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US is a nonprofit 501c3 organization of Professional Artists. We exist to bring theatre arts to youth, ages 12-21, from the foster care and juvenile justice systems. Our programs cultivate pride, racial tolerance and social conciousness.
US provides 10 to 12 theatre workshops a year for youth that are incarcerated, on probation, in the foster care system and/or at-risk for joining a gang. US offers a 20-week program consisting of two, 10-week workshops a year at each partner facility (both a playwriting and a performance workshop). Youth work under the guidance of up to ten Teaching Artists and volunteers, all of whom receive special training. Workshops culminate in a public performance of the youth's original script.
While the public performances are a culminating high point for the workshops, The Unusual Suspects emphasize the in-depth workshop process as the reason for our work. The process is designed to encourage youth to work as an ensemble, which requires them to be expressive, respectful and willing to listen to others. The ensemble offers a structured social environment that is very different from what the youth usually experience, one where they are free from fear of violence, gang pressure, and social alienation, among other issues.
- Rebecca Sigl
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