Clackamas County Arts Alliance,
Youth Arts for Change Manager
Youth Theatre for Change Celebrates 7 Seasons of Giving a Voice to Local Youth –
Public Performance Coming August 14!
This July and August, Clackamas County youth ages 14-18 will work with professional theatre director Kirk Mouser and playwright Jenni Green Miller on the Clackamas Community College campus. During a six-week workshop, the youth will explore creative expression and utilize the power of theatre to unlock their potential.
Mouser and Green Miller will engage the youth in a variety of activities and exercises to develop skills in communication, collaboration and teamwork. As the workshop unfolds, Green Miller will create a play based on the youths’ own words and stories, giving voice to their experiences, hopes and challenges. This original play is designed to share the youths’ perspectives and give them an opportunity to connect to their community during a public performance. Mouser, a founder of the program who has remained involved since the start, sees this as a unique chance to “connect social justice needs through the process of theatre arts, creating a proactive change process rather than being reactive.” He also believes that “The program allows students to give back to their communities in a positive and nurturing environment.”
The public performance of the play is scheduled for Tuesday, August 14, 2018 at 7:00 pm at Osterman Theatre in the Niemeyer Center on the CCC campus. It is free to the public although a $5.00 donation is suggested. Audience members will be given the unique opportunity to hear youth’s stories, learn about their experiences, and marvel at the courage and poignancy of their performances. Audience members will also be invited to ask questions after the show to open a dialogue and connect with the young performers.
Launched in 2011, the award-winning Youth Theatre for Change project partners with the Clackamas County Juvenile Department, Clackamas Community College, and its Theatre Department to connect youth with the power of creative expression. Summer workshops provide opportunities for them to bond and feel heard, while learning important communication skills. The public performance is a culmination of hours of trust-building, learning to share, and pushing their own personal growth boundaries. Through the process, youth prove to themselves they can set and reach goals, going from “I can’t” to “I did!!”
Youth Theatre for Change is presented by the Clackamas County Arts Alliance’s Youth Arts for Change program, using arts as a catalyst to open doors for vulnerable youth. The program is made possible by the contributions of many partners and funders, including: Oregon Arts Commission, Autzen Foundation, Juan Young Trust, Charlotte Martin Foundation, Reser Family Foundation, Barbara Emily Knudson Foundation, Clackamas County, Clackamas Community College & Theatre Department, and Clackamas Repertory Theatre.