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Meet Becca and Jason Johnson-Spinos of Outcry Theatre in Plano

Today we’d like to introduce you to Becca and Jason Johnson-Spinos.

Becca and Jason, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I started acting as a kid, and I began directing theatre as a teenager. I got my BFA in Music Theatre from Elon University, then my MFA in Directing from Baylor University. My husband Jason and I started Outcry Theatre all the way back in the fall of 2011 for a festival production of Dark Play or Stories for Boys. For several years, Outcry would only produce one or two professional shows a year.

During this time, I was directing for a local children’s theatre company. In 2016, I decided to strike out on my own, and we started producing youth theatre as a new branch of our theatre: Outcry Youth Theatre. Since that time, we have produced eleven youth shows, frequently performing at the Addison Theatre Centre’s Studio Theatre.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
As a small theatre company, we have always struggled financially to produce our theatre, frequently using our own money to finance our productions, in addition to crowdfunding with Kickstarter. We’ve had to have late night rehearsals in order to have access to rehearsal space. We would always pay our collaborators but never pay ourselves. Fortunately, with Outcry Youth Theatre we have been able to be more financially stable, and we moved into our own rehearsal space at Park and 75 in April of 2017.

Outcry Theatre – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
The mission of Outcry Theatre is to draw youth and young adults to the theatre as both audience and participants. We utilize bold artistic vision, highly physical staging, and an energetic and visceral performance style. We focus on developing stellar performances with exceptional storytelling. With Outcry Youth Theatre, our motto is “This is not children’s theatre. This is theatre.”

Our goal is not for the plays to be good “for kids,” but for them to be as good as any adult production. We select challenging material for the youth actors, from plays like Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull, to Shakespeare, to literary adaptations such as Lord of the Flies, A Wrinkle in Time, and the musical version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. We have high expectations of our youth actors, and they rise to the challenge and give professional level performances.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
For me, success is about how many people we have helped and touched. Seeing students grow as both performers and human beings is a magical thing. Having an audience member emotionally moved by the performances of the actors makes all the incredible effort of putting together a production completely worth it.

Pricing:

  • General Admission for an Outcry Youth Theatre show: $10
  • Premium Reserved Seating for an Outcry Youth Theatre show: $20

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Gabrielle Grafrath

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