Photo courtesy of JAKS Theatre Company
Young actors and actresses make up JAKS Theatre Program in Salt Lake City. The company is celebrating its10th anniversary this year, opening "The Music Man" tonight.

www.jakstheatrecompany.comSALT LAKE CITY — Since its beginning in 2008, JAKS Theatre Company has brought youths along the Wasatch Front together through acting, camaraderie and bonding.

To celebrate its 10th anniversary, JAKS is producing "The Music Man," which runs through Feb. 23.

"It's been a really great thing for my kids," said JAKS parent volunteer Sara Beckstead. "My kids love it … I think it's amazing."

Director Jill Wilhelm established JAKS in 2008, Beckstead said in an email. The name for the company comes from family initials.

JAKS involves youths ages 5-18 who put on full Broadway-style shows. Even when they surpass age 18, participants typically return to help with upcoming productions, said JAKS producer Beth Thomas.

"We're all just a family that's here for each other," said Thomas, who, like Beckstead, has children involved in JAKS.

For 17-year-old JAKS actor and Layton High School student Tucker Olsen, acting and being involved with JAKS has been a positive experience. Olsen said he hopes to continue acting into his adulthood.

"It's crazy to think about," Olsen said in regards to JAKS celebrating its anniversary this year. "It's just a really fun time."

Olsen said he is looking forward to opening night of the production.

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"It's going to be fantastic to see the show come alive," he added.

For Beckstead and her family, she said being involved in JAKS has been special because it's a family-friendly experience for them to take part in together.

JAKS has also boosted childrens' confidence through the diligent work of Wilhelm.

"What they learn from JAKS is irreplaceable," Thomas said.

If you go …

What: "The Music Man" production by JAKS Theatre Company

When: Feb. 15-Feb. 23

Where: Rose Wagner Theatre, 138 Broadway

How much: $8-$12

Web: jakstheatrecompany.com