Emma Parry, a local Girl Scout with Girl Scouts-Arizona Cactus-Pine Council, discovered her passion for theater when she got to high school.
“I’ve only been involved in theater since my freshman year at Agua Fria High School, but it quickly helped me break out of my shy and nervous shell,” Parry noted. “Being a part of my school’s theater program has been one of my favorite parts of high school!”
In addition to theater, Parry is equally passionate about Girl Scouting and decided to bridge her two interests to help her earn her Gold Award, the most prestigious award available to Girl Scouts.
The Gold Award requires a minimum of 80 hours working on a project to create a sustainable solution for a problem the girls identify within their communities. For Parry, the problem was a lack of interest in theater at her high school and missing out on the benefits of theater involvement.
“I noticed fewer and fewer people were coming out to theater events and not auditioning for performances every year at my high school,” Parry explained. “Theater was an important aspect for me coming out of my shell and becoming more confident, and I wanted to find a way to get more people involved in the arts.”
For Parry’s Gold Award project, she focused on encouraging more young people to get involved in theater in her community – while promoting inclusion and kindness.
“I wrote an anti-bullying one-act play using the characters from ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ with the help of 20 friends from my school’s theater program,” Parry disclosed. “We were able to perform it for a group of 40 special needs students in our school’s black box theater and talked at the end about why theater is so important to each of us. Of the 40 students, 26 said they wanted to pursue theater in the future.”
In addition to the performance, Parry also made a website to share her one-act play and other materials with interested theater programs across the West Valley. Her website includes the free script, in addition to step-by-step instructions for assembling a backdrop and costumes.
“I hope my project can be shared with at-risk youth, who would greatly benefit from theater programs,” Parry announced. “Lower-income areas usually don’t have these programs because of a lack of resources and funds, which is why I made my project available for free on my website.”
Soon to be a student at Northern Arizona University, Parry is grateful to her 13-year Girl Scout experience for connecting her with lifelong friends.
“I was in the same troop my entire Girl Scouting experience, along with three other girls who became like sisters to me,” Parry said. “We grew up together and I was able to share the theater with one of them, Kenzie Norris. She also goes to NAU and we’re even in our school’s theater club together now!”
Above all else, Parry credits Girl Scouts for helping her learn about herself.
“I would have never taken on a project like this without Girl Scouts’ encouragement,” Parry expressed. “Girl Scouts gave me the confidence I needed to believe in myself.”
To read more about Parry’s Gold Award project, visit her website at gotheatregold.wordpress.com.
For information on upcoming meetings visit girlscoutsaz.org or calli GSACPC at 602-452-7040.