Friday, July 1, 2011

Alliance Theatre Collision Project Helps Teenagers Find Their Voice

For the past 10 years, the Alliance Theatre has collaborated with teenagers all across Atlanta, helping them to discover their unique voice through the Collision Project.

“The Collision Project was literally one of the very best programs I've ever participated in. The program had a great impact on the students as well, for it wasn't just a matter of teaching; it was a matter of sharing,” said Oyama, Collision playwright 2005 and nationally recognized artist and educator.

WHAT: For three weeks each summer, the Alliance Theatre assembles a diverse group of 20 teenagers from metro Atlanta to explore and unpack a classic text under the guidance of a professional playwright and director. Past playwrights include Michael Rohd, Janece Shaffer, Oyamo, Chay Yew, Mark Valdez, and Lauren Gunderson.

Through improvisational exercises, oral history, choreography, the individual performing talents they possess, and their writing, the teenagers create a new piece inspired by the classic text but perceived through their own utterly unique and contemporary prism. The Collision Project affords teens a unique theatrical experience and gives them ownership of a performance at the Alliance. It also gives students validity – confidence in their talents, strength for the future, and power in their decisions.

This summer marks the 10th Anniversary of this extraordinary program—the brainchild of Alliance Theatre Artistic Director Susan Booth. What better way to celebrate this milestone than to have NY Times bestselling author and renowned playwright Pearl Cleage working with our students as the resident playwright. Under the direction of Rosemary Newcott, the Sally G. Tomlinson Artistic Director of Theatre for Youth & Families, these students will wrestle with themes found in the Declaration of Independence, creating an original piece of theatre based on their interaction with this text.

“The Collision Project was an empowering experience where I discovered how truly powerful my young voice could be,” said Olivia Aston, Collision Project alumni 2004 and current Alliance Theatre employee.

Imagine being seventeen again. How expansive was your world? How predictable? Where was the wonder? What parts of you now, were being defined, then? Who were you before the hair grayed, before the feet narrowed, before the knees gave out and the tummy sagged – who were you? How did you believe? What did you believe? Who did you believe?

And when did you become conscious? Spiritually, emotionally and physically, when did your mind altering epiphanies come? And when they did come, did they wash over you? Did they chip away at you? Or, did they make you stronger, more dimensional, more desirous, more courageous…


WHEN: Friday, July 15th at 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 16th at 2:30 p.m. includes alumni post show discussion

WHERE: The Alliance Theatre Hertz Stage
RSVP for 2 free tickets:

Come witness this powerful theatrical experience as these young people discover their own voice on the Alliance Hertz Stage. This project is free to all participants through generous support from the Zeist Foundation and Georgia Pacific.

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