The Shaffers

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Contributed by Alumni Parent – Barb Shaffer


JTAG:  How did you hear about our program?
Barb: In October 2002, I read an article in the Columbian newspaper about the very first show, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, and it reminded me that a new mom (Bethany Larson) in our home school science class had promoted the same show, so I called her and asked how we could get involved. I registered our noise-imitating son Jeffrey, 11 years old at the time, for the next class session. He auditioned and didn’t make the cast for Tom Sawyer, but we both loved working on back stage crew. After seeing the show, our 4 other kids were hooked.  We jumped in with both feet!

The Shaffer family on the set of Peter Pan. Spring 2008
The Shaffer family on the set of Peter Pan. Spring 2008

JTAG: What was your initial impression of our program?
Barb:  We were overwhelmed by the genuine friendliness of all the kids, teachers, artistic team and parents. Our kids were invited to join in fun times outside of class and rehearsal from the start. We knew these were families we wanted to get to know and hang out with.


JTAG: What is a favorite memory of your time in our program?
Barb: One of my favorite memories of our time in the program was the magic of Peter Pan at the Washburn theater with ALL of our kids involved in the same show: Two in the band, two back stage, two in the cast and Bill and I building sets. We had the best set crew that show, dedicated enough to stay all night and watch the sunrise together one morning during move in. I think we even went out to breakfast afterward.



JTAG:  What lessons/life skills did you and your kids learn through our program?
Barb: Theater taught our kids teamwork and ignited a passion for production. Each of them is a team player in whatever they do to this day and they LOVE to put on a good party. Luke and Jeffrey are part of worship bands, Amy teaches violin and coordinates music events for the violin shop where she is in charge of on line sales, Anna is passionate about her acting career in LA and Daniel is doing grip work on TV and movie sets.  Get them all together and the costumes, props, singing, dancing and acting is bound to break out.


JTAG:  What advice would you give to a parent who is new to our program?
Barb: I know it fFamily (11 of 284)eels so overwhelming to think that your committee can get its work done in such a short amount of time, but remember, it’s not about perfection! It’s about a community of people pulling together for just 10 short weeks accomplishing a life changing experience for everyone. That hard work can create life long friendships. Be open to that. Our family has been changed for the better because of Journey and you will be, too.

More than live theater - theater that changes lives.

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