Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.
AAT was a strong supporter of the dramatic production of “Can’t Get There From Here” a fund raiser for The Rebele Family Homeless Shelter. We donated all the sets, sound equipment, material and space to build all the sets.
Students note that almost everybody gets ridiculed and tormented to some degree, especially those that are for musically talented, bright, or considered “different” in any way. One student, a talented singer, dancer, actor, and comedian grew despondent and depressed. The only community that accepted him was AAT. He then starred in a production at AAT and was showcased in a student talent night with a theme that addressed acceptance. With his self-confidence restored, he moved to a better environment and thrived.
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.
Many of the students now involved in AAT have been regularly bullied, teased and made fun of in both middle and high school. The expanded AAT program could to make a difference for other students that are marginalized and perhaps allow them to stay at their existing schools. To date AAT has produced more than 80 live shows, many with live orchestras. A total list is available on the website, allaboutheatre.org. Many of the shows were specifically chosen for themes of acceptance and change: Hairspray, Seussical, Shrek, Frozen, Annie, Horton Hears a Who, The Sound of Music, Les Miserables, Spring Awakening, and many more. The quality of these productions was superb, and they were very well received by a large community audience. The community has recognized Lindsey Chester, AAT's founder and director, by giving her one of the first Nextie's Award.
Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?
We will be the theatre community that makes a difference in peoples lives through provocative and thoughtful examples of change and acceptance … making changes in the way we think, feel and act towards one another. This will grow into collaborative efforts that address prejudice on all levels. We will grow together with the programs that already exist.
With the support of changemakers we can focus both on productions and community impact without compromising our efforts. Seeding the planning and collaborative efforts will enable the growth to continue, sustaining our working relationships.