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Monthly Archives: December 2011

Wish for Changing Lives

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


As this year is coming to a close, and 2012 just beyond the bend, I just wanted to take some time to reflect on what we have accomplished this fall and look forward to our wishes for the future.

This year Changing Lives is finishing the fall semester with 23 students. We have a fall retreat under our belt, a new complex and exciting script we are staging, and over 600 students have already seen our students perform at the No Place for Hate Conference and the We Are Girls Conference. We are excited about what we have accomplished and learned, and the fun we had doing so.

For the future—we wish for a calm, exciting and successful tour. We wish for students with open minds and hearts to see our play, and schools and conferences that are excited to have us. We wish our students resiliency as they balance home, school, and rehearsal. We wish tons of memories, good times, growth, learning opportunities and joy. We look forward to many more exciting experiences with this group as they embark on their spring touring season—with a bunch of fun along the way. Here’s to a great 2012 with the Changing Lives Youth Theatre Ensemble!

A Wish (or Vision) for 2012

by Freddy Carnes, Artistic Associate

We use the word “wish” or “wishing” so much to mean gifts or world peace that it sometimes it loses its’ meaning. “wish” to me sometimes has more to do with imagination and vision than it does with receiving a gift or trying to force someone or some country to stop fighting. I’ve always believed that vision and visualization comes from seeing things as they are and how they could be. This also helps with taking action. That is why I love our company name. It embodies the three things that I am passionate about:

  • Theatre – which includes all of the arts including the most important – stories
  • Action – having a vision and taking steps to do something about it
  • Project – always framing a vision into a concrete, visible symbol

So here is my wish (or vision) for 2012. I wish that the students I work with will see themselves as part of the New World in which we live. I hope they see the protests and energy that young people have been bringing to the problems in the Middle East and Wall St. as part of a new dialogue. I wish the music, the plays, literature, poetry, and dances that have influenced me will seep into my artistic projects for the children and adult audiences who see them.There is such a rich heritage of ideas and emotions that flow from these works that are timeless. Let me take the best of the old and the new to speak to this new generation about real solutions to our problems.

Finally I wish for new heroes. I would love to see more and more new female heroes. I believe that the men have had their chance and it is time for the women to be given the same opportunities. So those are my wishes for 2012.  Have a wonderful and reflective holiday.

A Wish You Can Make Come True

by Mary Alice Carnes, Community Relations Director

As the year draws to a close, we here at TAP reflect on the wishes for the new year. As we continue our wish theme this month, we would love to have you check out some of the items on our Wish List. Our wish list below lists small items that make a BIG impact. Please help TAP get the books, paper, scissors, and arts and crafts materials and more we need. Theatre Action Project is wishing for support for our programming including TAP in the Classroom, TAP After School, TAP in the Community and more, by asking for your support. It’s easy!

Just go to the site and do your regular shopping. While you’re logged in, check out our lists of Books We Love and Supplies. Consider donating items that are in “very good” shape. Add them to your shopping cart and pay for them along with your other items when you checkout. Donated items will be shipped directly to us TAP and put to use right away.

TAP Wish List

  • Gently used electronics: digital projectors, boom boxes/radios, digital cameras, video cameras
  • Kid-friendly craft supplies: construction paper, markers, crayons, scissors
  • Kid-friendly musical instruments: drums, maracas, kazoos
  • Storage cabinet approximately e 72″H x 36″W x 18″D
  • Painting supplies: new or gently used acrylics, house paint, face paint, watercolors

Thank you for supporting TAP. We feel the love!

Gifts from the Heart

by Amanda Davis, Marketing Associate VISTA

One of my favorite things about the holidays is getting to see my family and give them the gifts that I have created with my own two hands. Every year since I can remember I have made some kind handmade gift for my parents, even a few friends have received some over the years. In the past few years, I have been learning how to up cycle (create things from many already made items) as well as make many gifts in a frugal way. I have taken apart old calendars and made them new again, crocheted scarfs, blankets and hats, and painted many gifts. I find that sometimes the best gifts in life are the ones you can create and give to others, gifts from the heart. Read the rest of this entry


Abby Video Series

by Marcelo Teson, Teaching Artist, Theatre Action Project

The film students at Del Valle Middle School are raising the bar again. Their follow up to last year’s The Queen is an incredible 3-episode web series titled Abby. Both funny and meaningful, the series examines everything from school cliques to sibling rivalries to TAP-esque after school programs. The kids are incredibly proud of their work.

My wish is for you to view this original website series and afterward give us your feedback on how we did.  Click here to view the rest of the series.

We hope you enjoy watching it as much as they did making it.

It’s The Best of Times for Theatre Action Project

by Mary Alice Carnes, Community Relations Director

We have the perfect holiday gift for the music lover on your list. Buy Sara Hickman’s The Best of Times double set CD featuring 38 fabulous musicians from Willie Nelson to Robert Earl Keen, Ruthie Foster and more.

100% of your purchase supports Theatre Action Project when you buy your copy online here.  We’re also on iTunes and Amazon!

This year Sara Hickman explained the driving force behind the project. “I wanted to utilize my position as the Official State Musician of Texas to promote families being creative together. Many times this starts with children bringing home ideas they learn at school. That’s why I created this compilation CD, to raise funds for Theatre Action Project and help them take the arts and theatre back into the schools.

The Best of Times album is a Who’s Who of Texas music all of them performing Sara Hickman’s original songs also featuring Shawn Colvin, Rhett Miller, The Flatlanders, Edie Brickell & the New Bohemians, Abra Moore, Michelle Shocked, David Garza w/Todd Wolfson, Jimmy La Fave, Betty Soo, Robert Earl Keen, Marcia Ball, Trout Fishing in America, Brave Combo, White Ghost Shivers, Ana Egge, Suzanna Choffel, Matt the Electrician, The Daze, Gretchen Phillips, Andrea Perry, Monte Warden with Colin Boyd, AfterMath, LZ Love, Patrice Pike, Shelley King, Elizabeth Wills, Joel Guzman w/Sarah Fox, Joe McDermott, Trish Murphy with Charlie Sexton & Skyrocket, Jess Klein, The Djembabes, Ray Von Foster, Christine Albert and Chris Gage.

Makes someone’s wish come true.
Thank you for supporting Theatre Action Project with the gift of music.

Contribute to Stop Bullying in 2012

Dear Friends,

As 2011 comes to a close, and bullying continues to negatively affect so many children every day across the nation, please watch this video below and consider making a donation to our counter-bullying efforts.

Together, we can make a difference. At any level of giving, your donation matters.

  • $15 allows a student to participate in a 5-day conflict resolution, counter bullying or leadership program.
  • $375 allows a group of 35 youth to participate in a 5-day conflict resolution, counter bullying or leadership program.
  • $1,875 allows an entire grade level, 125 students, to participate in a 5-day conflict resolution, counter bullying or leadership program.

Thank you for your support!

The Theatre Action Project Team

Your gift is tax-deductible and extremely appreciated.

Theatre Action Project uses the creative arts to activate the academic, social and emotional development of young people. Through interactive
classroom performances, after school residencies and community based programs, TAP’s team of professional teaching artists inspire youth to be
creative artists, courageous allies, critical thinkers and confident leaders
in their community.