Thank you City of Orlando!

The Program: City Youth Theatre Fest

In its 6th year, Orlando REP is thrilled to celebrate the City of Orlando and our partnership with the Families, Parks, and Recreation Division with a new iteration of the Annual Rockin’ REP REC Fest. Created in an effort to provide local youth with access to theatre after school, Orlando REP has relished the opportunity to build community and connection through this exciting partnership. This year, we are taking the program to the next level by deepening the engagement and scope across four community center locations. Continuing in the sprit of access and community engagement, we are excited to expand. For the last 5 years, the program has served 100 youth from four centers, providing free after school theatre sessions culminating in a final performance at Orlando Repertory Theatre. This year, per a request from our partner, we will continue our after-school residency model, but instead of one performance at Orlando REP, we will produce a series of performances as a part of a community theatre festival called, the City Youth Theatre Fest!

Each group will perform at their own centers for the families, community members, and youth who frequent these important community spaces. Additionally, the curriculum will go deeper with the production of full plays versus short showcases of songs and theatrical vignettes. This large undertaking will require more staff and support, but at the same time provide a rich and immersive theatre experience for a variety of participants. Students will explore the process of character and script analysis, acting techniques, design, and performance. Theatre is a powerful art form with a variety of entry points. We are excited to engage students with diverse interests in order to foster collaboration, community, and pride. It is our hope that this festival will draw more participants, audiences, and in turn, deepen our impact on the community through the arts.

Why?

The City of Orlando established its Stand Up Orlando anti-bullying campaign in response to the widespread problem seen in Orlando schools. Approximately one in every four students experiences bullying during their years in school; nearly every student will witness it occur. Bullying has been linked to depression, substance abuse, poor health, delinquency, and poor academic performance. Orlando REP’s partnership with the City of Orlando was launched in an effort fight the underlying causes of bullying by teaching vital social skills through the arts. Mayor Buddy Dyer supports both the program and its goals, naming Orlando REP a “Stand Up” organization. Orlando REP’s programs allow young people the opportunity to express themselves, improve their self-esteem, and most importantly work with others toward a common artistic goal. These benefits will continue with this year’s iteration of the program.

Who’s participating?

The program is not targeted to any one specific ethnicity or gender, serving instead all youth at these local centers. Participants are selected and recruited through our partnership with the City of Orlando Families, Parks, and Recreation Division and come from four community centers around the city. The Managers from each center select 25-30 participants for each site from their patron pool. Specific centers for the 2019-20 will once again be selected by the City of Orlando Families, Parks, and Recreation Division. Sessions taking place at the community centers execute a curriculum specially designed to discuss character-building themes within an arts focus, as students rehearse and perform a play. Practicing and readying a presentation featuring a cohesive and supportive ensemble requires dedication, focus, teamwork, and practice. We are thrilled to provide high quality theatre experiences through our values of creating experiences that empower, build empathy, and support our young people’s social emotional development.

Thank you Buddy Dyer!

The Mayor’s Matching Grant funds will help us provide a team of professional teaching artists at each location, as well as costume pieces, props, and stage elements to take the production quality to the next level. Without the generous support from the City of Orlando and this grant, this program is not possible.

Save the Date!

This year’s performances will be held on consecutive Wednesday evenings. Join us for two nights of theatre, fun, and community!

April 22ndSmith Neighborhood Center and Hankins Park Neighborhood Center

April 29thReeves Terrace Neighborhood Center and Wadeview Neighborhood Center