by Patrick Torres, Middle and High School Program Director
Theatre Action Project is currently implementing a pilot program for our New Stages Youth Theatre Ensemble at the transitional housing center at Gardner Betts. This new phase of our programming serves formerly incarcerated youth who are working to successfully transition back into the community. The work they have achieved in the time we have been working together has been remarkable. The sessions are noticeably different than the classes that take place in the residential facility. Their renewed sense of freedom coupled with the insights they gained through the successful completion of the leadership program required as a part of their detention has resulted in more insightful perspectives in the development of their play.
- create a compelling character named Jimmy
- work together to define his given circumstances and conflict, and
- create a first draft of an original play about the far reaching affects of a person’s choices.
It has been an exciting process and the students have a strong sense of pride about what they have been able to accomplish. For our remaining time together, we will be working on how to successfully perform the script and on revising to have the most impact on the audience. If this pilot is indicative of the work we will achieve once we launch our full program, then these young people are going to have a big impact on their community!