Youth Theater Arts Program (YTAP)

The Youth Theater Arts Program (YTAP)
At The Rotunda
Philly, PA
Fall-Winter 2010

(Not exactly a residency but sort of…)
Working with Gina Renzi, Director of The Rotunda, and other members of the Rotunda community advisory board I proposed the creation of YTAP in response to a call for more youth programming at the Rotunda. The goal of YTAP was to create a youth theater arts program that fostered creative self-expression, teamwork, and imaginative exploration, resulting in public performances. Participating students were introduced to a wide variety of theatrical styles and forms practiced by members of the Rotunda performing arts community. In the long-run, our aim was to provide a space that builds on-going creative relationships among participants and among local artists and local youth. YTAP encouraged multicultural exchange, youth leadership and cross-discipline collaboration. Big goals…and not much time to fulfill them. But, with movement teacher Shavon Norris, poet Claudia Schulte, musician Stephen Wise, and me- the kids (grades 4-8) built masks and puppets, autobiographical dances, and some original songs and raps, which they performed for friends and family at the Rotunda.

Unfortunately, after one semester of programming the promised funds for its continuation ran dry and the partnership with the local school the kids came from was shaky. YTAP sleeps for now but will likely morph into a renewed effort of some kind this summer…

Here’s a quick video about the program in which I look like an exhausted raccoon, mostly because of the lighting I think…

Photo credit: RJW Prod.