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OUR MODEL: WHAT MAKES US UNIQUE

Given the breadth of talent and access to industry, Los Angeles is home to many wonderful theatre arts, after-school, and mentoring programs; We are proud to call many of them partners and friends. Los Angeles is also home to a variety of nuanced communities and neighborhoods, and the tools used to address each one’s particular needs must be as multifaceted as its people. Our team has spent over 20 years teaching, reaching, and transforming Los Angeles’ youth. Here’s what characterizes our work:

NEIGHBORHOODS IDENTIFIED ACCORDING TO GREATEST NEED

Los Angeles is known to some as the ‘Gang Capital’ of America. While many reports are expressing record lows in juvenile crime, the dips aren’t consistent neighborhood to neighborhood, and incarceration rates are still spiking. Committed to meeting the needs of Los Angeles’ most vulnerable youth, we identify and work with communities, schools, and detention centers with the most incidents of violence and crime, and the highest poverty, incarceration, and dropout rates.

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THE HARDEST TO REACH AND THE MOST DESPERATE TO BE HEARD

We are devoted to Los Angeles’ youth, and believe that there is hope for each one if given the right opportunity and support, and that’s exactly what we do. A majority of the youth involved in our programming (over 1,000 annually) live in poverty, have visions of futures shaped by violence and loss, struggle with reading and writing skills, and as a result, have low self esteem and broken relationships. Our team uses the stage as a vehicle for confidence, hope, reconciliation and belonging.

IN THEIR OWN VOICE, BEHIND AND IN FRONT OF THE SCENES

It’s not easy to teach a child to write, it’s even harder to teach them how to get in front of an audience to direct and perform their words, vulnerably, before their peers, families, and communities. Both in our school programs and juvenile detention centers—in conjunction with a county and state approved curriculum developed in-house—the youth write, direct, and perform their stories, uncensored, and in their own voices. The resulting outcomes for these young people are lasting and life-changing.

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THE WHOLE IS GREATER THAN THE SUM OF ITS PARTS

In theatre as in life, everyone has a role to play, and neither can be done well in solitude. By creating and performing as an ensemble, participants develop invaluable social and emotional life skills. With a common goal, working in tandem with community and family members of all ages, participants learn choice and consequence, and develop tools of empathy and self-confidence that help to heal their homes and communities, serving them long after they leave the stage.