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Real Friends, “No Fake-sies”

by Susie Gidseg, Managing Director, Changing Lives Youth Theatre Ensemble

Photo credit Victor O’Brien

Imagine sitting in a circle with a group of strangers. You are nervous, unsure of what the year ahead of you might bring, unsure of what friendships might be formed, adventures undertaken, challenges met in the year to come. You are assured you will become friends with each other. You will learn, grow, change, create, motivate and support each other. Unlike school, where many times a group of thirty can go months or even years without talking to everyone in their class, Changing Lives is different.

Last year I watched in awe as the group formed, quickly, and real friendships were made. Over the summer, students became a mini family- and the retreat we took together solidified those bonds. Now, in week two of the Fall session of CLYTE, the bonding is beginning. We spent the first week getting to know each other- learning names, backgrounds, sharing bits and pieces of who we were. Week two, thing begin to gel even more quickly.

The students are promised that they will become friends, real friends “no fake-sies” and have each others backs for the year to come. In our social contract we emphasize support, encouragement, a safe place to learn and grow creatively together. What we have in CLYTE is something special, and I can’t wait for what the year will bring.


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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