OUR COMMUNITY PARTNERS
Creative Action (fkaTheatre Action Project)
New Stages Youth Theatre Ensemble
Theatre Action Project (TAP), an interactive, educational theatre company serving the schools and communities of Greater Austin, is now Creative Action.
The program “New Stages” is an outreach for middle and high school students recently released from juvenile detention. Program professionals support them to develop into emotionally sound and socially skilled adults. Drama, role play, group discussion, and team games support academics and encourage critical thinking skills. These young people creatively examine real life dilemmas and engage in thoughtful conversations for their emotional development. Participants develop relationships and self confidence. They are paid a stipend to work year round in after school programs and ultimately tour their original performances in Youth Theatre Companies, thereby sharing important life lessons with thousands of other youth in the community. Supported by skilled professionals this program supports youth to move beyond their past. By blocking the 75% recidivism generally seen in this population, TAP positively supports our community.
In total, the program served 113 students and offered 450 direct programming hours during the two-year grant period. While the organization fell short of its goals of having 90% of participants achieve certain social and behavioral metrics, such as only having 75% of students reporting improved familial relationships and having four participants reoffending during the program, there were strong improvements across the board, with 100% of participants satisfied with the program.
Additionally, all participants demonstrated an improvement in social competencies, while 95% of participants reported acquiring communication and conflict resolution skills. Creative Action was unable to deliver on its goal of having all students perform original pieces publicly and reach 2,000 community members through performance due to performance anxiety.
However, the organization rallied to overcome this challenge, working to establish a strong foundation of trust among participants as well as build self-esteem and performance skills. In the end, students shared their work on two occasions.
Also during the program, Creative Action met its goal of engaging up to five professional artists from the community, with three professional artists working with participants to foster various artistic skills.