As the Education Director of Theatrikos, Joe Maniglia oversees all aspects of youth programming at the organization. The TheatriKIDS program, run by Maniglia, is one of the most notable programs for youth theater here in the Flagstaff community. Youth, aged 7-17 get to develop experience and gain confidence in the Theater, building skills that will benefit them for the rest of their lives, while providing the Flagstaff community with quality performances.
In August 2015, TheatriKIDS put on a production of the popular rock opera, Les Miserables. Under the direction of Maniglia, the performers were able to show a great deal of skill a maturity tackling a production that is known for its heavy themes and challenging score. Maniglia demonstrates great respect for the talents of his students and their ability to conceptualize a difficult piece of theater.
Another notable project of TheatriKIDS was the Stage Buddies production of Alice in Wonderland in October 2015. The Stage Buddies program paired special needs youth with TheatriKIDS actors, who would rehearse and perform on stage with them. High school sophomore Areya Kugler, who is a longtime participant of the TheatriKIDS program and nominated for a Viola Award this year also, conceived the project. Maniglia’s guidance of the youth theater program has encouraged young people, such as Areya, to take a leadership role and direct their own projects. Stage Buddies also reached out to young actors with special needs, who may not have many chances to participate in a full-scale performance. It is through programs like this that the TheatriKIDS program reaches a diverse group of young people in the community.