express myself that I just didn’t know was possible before, said Ideshita.

Ideshita fell in love with theater when she was just 9 years old, her first play at a local children’s company. Now at 17, she’s acted in a variety of productions at the Westminster Schools of Atlanta.

However, it wasn’t until a summer internship spent reaching out to drama teachers at public schools across the state, that Ideshita learned not all kids have access to acting.

“It became kind of clear to me that theater education isn’t really offered for free at schools and there’s not a lot of drama teachers out there,” she said.

Ideshita wants to make theater arts accessible to everyone, especially kids in her community.

She spent weeks writing and directing the play called “Banquet Mayhem” and teamed up with a non-profit called ‘Kids Care’ to bring laughter and smiles to the seniors at the facility.

“It’s great to build bridges between the seniors and the kids,” said Ideshita.

Some of the kids who performed in the play are homeschooled.

“I just like the acting, all the different acting. And getting to dress up as something that you’re not,” Maleah Lathrop, a middle school student.

For 8-year-old Jace Baubles, it’s his first time performing for any audience.

“I just really like the acting and having fun,” said Baubles.

The play brought everyone of all ages together to experience what theater is all about.

“Getting to see the kids break out of their shell like I kind of did is just so rewarding,” said Ideshita.