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Since 2001, About...Productions’ Young Theaterworks program has served L.A. County’s highest-risk high school students, primarily in Continuation/Option schools in East L.A. Through innovative residencies, About...Productions introduces youth to the importance of writing and the power of communication through artistic expression, honest dialogue, and live performance. By harnessing skills of literacy, collaboration, and communication, students in the Young Theaterworks program receive higher grades in school, graduate at higher rates, and most importantly, are empowered to become stewards of their community’s history. We believe that real change is made possible by working with a small group of youth over an extended period of time with a genuinely committed artistic staff.

About…Productions’ Young Theaterworks enters the classroom and challenges students – challenges them to write, to speak, to look inside themselves. Young Theaterworks offers unrelenting professionalism, dedication, and belief in the potential of youth to do more, reach higher, succeed. Regular high school administrators and teachers could learn from Young Theaterwork’s dedication and fire for what they do.
— Howard Gillingham, former Principal, Pueblo de Los Angeles Continuation High School

Residencies

Intensive Young Theaterworks residencies in continuation schools are based on connecting youth to significant elders in the community and/or content from our professional original theaterworks. Over 20 sessions, students collaboratively create short plays. In culminating staged readings, professional actors perform the short plays alongside willing students for the public, their peers, and school community.

 

workshops

The newest addition to the Young Theaterworks program is the workshop series which currently serves five high schools in Greater Los Angeles. The workshop content was most recently built around the Evangeline Initiative, focusing on the history of the Chicano movement and the 1969 student walk-outs. Upcoming workshops include a gestural model making session with Bell Gardens Neighborhood Youth Center in conjunction with Adobe Punk ( in development).

The best part of it was the creativity we used when we came up with our marvelous play... From the bottom of my heart, I would like to say thank you for this influential experience.
— Young Theaterworks Student 2019

young theaterworks history

Click through the slideshow for a visual history of our Young Theaterworks program.

 
 

i: Witness, A Chicano Legacy Project play

Hundreds of East L.A. highest-risk students have been engaged through About…Productions’ Chicano Legacy Project. They’ve mined their community’s rich cultural and political history by interviewing significant Chicano elders, writing plays, and sharing the stage with professional actors to present their original work to their peers and the public. In 2017, these students had a brand-new opportunity to explore and share their Chicano Legacy and for the first time in the history of Young Theaterworks, created and co-produced a full production premiere of their original work, I:WITNESS!

video excerpt from 2017 Young Theaterworks Pasadena culmination

 
 

This program is made possible by the generous support of our sponsors:

 
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