In 2014, Brooke was watching The Music Man, and she loved the opening song. She thought it would be fun to gather a few neighbors and friends together to reenact it. But one song simply wasn’t enough, she wanted to put on a whole production. So Brooke found a script online for The Wizard of Oz and decided to direct it. Eventually, she was able to get twelve kids commit to the show. Meanwhile, a teenage friend was battling cancer. Brooke decided that at the performance (which was supposed to be in the backyard), she would collect money to donate to her. The day of the show arrived and it was typical Illinois weather: rainy, windy, and cold. The Ferricks family had to move all of the furniture to turn the living room and kitchen into a stage. About fifty people came to the show and they raised $400. Everybody has a blast and kept asking when the next one would begin.
The second show was a variation of The Little Mermaid, and the donations were split between a neighbor with spina bifida and an organization for individuals with Down Syndrome. The total money raised was $1,200. Considering the success of that show, Brooke decided to continue on and do a third which was a talent show. The talent show was in honor a fellow church parishioner who was hit by a car and currently suffers brain damage. The cast (that grew from 12 to 20) raised $800 for her. Brooke was considering this to be the last show, but in December 2016, news struck that a local family lost their home due to an explosion. After learning they went to the same church as Brooke, she knew that it was time to do another show. The community was very involved with this show, and 30 kids participated. They ended up raising $4,000 for this family. The fifth show was Seussical Jr. and about 500 people came to see the 40+ cast members. The grand total raised was $4,000 all going towards a playground at SOS Children’s Village in Lockport.
BBP has since moved to Christ Community Church of Lemont in order to accommodate the need for a larger space. "Beauty and the Beast Jr" has been the most successful show to date. 60+ kids and teens were in the show, drawing in an audience of almost 1,000 people. This large audience raised $6,800 for a local elementary girl with cancer. At the moment, the seventh production is in progress and will be performed in May.
Brooke Ferricks is the founder and director of Brooke's Backyard Productions. She has been a part of musical theatre since she was seven years old, and has been in over fifty musicals. Currently, she is a senior at Lockport Township High School, and is president of her choir and secretary for the Executive Choir Council. She is also a student leader for the program, WyldLife. In her free time, Brooke enjoys hiking, baking, practicing piano, and playing with her dog Otis.