Shane Oliver was just 13 years old and in the eighth grade when he first auditioned for the Youth Entertainment Stage (YES) Company. Over the years, he performed in Wizard of Oz, Bye Bye Birdie, The Music Man, Hairspray, and he was Grandpa Joe in Willy Wonka. Now 19 years old and a student at Modesto Junior College, he’s still involved with YES Company as a Stage Manager, Mentor and Production Assistant and he just finished up his first production at MJC – Grease.

Oliver credits Director Melanee Wyatt and the program for instilling in him a love of performing arts and theater. “I could go on forever about how much Melanee and YES Company have taught me,” said Oliver. “I learned to be comfortable speaking in front of large crowds and gained a strong sense of professionalism. Rehearsing for these shows is very much like a job and approaching each role required focus, commitment, and hard work,” he said. And along the way, he made life-long friends. “We all came from different walks of life, worked towards the same goal, and created beautiful productions telling amazing stories,” he said.

According to Wyatt, Shane is a special young man she has enjoyed watching grow and thrive in the theatre arts. “He has such a passion and love for it all,” she said. “I am so proud of the person and performer he has become.”
Oliver wants to continue working in theatre for as
long as he can. He says he would love to be on Broadway someday, but that isn't his overall goal. He was recently accepted to work at Disney World in Florida and will begin working there in the fall. “I just want to keep working in theatre and learning as much as possible about the art form,” he said. “Theatre has allowed me to meet incredible people, play incredible characters, and be completely happy onstage. The best feeling in the world is being in the moment and sharing a theatrical experience with a community of actors and patrons. Any time I perform, I always remember how lucky I am to be doing what I love and sharing it with the community. YES Company gave me a home to nurture my talent and grow as an individual and for that, I am incredibly appreciative.”

This summer, YES Company is producing the classic musical “Ragtime” at the Gallo Center for the Arts, with opening night scheduled for Friday, July 19. “Ragtime” is an epic musical that paints a nostalgic and powerful portrait of life in turn of the century America.


Tickets are now on sale at the Gallo box office and at www.galloarts.org
Performances Times: July 19, 2