Alumni Spotlight: TAHS Grad Alyssa Benton Joins Re-Creation, A National Singing Group

Re-Creation presents more than 300 shows annually for VA Medical Centers, schools, churches and community groups in all 50 states.

Starring in the TAHS production of Grease as Sandy, singing with the Concert Choir, 2014 grad Alyssa Benton was a standout on the TAHS stage.  Benton was even voted “Most Likely to be Famous” by her graduating class. As the newest member of Re-Creation, a popular national travelling production, Benton is one step closer to living up to that yearbook honor.

“Alyssa has a strong love of performing,” said her former Tyrone choral teacher Brittany Hipp, “I remember her great performance as Sandy in Grease when she was a senior.  Along with her passion for dancing, acting, and singing, she has the talent to back it up.”

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Anyone who knows me is fully aware that I love entertaining people and bringing smiles to their faces

— Alyssa Benton

After graduation, Benton spent two years at Lock Haven University, majoring in theater, but switched to film and television after her original major was cut.

But Benton recently put her college career on temporary hold when an opportunity for her to fulfill a dream of performing with a nationally known group presented itself. During her lead role in Lock Haven’s production of ‘Footloose’, Benton overheard a friend talking about leaving school to join a traveling singing and dancing group called ‘Re-Creation’. She was compelled by the way he spoke of the group and immediately wanted to be a part of it.

“Anyone who knows me is fully aware that I love entertaining people and bringing smiles to their faces,’’ said Benton.

The nine performer non-profit group was created in 1976 by Hugh Brooks, a professor at Penn State University. It began touring with the USO and currently provides live entertainment to the VA Medical Centers nationwide. Re-Creation presents more than 300 shows annually in order to fund tours to VA Medical Centers in all 50 states.  The group also performs several other shows, a variety show, a show tailored specifically to schools, a Christmas show, and a faith-based performance for church groups.

Benton heard that the group was holding auditions and sent in a video. Following her acceptance to the group, her life has changed for the better.

Although her passion for singing and dancing certainly played a major role in her desire to join Re-Creation, the decision was also rooted in her Christian faith.

The group is Christian based, focusing their purpose on the power of God in peoples lives. A lot of their performances feature praise and worship songs and provide a musical sermon for the audience. According to their website, the group performs “a dynamic, vibrant church experience focusing on the potential of God’s power in our lives and our call to be modern-day disciples.”

It was the faith based show that really drew Benton to the group.  ‘’I really think of my being here as a total God thing,’’ said Benton.

Her passion for performing and helping others made the choice very easy for Benton.

‘’Honestly, I didn’t give it a second thought. Anyone who knows me is fully aware that I love entertaining people and bringing smiles to their faces. It was a very easy decision for me and my parents were fully supportive.’’

Benton has been a part of the group since June of 2016. Since then she has been traveling the nation performing for our heroes. Benton has enjoyed to opportunity to travel and see the country.

‘’At the beginning of our first tour, we went to Alaska. It was truly remarkable. I can’t even begin to describe to you the hospitality and welcoming atmosphere that was presented to us by every single person we met. My favorite part of that trip was going to the Iditarod Trail for a dog sled ride. It was an epic experience,’’ said Benton.

Although Benton misses her family often, she knows being a part of ‘Re-Creation’ is what she is meant to do.

‘’Sometimes it’s difficult to keep in contact because we don’t always have service the places we go, and the older I get, the closer I’m becoming to them. I’m much more of the adventurous type and I can’t do the same thing or be in the same place too often. Being here, in ‘Re-Creation’, gives me the opportunity to travel and meet new people every single day,’’ added Benton, ‘’I couldn’t ask for a better life.’’

Benton has described the experience as humbling and emotional.

‘’It’s very often at the end of a section [in one of our Veteran’s shows] we won’t hear any applause, due loss of appendages. It’s definitely a humbling experience. There’s lots of tears and emotion,’’ said Benton.

Benton is unsure when she will return to school, but she does plan on completing her education. Many Re-Creation alumni go on to careers in singing, dancing and performance.  But the one thing Benton is certain about, being a part of Re-Creation is a decision that she is happy to have made.

The group is currently accepting applications for next year.  Anyone with the talent and willingness to take on an adventure of a lifetime, can get audition info on the website.