Saturday, February 14, 2009

Odyssey House Announces Theatre Project for Youths Struggling with Abuse and Illness

Odyssey House, founded in 1967, which has provided comprehensive and innovative services to those who abuse drugs, alcohol and struggle with mental illness, will collaborate with City Lights Youth Theatre on a series of workshops entitled the Odyssey House Theatre Project.

On March 16, 2009, 15 Odyssey House teenagers will begin a three-month acting and playwriting intensive, which will culminate on June 8th with the presentation of a collection of their original work at the Theatre Row Studio Theatre on 42nd Street.

Odyssey House President Peter Provet says the motivation behind the project, funded by a grant from the Elizabeth & Barets O. Benjamin Charitable Foundation, is: “to enhance the treatment experience of young men and women who are struggling with drug abuse and other behavioral problems through performance and creative writing, and to expose them to new ways of self expression with the support of professional acting teachers and directors.”

City Lights Youth Theatre, founded in 1991 by Myrna Greenberg, and led by Executive Director Melissa Fenton Herrod, provides drama immersion residencies for thousands of New York City students from diverse backgrounds. City Lights’ professional teaching artists create a supportive environment that encourages risk-taking and promotes the discovery of individual strengths.

Directing the artistic and instructional elements of the Odyssey House Theatre Project will be Tom Demenkoff, Education Director for City Lights. Tom says that he is thrilled about the valuable connections these students will make by meeting artists from The Public Theatre, Classical Theatre of Harlem and LaGuardia High School.

Training in partnership with professional interdisciplinary City Lights Teaching Artists, and a host of specially invited guest artists, the 15 students will work on-site at the Odyssey House Teen Leadership Center. Flexing the body, voice, mind and heart through improvisation, playwriting, music and art, the students will train as a professional ensemble through a disciplined progression of activities designed to create a working theatre company.

You can learn more about this exciting new partnership at the official website.

No comments: