Family Theatre Project and Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association partner to bring you STARRING YOU, an after-school youth theatre program accessible for ages 8 to 13. Over the course of 4 Saturdays, June 30th to July 21st, 2018, students will meet in Youngstown Cultural Arts Center’s Thelma Dewitty Theatre to collaborate on writing, devising, acting, and designing a 20 to 30-minute show. The program will culminate with 2 shows performed free to the public on the final day, July 21st.

Engaging the students in creating their own play will stimulate artistic growth and confidence, and make space for vulnerability in sharing our stories in a new light. We strive to serve the families who need childcare support the most by offering 20 hours of free constructive childcare. Our goal is to grow a larger program that can continue to offer support for working and single income families. The program will utilize drama therapy techniques to strengthen social and literary skills, while creating art that is uniquely Seattle.

Theatre grants us the opportunity to talk to children about our feelings, our bodies, language arts, and history, and allows us to try on new perspectives and take risks with social conventions in a safe environment. When children write their own materiall, they feel empowered to speak confidently about what they love, fear, and think, and creates a memorable opportunity to showcase skills that can be applied in other everyday ways.

Throughout the course, students will engage in democratic practice to learn how story conventions are used, and how to have full control over what story they tell and how. There will be an emphasis on drawing inspiration from their surroundings and life, and challenging the older students to use the play as an opportunity to discuss social justice in the context of theme. Students will get to investigate ideas and emotions through improv, writing, and peer to peer collaboration. There are also opportunities for students to learn about the technical aspects of theatre under the guidance of the teaching artist. There are many facets of putting on a show that can help assist students be better learners while teaching practical skill sets, reading and comprehension. A play can be a hands-on way to teach language arts and analysis while opening up the door to talk about history, and emotional development. Most of all, it is engaging, requires children to work as a team, and helps kids practice using their bodies and voices.

To make a play requires a space in which to rehearse and perform, and a leader with knowledge in the technical and acting realms. DNDA will house this pilot program at Youngstown. Printing and graphic design needs will be donated by WP Noonan. Director Kyleigh Archer will facilitate classes and performances, and train one youth age 12 to 18 as Assistant Director.

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Kyleigh Archer

About Kyleigh:
Kyleigh Archer is a local teaching artist at Broadway Bound and West Seattle Performing Arts, who is in the process of acquiring her Masters in Education. Archer has received a unique BFA from Cornish College of the Arts covering both theatre design and directing.  Archer has been in multiple generative productions, including her latest with Annex Theatre, “Safe Space”, where she facilitated edits on a script between 8 women, while being the head designer.