Tomorrow evening a group of Twin Cities professional theatre artists will gather together with a group of inner-city kids to begin creating unique and original theatre. I’ll be there as a director. I don’t know the script or even its writer. I have no idea who the actors will be, either the adult or the kid. But I’m thrilled by the prospect. The Chicago Avenue Project is one of the most rewarding projects I’ve ever worked on and I’m excited to be back.
Over the past several weeks (or more) neighborhood kids have been attending a sort of theatre camp after school at a sort of neighborhood playhouse. The week before last each child was paired up with a local playwright, and they met to talk about what kind of play they wanted to create. Now the writers have completed scripts and tomorrow it’ll all come together when the kid gets a cast mate and a director!
Many of these kids come from tough households in tough neighborhoods. Many lack a positive adult involvement in their lives. For some, a program like this is the thin line between falling in with the wrong crowd and not. These kids are like sponges, thirsty sponges. They’re full of ideas and energy and desire to learn and explore and express who they are. They’re polite and receptive, and sometimes shy. I can’t wait to see what develops this time.