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Changing Lives

by Nitra Gutierrez, Middle and High School Artistic Associate

Theatre Action Project’s Changing Lives Youth Theatre Ensemble is comprised of high school artist- activists from all over the Austin area who come together to educate their peers through theatre. This group works together to write, perform and tour original plays that teach local youth about issues like teen dating, healthy relationships, bullying and homophobia. The ensemble uses their artistic talents to lead each other toward positive social change in their communities by starting with themselves. Students in our ensemble are paid for their artistic work. This collaboration between Theatre Action Project and SafePlace has performed for over 15,000 youth since 2003.

Jessie, 16 Garza High School Student Being a part of this gives you good self-confidence. It gives you courage to stand up to people. It is a really good experience. I learned how to collaborate and take other people ideas into consideration.

Boni, 18 Austin Community College Student We’ve all witnessed kids being bullied or in abusive relationships. I thought of myself as one of those people that would lay back and just say nothing to stop it — like a witness. But actually being in this program and doing different activities to prevent that and inform the people about these things, I feel different. I think now I would be one of those to actually stand up against bullies or abusive people. I thought even if its just one person that’s really touched by this, it would have made a difference in someone’s life, I would like to do that.

Greg, 18 Austin Community College Student My favorite part of the entire production itself is not really anything in the show but just the work of writing the show, because that gave us the tools and ideas to build a relationship. It shows that with just some time and really fun activities that anyone can come together, anyone can build a healthy relationship. We are trying to put the message across that you can give someone some time and they can do great things.

Tawnie, 20 Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired Student  I love theatre and I like to help people in some way, and when I found out what does I immediately signed up for the auditions.

Start making great things happen by being a part of the fun! Audition for youth summer workshop on May 5th.

For more information, please contact Nitra Gutierrez at for more details. If you’ve seen a Changing Lives performance, send us your comments. We would love to get your feedback.

About creativeactionaustin

We are based in Austin, Texas and reach more than 16,000 young people every year through our unique blend of theatre and education programs.Our programs expose young people to critical social problems and offer opportunities for them to creatively think about how they can be a part of solutions to these problems. Creative Action is a unique blend of art and education – for us, the two are intertwined. We believe that using the arts as a teaching method provides a fun, engaging and inspiring way to learn – it incorporates the whole mind and body.

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