Millennium Repertory Company Wee Actors director and homeschool program director Hope Petty has started a YouTube channel that will cover topics ranging from audition advice to what it’s like to work in the sound booth.

“This was my husband’s idea,” Petty said, first off, adding that her husband Jason Petty (of Hank Williams’ show fame). “The kids and I would come home from rehearsals at night and we would be this happened and this happened. Wasn’t that great. We would talk about all these new experiences that we were having.”

Jason suggested they encompass all those narratives into a videos to show people what goes on behind the scenes.

The initial sketches were that the channel would something similar to a docuseries following a show from auditions to post run strike (set teardown), yet it also grew include instructional content like what to expect in a singing audition, how to choose music for an audition, what a dance audition is like and even what the pacing is for learning dance combinations.

“(We cover) how to be prepared so that when we start the process they’ll be able to see firsthand….and something fun to watch, like they’re a part of it,” Petty said.

Petty notes that all kids like to sing and dance, it’s just that parents sometimes don’t know how to get their children involved.

“It seems to be something elusive to parents, how to get them started. Hopefully, this will talk to parents too. This is what we do, this is what is expected and how to get involved,” she said.

Petty is able to include some of the theater kids in the channel videos. It’s a learning experience for all those involved.

“It’s fun for the kids to participate. We’re all learning together,” she said.

Unrelated to the channel, Wee Actor’s sibling guild, the Teen Actors Guild offered its first ever virtual viewing during the shutdown for “War of the Worlds.” Additionally, select auditions have been offered in a virtual format. Video production is becoming a useful tool the company has incorporated during the pandemic. But despite the setbacks, the shows will go on.     

Petty confirmed there will definitely be a 2021 season.

“I am really proud of MRC and the Manchester Arts Center of how they have responded (to the pandemic). They’ve been very responsible, not only to their patrons, but also to their volunteers and the arts center itself,” she said.

“We were at half capacity, everyone wore masks and were socially distanced. This gave people an outlet. I think that that was really important for people to have that,” Petty said.

Petty’s channel is TheatreMomHope on YouTube.




John has been with the Manchester Times since May 2011. He covers Lifestyles in addition to handling education reporting and general news assignments.John has won Tennessee Press Association awards for Best News Photo and placed in numerous other categories. John is a 1994 graduate of Tullahoma High School, a graduate of Motlow State Community College and earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Middle Tennessee State University. He lives in Tullahoma, and enjoys the outdoors with his wife, Mitsy, and his 17-month-old, Sean.

Staff Writer

Download the free Manchester Times mobile app at the app store. John has won Tennessee Press Association awards for Best News Photo and placed in numerous other categories.

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