Let's Get Involved
Dallas-Fort Worth theaters turn spotlight on community with all-encompassing outreach programs
Theater companies in both Fort Worth and Dallas are putting their communities first with unique outreach programs for 2023, spanning middle school to retirement age.
First up is Bishop Arts Theatre Center in Dallas, which is offering a free 12-week program for girls of color ages 12-17 that focuses on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math).
Called Girls of Color Discovering STEAM, it will provide interactive projects and hands-on learning from 6-7 pm each Thursday evening, January 12-April 6.
After identifying a social issue that they are passionate about, kids will get to explore their interest in software engineering by developing a solution, creating a story board, and then coding their own story.
You can sign up here.
Meanwhile, Stage West in Fort Worth has formalized a partnership with retirement community The Stayton to start a performance-oriented class led by area actress and instructor Linda Leonard. Interested residents can join The Stayton Community Players, which will have small performances for other residents a few times a year.
Stage West has long wanted to take part in a venture that facilitated access to performing arts for retirees as a positive creative and social outlet. An existing drama club at The Stayton was the springboard for this new collaboration.
Leonard has previously directed for the Dallas Library Project, bringing theater to many senior living communities. "She loves collaboration and enlivening and encouraging artists of all ages to find or rediscover their inner artist," reads the release.
You can keep up with The Stayton Community Players here.
Stage West is also bringing back its Design Apprenticeship Program, a pre-professional training program for college students in the areas of sound, scenic, and costume design. A fourth section for stage management has been added for this year.
The Design Apprenticeship Program launched in 2022 to give theater-makers of tomorrow the vital skills needed to succeed in a professional setting.
Participants meet with a mentor in their respective design area to create work for a professional portfolio, and have a hands-on learning experience during the design process of a production.
"For the foreseeable future," the release notes, "the program will center around diversity, equity, and inclusion — with a strong emphasis on recruiting women, students of color, the LGBTQ community, and other under-represented groups."
Stage West will seek three students in each area of study as they actively engage in the pre-production and rehearsal process of season programming. Upcoming participating shows are The Play That Goes Wrong and Cruel Intentions: The ‘90s Musical.
The students chosen for this program will also have the opportunity to collaborate with Stage West on Festival of the Kid and the Summer Conservatory.
College students interested in participating in the Design Apprenticeship Program can reach out to Tonya@stagewest.org.