Volunteer Spotlight: Mari Young
Volunteer Mari Young loves the intergenerational community of Revels. And she helps make Revels happen, by supervising cast kids… and sorting hundreds of t-shirts!
I started out seeing Revels in the ’90s as an audience member. I helped out a bit when my older son first attended the summer theatre camp in 2009, but my first official time volunteering was in 2013 when my son was a part of the children’s cast.
I have volunteered behind the scenes at Christmas Revels, run the Children’s dressing room and coordinated cast shirts for the Christmas shows. I have also helped with the Summer Theatre programs, volunteered at multiple 12th night and RiverSings, and helped with behind-the-scenes preparations for some of the school programs.
I love the sense of community. I enjoy that Revels is aimed at all ages. I love being part of something where it is completely normal to see 8-year-olds and 80-year-olds interacting! It makes me happy to see generations of families all participating together and all getting something meaningful out of it.
I’m not exactly sure what makes me MOST proud. On a personal level, and as cheesy as this sounds, I love that I have brought Revels to my three children and that they have chosen to make it such a big part of their lives. On a more professional level, every year when processing hundreds of pieces of apparel for the cast, of multiple different types and sizes, when the numbers all work out, I do a big cheer. This maybe isn’t the thing I’m most proud of, but it always makes me unbelievably happy.
Seeing my daughter shine on stage and behind the scenes at Revels brings joy to my heart more than anything, but truly, every event makes an impact. I cry every year at Revels – at the Christmas shows, Twelfth Night, RiverSing, the end of a summer program, even at pub sings. Partly, it’s because I’m a sap and partly it’s just being awed by the wonderful and talented people I am lucky enough to surround myself with. I really try to appreciate and take a little bit of each event to hold with me.
My entire family supports my involvement in Revels. I have been fortunate enough to have one of my kids involved in many of the events I volunteer at, so we get to spend some extra quality time together. Most of the year, Revels isn’t too intense, but December can be tough. I leave them for the month to be at the theater. Every year my poor husband is a Revels-widower!
I have volunteered for many things over the years, but the organization I have been the most dedicated to is NEFFA. I have been on the board of the New England Folk Festival for over 20 years.
In my day-to-day life, I am a disability awareness educator working with mostly 3rd-5th graders, teaching them about physical, sensory, and developmental disabilities. I help them to have understanding, respect, and to include people of all abilities. For fun, I love to folk dance, sing (especially Bulgarian and Croatian music), play games, and do crafty things.
Oh those shirts! From left to right: 2017 Venetian, 2016 Acadian, 2015 Welsh. The cast thanks you!