The Issue: Positive Impacts of the Theatre Arts
People from low-income families who participated in the arts as students "are more likely than their non-arts-engaged peers to have attended and done well in college, built careers, and volunteered in their communities," according to studies assessed by the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. While giving them opportunities for creative expression, the theatre arts especially help youth develop leadership and responsibility. Young actors and actresses must learn their lines, work as a team, and express themselves clearly on stage—skills that will help them throughout life.
The Campaign: Sponsoring Youth in a Theatre Production
All donations to this Grassroots campaign will be used by GO-FAME Youth Theatre Company to sponsor underserved youth in the theatrical arts. For every $200 raised, the organization can provide one student from a low-income family with a scholarship for its educational theatre program. Each performer will receive a script, rehearsal CD, costume rental, and a cast T-shirt for their production of Mixed Signals from Signal Hill. During a 6–8 week rehearsal process, students learn about acting, dancing, and vocal performance three days per week, with the culminating performances on August 24 and 25.
GO-FAME Youth Theatre Company
GO-FAME Youth Theatre Company started as a means of transporting children to another world. Its first production, Alice in Wonderland, taught 60 students at Minnie Gant Elementary School how to travel down the rabbit hole while providing them with an expressive outlet. With their newfound skills, that cast of first through fifth graders performed for full audiences at the University Theater at CSULB in October 2005.
Since then, GO-FAME has expanded into a theatre program for all youth in the community, but its mission remains the same: to encourage youth to explore the arts and expand their skills. When they walk out on stage, students leave behind their old selves and step into the role of performers, and GO-FAME teaches them how. Several weeks of acting lessons and rehearsals preempt annual productions for friends and family. Past performances have included Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Dear Edwina, and The Paper Bag Bandit.
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