"The experience of being part of a production at OYES is similar to that of being part of a sports team. Children learn that each role is important, no matter how small. Each person has to do their best to support the show... For my high-energy son, OYES has given him a place where his high energy is valued and encouraged, not stymied, building his confidence. I have witnessed the value OYES provides other families. I’ve seen children with speech issues get leading roles, and while onstage, they transform from a shy hesitant kid to a princess or to the king of the sea. I’ve seen OYES provide a place for children with physical challenges, such as cerebral palsy, to use their bodies and voices to transport an audience to other lands full of magic and love. When I watch the productions at OYES, my eyes fill with tears of pride for not only my children, but for others’ children, knowing the hard work and courage that is behind each performance, big or small, and how that child’s life will never be the same. At OYES, children from all walks of life are brought together."
- Debora Kirkland (Ojai, CA)
"My daughter has learned so much from this program. She's now confident speaking in front of a huge room of strangers, she can memorize a long monologue and speak it with ease, she's built community with kids of all ages and all walks of life. She's learned patience and the pay off of hard work. Daena and the rest of the staff give so much of themselves, their free time and their love to the children.
OYES has been an essential part of the Ojai Community and offers a wonderful alternative to the Art Center Programs for families who cannot dedicate every evening for rehearsals and multiple weekends for performances. We are so blessed that our children have the opportunity to participate in such a world class program while not giving up their time for homework, play and other activities."
- Liesel Rigsby (Ojai, CA)
"OYES is a wonderful part of the performing arts tradition of this community. The professionalism of their productions is always astounding to me. My daughter has been performing with them for several years and watching her growth has been a real treat. They are not only teaching her indispensable skills with regard to performance and public speaking, but they are providing a venue where she can be surrounded by other children performing a wholesome extracurricular activity."
Matthew Auric (Ojai, CA)
"Without OYES, my son would have had very little or no exposure to acting and music at his age. I have been enrolling my son in the program continually for 6 years now and he absolutely loves it. The people who run the program really care about the children involved and work to nurture each child’s individual talents. They work incredibly hard to make the theater experience as educational and positive as possible for the children, while inspiring creativity and a love for theater arts. I have not encountered an afterschool program as wonderful, caring, and beneficial as the program at OYES."
- Pamela Fetter (Ojai, CA)