WICHITA FALLS, TX - Summer Youth Musical in Wichita Falls has hit a golden anniversary, celebrating 50 years in the community.
In those years, it has been more than just a summer theater program, but has left impact on those who take part.
"It's really exciting to have youth theater celebrated for this long," said Charlotte Dameron director of Summer Youth Musical. "I think we look pretty good for 50."
For the last five decades, hundreds of youth in Wichita Falls have taken the stage in SYM.
Dameron has directed the last few summers, and wouldn't have it any other way.
"Youth casts work harder than anyone I've ever been around," said Dameron.
Getting its start at Rider High School with just a few kids putting on a production with home made costumes.
The program then moved a few years later to the Backdoor Theater, where it has called home since.
"It's amazing that theater can just pass down from generation to generation and have the same effect on each person," said Jordyn Smith.
The program brings back 50 years of alumni of SYM.
This is Jordyn Smith's first time to take the stage in the program.
"I love it so much," said smith. "It has a beautiful concept and I've made so many more friends than i could have imagined and everybody here is amazing."
"I've bonded with a lot of group of kids that are amazing," said cast member Samuel Walker. "I wouldn't be the person that i am right now if it weren't for this amazing group of kids and staff."
Samuel Walker plays Eddie in the program's current musical of "13", a show about the challenges that teens face when it comes to school, friends, and relationships.
He came back this summer because of the experience he had last year.
"It's made myself a better person in life and a better actor on stage," said Walker.
"It teaches them problem solving skills, it gives them life experiences, it teaches them how to think off the seat of their pants, and solve a problem very quickly," said Dameron. "It also teaches them to work
together and have compassion for other people."
The hope for Summer Youth Musical, is that it can touch lives of everyone who comes across it.
"It's part of it they have a group that understands them, that sees them, that believes in them, and supports them of their own peers," said Dameron.
"There is unconditional love that you can't explain," said Walker. "It's that amazing."
"No matter who you are or where you live, SYM will have open arms to you."
If you want to go see this years summer youth musical click here.