The world’s a stage for this musical youth
Ryan Doyle’s mother knew early on that she had a performer in the family.
Even at the age of 2, Ryan loved to dress up and sing for his family. “He’s always loved performing,” Paula Doyle said.
And then, with an experience in a school production at St. Gabriel School on 41st Avenue, Ryan realized that the stage was where he wanted to be.
“I started getting serious about it in the third grade,” said Doyle, now a seventh-grader at St. Gabriel. He’s been in plays and musicals ever since, including productions at Mercy High School and St. Ignatius College Preparatory.
Paula Doyle says that although she and Ryan’s father, Larry – who owns and runs Parkside Tavern on Taraval Street – support their son’s interest in the theater, they aren’t stage parents.
“We encourage it, but we don’t go out of the way,” she said.
Doyle’s latest performance is in an ongoing production of “Destry Rides Again,” a 1959 Broadway musical about an unconventional Wild West sheriff who eschews the six-gun in favor of persuasion.
“My character is called Squint McCall. I’m part of the bad gang of guys,” Doyle said. “It’s really fun. Everyone’s on stage a lot of the time. That’s not always the case with musicals.”
“Destry Rides Again” is a production of San Francisco Arts Education Project and performed by the SFartsED Players, a troupe of musical theater performers 9 to 14 years old.
SFArtsED brings arts education, including theater, to San Francisco public schools through after-school programs. It also runs a summer camp, which is how Doyle got involved. He said the proceeds from “Destry” will go toward bringing arts education to more San Francisco children.
“It’s a great program for kids who want to take this seriously,” Paula Doyle said.
Thursday afternoon, Doyle and some of his fellow cast members from “Destry” will perform on “7 Live,” a live show on ABC7 television, KGO-TV. “7 Live” airs at 3 p.m., on ABC7 or webcast.
“Destry Rides Again” runs through Feb. 26 at the Eureka Theatre, 215 Jackson St. Tickets are available through City Box Office.
Check out this video from SFArtsED Project for more about the organization and a sneak peek at “Destry”: