WHITING – Sisters Juliet and Olivia Sereda spent this past weekend regaling the excitement of the past few weeks. They both just finished performing as cast members in Into the Woods Jr., produced by Ocean Children’s Theatre Co. (OCTC), a Whiting-based non-profit theatre company that provides arts education, enrichment and performance opportunities for area youth.
When asked about what these productions meant to her, Olivia said, “OCTC gives me the opportunity to live-out my passion for singing and acting, while being a part of a community of young artists.”
Her sister Juliet echoed Olivia’s sentiments, and her mother, Lindsay Sereda, added, “My daughter has Down Syndrome; working with OCTC has helped her to come-out of her shell. I see a great amount of growth in her self-esteem, confidence, communication, and social skills.”
The teachers are so very pleased with this last production. Artistic Director Michael Grande said, “It’s such a rewarding experience to share our love of the performing arts with our students. We are so blessed to witness these students growing as performers and to sharing their gifts with the world.”
Ocean Children’s Theatre Co. has students from various parts of Ocean County, including Manchester Township, Toms River, Brick and New Egypt. Board President Lu-Ann Cirone is a strong advocate for a fully inclusive program. OCTC is open to students of various levels of experience and to children with special needs. The next production is Annie Jr. and the show will take place on the weekend of December 8. For more information, please visit oceantheatreco.org or call 732-444-3275.