The Youth CONNection
Each new Center Stage season begins with our summer Youth CONNection production, the Youth CONNection was founded by Gary and Fran Scarpa and has become the cornerstone of Center Stage Theatre.
In 1983, after directing the Shelton High School Drama Club for almost a decade, Gary and Francesca Scarpa founded a summer theatre group for high school and college students. With the help of former Shelton Mayor Eugene Hope, the Scarpas were granted permission to use the then vacant Huntington School, where they mounted the Youth CONNection’s first production, West Side Story, which played to nine sell-out audiences.
In the summer of 1984, the Youth CONNection performed their second production, Bye, Bye Birdie at Shelton High School’s Percy Kingsley Auditorium, where they have resided ever since. Each summer, the group has performed such musicals as Annie, The Sound of Music, Fiddler on the Roof, Hello Dolly, The Music Man, The King and I, Oklahoma!, Brigadoon, South Pacific, Godspell, Anything Goes, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Annie Get Your Gun and Les Miserables, to name a few.
Members of the Youth CONNection have also given benefit performances for civic organizations and worthy causes throughout the state, including Juvenile Diabetes, the American Cancer Society, Hospice, the Ronald McDonald House, AIDS Project New Haven, The American Cancer Society, and Unicef.
Youth CONNection productions are known for their energy, excitement, and professionalism. The following video is an example of the quality of Youth CONNection productions, but to see a live production is to experience the magic.
Now over 30 years since its inception, the Youth CONNection continues to entertain thousands of people each summer. Many of our Youth CONNection performers started as campers in the Center Stage Theatre Camp when they were children. Our talented high school and college students are the heart and soul of the Center Stage organization, not only giving great performances, but volunteering countless hours to help Center Stage succeed by designing and maintaining our website, painting sets, designing and setting lights, serving as stage crew members, organizing costumes and wigs, ushering, and assisting with many other tasks.
Youth CONNection Productions are held at Shelton High School each summer in late July.
Our Past Productions
Click on a show to see pictures of the performance!