August 11, 2020

RRS Alum Jessica Lavery Returning To Summer Stage!

Jessica – how have you kept busy since graduating from RRS and High School?

I now attend the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania where I am a biology major and philosophy minor on a pre-dental track. Besides being a part of the Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors Program and Alpha Lambda Delta National Honor Society, I volunteer at the Leahy Food Pantry and work as a tutor on campus. I also participate in the Health Professionals Organization and Liva Arts Company, with whom I performed in Urinetown as Josephine Strong last fall. As I write this, I am backstage getting ready for our 3rd performance of the Wedding Singer!

Word on the street is that you will be joining us this summer – is this true?

This is true! I will be back and better than ever!

What is it about Summer Stage that makes you want to come back?

Summer Stage

I love that I get to work with my talented friends from RRS and all the amazing teaching artists. I love working with returning campers since I can see how much they have grown as performers throughout the year and the new campers since I get to meet so many more talented and wonderful kids. I don’t think my love for and dedication to RRS will ever diminish, no matter how many years it is since my time in the program, so I love being able to work for a program which I value so much.

How is Summer Stage different from the year-round program?

Summer Stage is different from the year-round program in that it is a little more relaxed and free-spirited. Summer Stage focuses on many different aspects of performance while during the year, RRS or RRS Jr. is more focused on a production unless you are enrolled in a class through RPAC. Since camp is Monday through Friday and all day, campers can develop stronger friendships more quickly than if they were in a cast that only met twice a week until tech week.

Do the counselors and campers bond over the summer? Do you think having the counselors be members of RRS is important?

The counselors and campers create an amazing bond with each other. Both the counselors and the campers love watching the other perform and develop a deeper passion for what they love to do. I think the fact that the counselors are members of RRS is very important because the campers will be able to learn from the teens who they watch and admire throughout the year. Also, since the counselors are members of RRS, they already have a deep appreciation and loyalty to the program which they can hopefully pass on to the campers.

If you could give a word of advice to a potential Summer Stage parent, what would it be?

I would tell them to be prepared for a very tired camper, but one who they will watch grow as a singer, dancer, actor, or even a photographer or writer over the course of the summer. They should encourage their children to share what they have learned each day at camp and be ready to be really proud of all that their children will accomplish over the summer.

If you could give a word of advice to a potential Summer Stage counselor, what would it be?

I would tell them to rest up before camp starts because once at camp, you will constantly be doing something. Get ready to teach but also learn from our campers, each other, and the professional teaching artists. Prepare for a summer experience that you won’t forget!

What was the last movie you saw?

The last movie I saw was Silver Lining’s Playbook, which I enjoyed!



Jessica Lavery is an alum of RRS who graduated in spring 2012 after 8 years of being in the program. After a challenging freshman year as a pre-dental Bio major and Philosophy minor at the University of Scranton, Jessica is returning to work at Summer Stage for her 5th summer!

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