Isabelle Franco has experienced the power of the performing arts firsthand. And she wants to make sure the next generation reaps the same benefits.
Earlier this year, Franco was at a crucial time in her life—a few years into a bright career in sales but not feeling like herself, personally. Then she auditioned for a volunteer acting role in Home Made Theater’s production of The Sound of Music. “I was in a very dark place and feeling very lost,” she says. “I had recently discovered that I have really bad anxiety, sometimes waking up in the morning crying over whether or not I’m doing the right things with my life. I’ve always loved The Sound of Music and decided to audition. I was shocked to find out that I received the role of Maria. It felt like what I did was right for me, and everything just kind of fell into place. It gave me a sense of confidence that I hadn’t felt in such a long time.”
Although Franco hadn’t acted in six years, The Sound of Music wasn’t the first time she hit the stage with the nonprofit theater company: Back in junior high, she was a pint-sized cast member of its production of A Chorus Line. In fact, children’s involvement in the plays is one of the reasons she is so passionate about supporting Home Made Theater. “Kids’ creativity needs to be expressed,” she says. “It’s what helps them figure out what they really want to do, whether it’s in theater or a corporate job or anything else. Through the use of their imaginations, they figure out who they are as a person.”
Join Isabelle and the nine other 2023 honorees at our annual Capital Region Gives Back event on December 6 at Putnam Place.