The following is a listing of some of the Community Outreach Programs that were sponsored by the Theatre District. The Theatre District has a strong commitment to reaching out into the community, with alternativeprograms, activities and support, thereby making more positive choices available to people. With a strong focus on youth at risk, abuse - both physical and drug related, the Theatre District provides a unique way to understand life and it’s challenges through drama, music and dance.
The Theatre District's REACH (Recognize-Educate-Activate-Create-Help) is designed to engage the children of our own and surrounding communities by re-representing traditional Fairy Tales in a cultural format that will be familiar to the children's life experiences. The goals of this program are taken from its acronym, REACH. Children will first be guided to RECOGNIZE their own personal connections to literature and the arts – connections that may have initially seemed distant or perhaps non-existent. In the context of viewing live theatre they will learn respect for EDUCATION and the arts, and will be rewarded with the ACTION of a play that speaks to their own personal CREATIVITY and environment. Ultimately, HELPING and inspiring each to draw together with a single community identity and vision.
The staged Fairy Tales will include the primary language of the children's families while incorporating Standard English in the process. The immediate impact would be consistent productions available to the neighborhood, which translates into alternative after-school and weekend activities. Long term plans also include touring productions to community schools.
Our intention with the REACH program is to follow up on these successes and create a long-term effect of interest in the arts, culture and community. Included in the long-term goals of the program is the hope of generating new interests for the children and potentially for entire families. The REACH program will create alternate options to less positive after-school involvement. The educative and cooperative nature of the program is designed to enhance problem solving and decision making skills. Mastering these skills, children have proven to heighten Social and Emotional IQ's, resulting in better communication skills and improved academic success.
"Live theatre inspires and excites children not only about the arts in general, but about literature specifically. Words become "alive" to children and they are challenged to explore new and additional plays and works."
The Heritage House
The Heritage House and the Theatre District have had a long-standing relationship. The Heritage House provides women with children long term housing while in a substance abuse recovery program. Unlike other program, Heritage House allows mothers to keep their children during the process. Many of these women have never been exposed to theater…The Theatre District provided evenings for the women of the Heritage House to experience theater, and, at no cost to any of the women in recovery or the Staff.
Nancy Clark Alterative Sentencing Program
This organization is designed to house men sentenced to jail time…albeit in an atmospheres of recovery and support. The Theatre District provided the same program for the Nancy Clark APA.
Charlie Street is an organization providing beds, baths and food for homeless alcoholics and or duel diagnosis of metal illness. The Theatre District, aside from providing evenings of theatrical entertainment, held fund-raisers assisting Charlie Street in housing such people. Charlie Street could bed, bath, and feed and individual for $9.00 a night.
The Theatre District would participate in the teaching and putting up of a two-week program at the Performing Art Center, for Teens At Risk, every summer. This program pulls in students from all areas of Orange County creating an atmosphere of creativity and team effort. A show consisting of pieces of many Broadway Musicals was rehearsed daily. Lunch and costumes were provided, in addition to a performance in front of an audience consisting of family members, local community supporters and participants.
Drama For Drunks
An odd name possibly, but one chosen by the actual participants as a statement of absolute and "rigorous honesty". This "D4D" program, as it has become to be known, is a weekly program. Every Sunday morning for three hours a group of recovering alcoholics, all participants of Alcoholics Anonymous meet at TTD and studied theater. Every aspect of theater from Opera to Offbeat is delved into. Twice a year, a show is mounted, consisting of all aspects studied. All funds raised were donated to a recovery house or otherwise humane program in the community. In the five years this program has been in affect, a lot of "help" happened.
Department Of Education
The Theatre District constantly reaches out to the schools in the immediate community, bringing any additional theatrical programs of help that the Department of Education has for whatever reasons been unable to provide. Examples:
All day visits to the English department at Mission Viejo High School, Theatrical workshops for Back Bay Alternative School, Weekly classes for The Hope Institute (an alternative school site for kids at risk), Theater as Career study for St. John’s school. Full rehearsal schedule for Newport Harbor High School for such plays as CHESS and TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD.