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In today’s culture, families with young kids are pulled in many directions. Soccer, lacrosse, dance, cheerleading – you name it. Then add in the distraction of smart phones, YouTube, gaming systems, and Minecraft. You’re left with families who spend very little time being together, working together, creating together, and growing together.

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Ruffatto Family

But if your family is involved at DreamWrights, you know that this center for community arts is an antidote to our culture’s fractured family time.  The Ruffatto family has experienced this first hand. Forty-seven year old dad, Steve Ruffatto is a retired police officer. Currently, he is a professor of Criminal Justice for the Harrisburg Area Community College an adjunct professor for Elizabethtown College and Boston University.  Like many families, Steve is busy with his career and together with his wife, Jennifer, is focused on raising their two kids, Callie (14) and Steven, Jr. (12).  Steve relates, “In today’s society it seems that there are many things pushing and pulling each of us in different directions. DreamWrights has been something that we, as a family, have been able to do together.” Steve says that every DreamWrights production in which he and his family have participated has given them the opportunity to spend invaluable, quality time together.

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Steve (left) helping with set building

And as a result of their working together at DreamWrights towards a common goal, they have been given the opportunity to learn about the various roles within the theatre. “It is not all about acting. There are so many things going on behind the scenes. We have all really come to enjoy learning those various roles together.”

Not only that, but the Ruffatto family’s skills and stage presence are growing.  Steve reveals, “DreamWrights has certainly helped each of us develop confidence. Being on stage in front of a group of strangers, having to remember your lines, can be quite daunting.” Steve believes that his family’s DreamWrights experience has given each of them the confidence to get up on stage and overcome their fear of speaking and performing in front of a crowd.  “I also think that through DreamWrights our children have developed confidence in dealing with their peers as well as adults. They have felt comfortable enough to be able to speak up and ask questions to better understand what they are doing.”

Steven Jr. in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

It is the relationships they have built with these peers and adults that keep them coming back. “We have made some great connections at DreamWrights. DreamWrights is like an extended family. We have come to love all the people that are involved as they are just as passionate about the theater as we are. It is a place where we, as a family, can be involved in activity together. It is a place that helps build confidence in our children and teaches life skills without them even realizing it. All this is done while they are having fun performing, building sets, or the many other activities behind the scenes.”

Callie (center) in The Secret Garden

You, too, can make stronger family connections at DreamWrights.  Get involved at DreamWrights today and join the Ruffatto family making new friends, learning new skills, and most importantly, spending some quality family time together!