Local theater student benefits from scholarship


What: Madness de Vine: International Wine and Food Tasting, signature benefit for Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp When: 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday at the top of the gondola. Tickets: Cost $50 and are available at Perry-Mansfield, The Bottleneck, All That Jazz, Central Park Liquor, Epilogue Book Co. and Off the Beaten Path Bookstore. The evening includes a silent and live auction. Entertainment will be provided by jazz pianist Paul Potyen. Call: 879-7125.

Thirteen-year-old Ian Noble has the confidence that comes from being on stage. He speaks his mind and commands the attention of the room.

Now in the eighth grade, Noble spends his evenings in private piano and voice lessons, and he spent his summer studying dance, musical theater and acting -- the latter thanks to a scholarship from Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp. It was Noble's second summer at Perry-Mansfield.

He performed in "Our Divine Madness" in 2003 and the sequel, "More Divine Madness," this year.

Noble also studied jazz and modern dance at Perry-Mansfield and hopes to take Jazz II and get into dance composition.

"I have always been a theater freak," Noble said. "I remember watching 'Austin Powers,' and I couldn't stop doing an impression of Dr. Evil.

"And I remember sitting at dinner with my family, and I was doing an impression of The Godfather. It was great."

Theater-goers may have seen Noble in "Annie" and "Cinderella" at Steamboat Springs Middle School, in "Wizard of Oz" and "The Sound of Music" at Steamboat Springs High School or in this summer's Emerald City Opera production.

Noble's voracious interest in music, dance and theater has caught the attention of many people in the local arts community.

"Ian has been really lucky," said his mother, Christine Noble. "People all along the way have supported him and encouraged him. If he shows interest in something, people have always been there to provide that opportunity."

Christel Houston, Noble's piano and voice instructor, helped him prepare material for his scholarship audition.

Christine Noble saw her son's acting skills improve considerably during the summer, she said.

"This year, they really focused on the structure within acting. They learned that there are guidelines when you performed," Christine Noble said. "I saw Ian's awareness of those things increase."

Although Perry-Mansfield is in Ian Noble's hometown, he met peers with an interest in the arts and studied under instructors who have professional careers in dance, theater and music from across the country.

"One of my teachers pulled me aside for a serious talk," Noble said. "I was told that I am a big fish in a small pond. I will go to a lot of auditions, and there are a lot of kids who have talent. But talent alone won't do it. It takes a lot of hard work."

Noble's parents probably would have found a way for him to attend Perry-Mansfield this summer no matter what the expense, but finances were tight and getting half of his tuition paid for ensured that he was able to take all the classes that piqued his interest.

"Getting a scholarship also made Ian feel like he was earning that privilege," Christine Noble said.

Perry-Mansfield hosts its annual Madness de Vine fund-raiser Saturday to raise money for scholarships like the one given to Noble.

"There are all these kids who don't have enough money, who can't afford it," Ian Noble said. "By offering these scholarships and providing an opportunity for another kid, they are helping along a whole chain (of events)."


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