Friday, September 5, 2014

Thank You, City of Lafayette

Today, we’d like to say “thank you” to the City of Lafayette for their $600 grant given to support Imagine!’s Out & About department in creating a theatre class for school aged kids with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Thanks in part to the funding, Out & About is gearing up for a theatre activity with their After School Program. “Our goal is to have a final performance in late April or early May, as a culmination of the year’s progress,” said Elena Ciaravino, Children’s Services Coordinator. The class currently has 11 kids enrolled, and rehearsals began August 27 at Alchemy of Movement in Boulder.

Out & About is excited to partner up with BackStory Theatre, a non-profit organization that provides theatre arts education and performances to kids and adults in the surrounding area. When we asked Anna Wilcox, founder of BackStory Theatre and the Executive Artistic Director, what inspired her to take on the project with Out & About, she said, “I have been very interested in expanding our Step Into the Spotlight programs to youth with disabilities. I believe acting is playing and we all can play! Imagination is such an important thing and it is important to use our imagination in life! Theatre encourages imagination. Our programs are called Step Into the Spotlight because we want everyone to have a chance to shine whether they are the lead of a show or not.” Thanks to the collaboration with BackStory, Out & About’s program will have access to the company’s props and costumes, if desired, for the production, and the director of the show will be using BackStory’s curriculum designed for Youth Theatre.

Mary Wilke is a teacher contracted through BackStory to be the director of our new Center Stage for kids. A student of theatre at the University of Northern Colorado and a teacher for youth drama, Mary is very excited to be involved in this theatre experience for the kids. “The kids will find a way to fully express a range of emotions, collaborate with classmates to develop the magic of a great story, and feel confident in the ability to perform for an audience,” said Mary. Mary has experience working with individuals with developmental disabilities and practiced helping those who need a little boost in finding their creative side.

"Confidence building, voice projection, memorizing lines, using imagination, and team building are a few of the many skills our kids will learn in this class,” said Elena.

Thank you, City of Lafayette, for making this educational and fun activity a reality!

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