Encore believes that all children deserve to experience the life-changing power of the arts—so we reach out to underserved and vulnerable populations who may be very removed from the world of extracurricular activities including theatre. We present theatrical productions free of charge to underserved children in affordable housing programs and other community settings and provide scholarships to our theatre camps and classes.
In July, over 100 students were in the audience for two performances of Encore Stage & Studio’s bilingual piece Circulo/Circle at Theatre on the Run in Arlington, Virginia. The students attended as part of summer programming for young residents of an affordable housing community. According to Madaline Langston, Director of Programming at Encore, some of the young audience members had not attended a live theatrical performance before. “I witnessed the magic of theater on their faces as they walked into the house and became audience members for the first time, wondering what was going to happen,” said Langston.
The young patrons responded to the actors’ antics with laughter and there was a moment in the show where they leaped to their feet wanting to participate. Ms. Langston reported hearing the word "Feliz" many times and as they exited, many children thanked her for the show. She continued, “they loved the show. I witnessed and experienced gratitude. Encore may have just unlocked new future possibilities for these young students.”
Another Encore piece for young audiences, A Sidewalk Stroll, was performed earlier in the summer at Lubber Run Amphitheater as part of a free series. A Sidewalk Stroll was also performed in the City of Alexandria as part of a series of outreach events hosted by the police department with community organizations. We performed on the grounds of another affordable housing building for children residing in the building as well as the neighborhood. The children were extremely engaged with the actors during and after the performance.
Thank you for helping us take theatre out into the community to reach more children with arts education!