What Mentors Do

Mentors commit to the practice of nurturing an inclusive and supportive environment in all of their NEYT projects and take on a wide variety of roles throughout the theater. Mentors contribute to the management of this theatre community with their insights, creative problem solving, and leadership. Mentors help care for and take responsibility for our physical environment. There are as many ways to express mentorship as individuals and each person is encouraged to discover their contribution.

The Mentors meet monthly, both to gather socially with one another, and to plan and organize events for the greater NEYT community. These events include Theater Clean-up Day, Community Dinners, Movie Nights, Mentor Challenges, volunteer work in the Brattleboro area, field trips to regional theatre events (usually in support of a fellow NEYT-er), and the Mentor Cabaret. Community building through work and play is at the heart of NEYT and these activities are a big part of making that happen.

Mentors independently produce this event to raise funds for their charitable donations, NEYT financial aid, and community-building events. Cabaret is also a chance to put the keys of the castle in the hands of student leadership – to bond as a group in the crucible of production and have a generally madcap time together.

Mentors set game “challenges” to inspire a deeper sense of play and camaraderie among all ages. These Challenges are the Mentors’ way to combat cellphones usurping the creative physical play and group connection that is such a hallmark of NEYT.

These challenges are threefold:
• The challenge must require collective creative minds to solve.
• The challenge has teams (bonus points when non-mentors are included)
• The challenge is recorded for use of the judges (shared by private social media when appropriate)

Examples of previous Challenges: the spit take challenge, the found object fashion show, animal costume relay race. Mentor Challenges are fun for all and help us all remember to engage, be the masters of our devices, and play.

Four Mentors join Junior Company productions each year with the specific intent of exhibiting the supportive leadership they practice in their own personal work. Their focus in these projects is to promote healthy ensemble energy, assist directors through dance captaining or leadership from within the ensemble, and model strong rehearsal etiquette. Becoming an Active Mentor provides opportunity to step into new responsibility as growing leaders – and contributes to the positive experience younger students have at NEYT.

The Leader-In-Training (LIT) program offers NEYT Mentors an opportunity to further develop their skills as teachers and leaders in the NEYT community. LITs are selected through an application and interview process. The LITs integrate into Junior Company summer programming, giving participants training as well as opportunities for teaching and leadership.

NEYT’s Board of Directors includes 2 student representatives. These voting members are nominated by the Mentors to contribute to the general oversight of our organization. It provides a lot of insight into all that goes into running our theater -and it keeps the student leadership connected to the broader Board activities. These are 2-year terms and an important part of how we stay “of, for, and by kids”.