I have loved theater since I first started performing as a kid. I participated in every program available to me, from acting in school plays, to church theater programs, to community theater. I performed in Oliver, Sound of Music, Annie, Wizard of Oz and others, as well as several original plays.
In college I took courses in Theater Imagination, Theater History, and Playwriting. This inspired me to write my first full length play in collaboration with my sister. After a reading at my college, I realized how ideal this material was for children's theater. The subject matter is fanciful, upbeat and charmingly innocent. It features a cast of dozens, plus room to add plenty more characters, so every kid can have a part and no one is left out in the ensemble or stuck playing the "Second Tree". Since then I have written many more full length plays, each tailor-made for children's theater.
Performing in Oliver, 1994. Far right.
Diamond Dance Co. & Blue Elephant Theater camp
4-8 year old group, summer 2013
I began dancing at the age of five, in my hometown of Menlo Park. Ever since then, I have taken every opportunity to make dance a large part of my life. I have been active in many dance programs and have studied a variety of styles, including ballroom, which I I have taught extensively, both in the classroom and one-on-one. I have a passion for choreography and always aspire to emphasize the creative aspects of dance and movement.
I started dancing with children when working with the Boys and Girls’ club at Taft Elementary. For two years I designed and taught a jazz combo class in the after school program, geared towards children age 5-8. I spent three years teaching with Diamond Dance Company, working with local preschools and elementary schools. My enthusiasm for dance and love of children make me a devoted instructor, always interested in engaging students and helping them find their own love of movement.
My name is Tristan Wilson,
and I am the director and CEO of Blue Elephant Children’s Theater.
I got the opportunity to perform my plays with Diamond Dance Co., a company my cousin and I founded. For three years Diamond Dance Co. held Musical Theater summer camps for children, with programs ranging from 2-4 weeks. I saw firsthand how much fun kids have with improv acting games, and how delightful it is to share the magic of theater with my students. At the end of each camp we performed our plays on the stage. Now Blue Elephant Children's Theater has adapted this program for the school year, and parents rave about us!
I never wanted to be a famous actress, but rather I cherished the experience of putting on a show with my friends. There is no community so warm and supportive for kids and adolescents as the performing arts community. Theater provides so much more than training in singing, dancing and drama - it provides a positive, inclusive space where kids can have fun and get creative while improving language skills and public speaking skills. These skills are crucial in today's working world, and the skills you develop in Musical Theater can last you a lifetime and provide a foundation for your professional and interpersonal development in a way no other extracurricular can.