Bay Ridge

Narrows Community Theater encourages young performers’ show biz dreams

Theater scholarships awarded to two eighth graders

June 9, 2015 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Christopher Saad and Laura Downey have dreams of becoming performers. Photo courtesy of Narrows Community Theater

Christopher Saad and Laura Downey are both young but they have already built up impressive resumes in theater and each will now get the chance to continue their studies in the arts thanks to a Bay Ridge group whose mission is to encourage a love of the arts.

Christopher and Laura, who are both eighth graders at Saint Anselm Catholic Academy, received Betty Kash Memorial Scholarships from the Narrows Community Theater.

The scholarships were established in memory of the late Betty Kash, a long-time member of Narrows Community Theater who performed in and directed many of the company’s productions. Kash also loved working with children and sharing her talents and love of theater with them, according to a press release issued by the theater group. 

The scholarship is given to students interested in pursuing the arts. Students seeking the scholarships are required to submit applications and essays.

The scholarships were presented to Christopher and Laura at Narrows Community Theater’s general meeting on June 4 at the Shore Hill Community Room, 9000 Shore Road.

Christopher, who will graduate from St. Anselm this month, will attend the High School of Telecommunication Arts and Technology in Bay Ridge. In his application essay, he wrote that he did not know his dream until he joined his church choir. That experience led him to join various clubs, including his school drama club, where he was chosen to play numerous roles in productions such as “Seussical Jr.” and “Sleeping Beauty.”

“My passion for music and acting has opened a new chapter in my life.  I hope to pursue it further and fulfill my dreams,” he wrote.

Laura will soon graduate from St. Anselm and will be a freshman at Fontbonne Hall Academy in the fall. She joined the St. Anselm Drama Club in 2012 and landed a role in “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” Laura, who said she loves to dance, sing and act, wrote that the experience of performing in the show put her “on cloud nine” and that she “never wanted to end.”

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Her time at St. Anselm has been “a great ride,” she wrote, because through it, she also discovered that acting was her passion.

Narrows Community Theater accepts donations to the Betty Kash memorial Scholarship Fund. For more information, visit the company’s website at

The theater group, which presents at least two shows a year, was founded in1971. According to a statement on its website, the group’s goal is to encourage performers and to promote arts at the community level.

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