Providing free access to dozens of year-long youth theatre residencies focused on the creation and performance of original plays as well as exposure to professional theatre performances, The Unusual Suspects has evolved from a local program serving roughly 50 participants in Van Nuys in 1993 into a robust program that served over 3,500 youth in over 20 communities of Los Angeles in 2023 alone.
In 2024, we’re launching a four-year theatre conservatory program where high-school-age youth can choose specialized careers in writing, acting, directing, and production design.
We’re also introducing a vocational training program where community members can learn the fundamentals of costume, set, lighting, and sound design. Over the next five years, we’re determined to launch a state-of-the-art performing arts space where young artists from diverse communities can explore their boundless imagination and bridge historically isolated communities.
We believe in the power of self-expression as a fundamental part of self-determination, so we provide thousands of children with a platform to devise a collective future for themselves and their communities.
Our programs emerge from a collective effort that engages hundreds of community partners, foundations, government agencies, corporations, and people like you who believe that Los Angeles’ youth deserves top-quality access to arts eduction regardless of their zip code.
YOUTH THEATRE CONSERVATORY
Youth Theater Conservatory is a sequential 4-year program that challenges the student artist to push beyond their own standards, encourages risk in creativity, and prepares for professional success. Learn more here.
YOUTH THEATRE RESIDENCY
Youth Theatre Residency offers workshops to teach the next generation of bold artists to implement elements of movement, devised theatre, and playwriting through original collaborative theatre under a brand-new curriculum specifically designed for our K-8 classrooms. Learn more here.
VOICES FROM INSIDE
Voices from Inside provides free programming to juvenile halls and camps in Los Angeles County. Focused on reflective storytelling, our young adult participants explore key moments in their lives with fresh perspective, giving them agency to make new decisions and forge fresh paths forward as an artist. Learn more here.
NEIGHBORHOOD VOICES +Vocational Training in Production Design
Neighborhood Voices centers on community, teaching the creation, collaboration, and production of devised theatre through prompts inspired by the community itself. Learn more here.
THEATRE & CULTURAL ACCESS
We support the creative and cultural spirit of our youth artists, families, and stakeholders by providing experiences to professional theatre performances, evenings at the symphony, professional mentorship, masterclasses, and more. Learn more on how to bring this program to your space here.