Connect with US




  • MISSION

    The mission of The Unusual Suspects Theatre Company is to mentor, educate, and enrich underserved youth through the creation of collaborative, original theatre.
  • SUPPORT

    The Unusual Suspects targets the hardest to reach youth, offering free programming to more than 1,000 individuals each year.
  • PROGRAMS

    Unlike any other program, The Unusual Suspects trains as an ensemble, using theatre to create community and belonging.
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WHO WE ARE

We are a group of dedicated educators, writers, actors, directors, mentors and volunteers who transform hearts, minds, lives and communities by empowering young people to own and share their stories.

WHAT WE DO

In collaborative workshop settings, we mentor youth to write and perform their stories, using theater to champion those most desperate to be heard and toughest to reach. We teach confidence, choice, hope, and empathy.

WHY WE DO IT

Every child from every neighborhood deserves a place to belong, the freedom to safely express themselves, an opportunity to be seen, heard, and known, and the chance to dream and achieve beyond their circumstance.

The vision of The Unusual Suspects Theatre Company is a world where all youth are given the opportunities and support they need to succeed.

THE PROBLEM IS REAL
SO IS THE SOLUTION

For over 20 years, The Unusual Suspects has responded to the systemic challenges facing Los Angeles’ youth. The Unusual Suspects participants break patterns of recidivism, gang activity and violence, and go on to be graduates, dreamers, leaders and mentors who are engaged in and give back to their communities.

Annual cost to incarcerate one youth in L.A. County

Cost for one youth to participate in The Unusual Suspects program

Los Angeles Unified School District high-school dropout rate

Percentage of The Unusual Suspects participants who stay in school

A YEAR OF IMPACT

programs

24

programs


volunteers

100

volunteers


participants

1300

participants


audience members

1680

audience members


community members

10,000+

community members

stay connected with US




MY NAME IS Tameka

and I am an alumna. When I was 16 The Unusual Suspects and I found each other. I always had the sense that I was going somewhere, that I was going to succeed, I just didn’t know how.   Through this experience I discovered my voice and my pathway to college and beyond.

YOUR HELP = IMPACT

GET INVOLVED!

Your contributions are essential. Thanks to your support, we are investing in our communities and empowering the hardest to reach youth of Los Angeles to create new story lines in their own lives every day.

MY NAME IS Andrea

and I am an LAUSD teacher. The Unusual Suspects instill excitement, interest and competency in learning using creative interventions for our at risk students at San Fernando High School.  These vital skills, and learned self esteem are forever lessons that students use throughout their lives. Thank you US!

JOIN US FOR POWERFUL PERFORMANCES

Right now, there are Unusual Suspects’ performance workshops happening at schools & juvenile detention centers throughout LA County where groups of talented students are learning to work together as an ensemble to create one amazing original play. This semester, works that were written during our fall playwriting workshops will be entirely performed by our students. Honor their voices by joining us as an audience member and bear witness to their work.

Presentation of Learning at Camp Jarvis

March 18 @ 1:00 pm

Unusual Suspects youth at Camp Jarvis have been collaborating over the last 12 weeks on original theatrical writings. During their Presentation of Learning on Sunday, March 18th, they will lead the audience through a typical theatre arts workshop and will perform their original work. **This event is limited to facility staff/family/and pre-approved audience. Guests interested in attending future performances at Los Angeles Probation sites, please email Development Director, Meisha Rainman at meisha@theunusualsuspects.org for more information.** The Unusual Suspects Theatre Company is a proud member of the Arts for Incarcerated Youth Network.

Maclay Academy of Social Justice Performance of “The Life of Feliciana”

March 23 @ 6:00 pm

The talented Unusual Suspects Middle School participants at Maclay Academy of Social Justice have written an original play that they will perform in a free public show on Friday, March 23rd! Their script follows Feliciana Octoli after her father re-marries a younger woman. When Feliciana is possessed by the spirit of her biological mother, she must take an epic journey from her family’s giraffe farm to faraway China. Along the way she encounters bullies, talking giraffes, and ancient spirits, and learns valuable lessons about resolving conflict and the power of family. And coconuts.   

Neighborhood Voices Intergenerational Performance

April 6 @ 7:00 pm

As part of The Unusual Suspects’ Neighborhood Voices Program, a group of Northeast San Fernando Valley community members, ages 10 and up, are writing an original play that speaks to issues they see in their community. The group will perform their play on Friday, April 6, 2018. Stay tuned for their play title and synopsis! Immediately following the performance, The Unusual Suspects will facilitate an interactive, bilingual discussion regarding the play’s themes.