Thursday Evening Intensive:
Thursday, April 15, 7:30PM (2 CEs, separate fee*)
Symposium 2010 will host a performance by the youth theater group "True Colors: Out Youth Theater,” a program of The Theater Offensive. True Colors is not only a unique artistic experience but, as the only theater program in the area for Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, and Transgender youth, it is an amazing asset. Founded in 1994, the program combines the dynamism of the performing arts with a supportive and safe atmosphere for LGBT youth and their straight allies to create an experience which is enriching and empowering to both the troupe and audience members alike.
In Massachusetts approximately 30,000 youths identify as LGBT and only one in five can identify someone in their life who is supportive. This population faces numerous challenges. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 25% of LGBT youths have missed school because of fear (compared to 5% of non-LGBT youth), 90% have reported being harassed or assaulted during the past year (62% of non-LGBT youth), 33% were threatened with a weapon at school (as opposed to 7% of non-LGBT youth)*. The 2007 Massachusetts Youth Risk Behavior Survey reports that LGBT youth are four times more likely to have attempted suicide.
For these reasons programs such as those offered by True Colors are so vitally important. Participants gain invaluable skills from theater arts training, including acting voice, directing and costume, props and sound design, to leadership, advocacy and public speaking skills. Together the troupe builds self-confidence and empowers themselves and each other. However, the most beneficial aspect of True Colors is the opportunities it provides its members to heal by telling their stories. As alumni of True Colors, Melissa Li, states, "Being a part of True Colors has deeply enriched my life. It gave me a place where I could be myself and flourish in the arts. I have had the opportunity to teach thousands of youth and adults about tolerance and acceptance simply by honestly portraying my own experiences.”
Attend the Symposium 2010 live performance of True Colors: Out Youth Theater on April 15th at 7:30PM!
*This program requires a separate $30 fee ($35 after March 12 postmark).
This article was written by Megan Guiver, NASW-MA Student Intern, and was published in the February issue of FOCUS. Information was provided to NASW-MA by a report done by True Colors: Out Youth Theater, in conjunction with Social Innovation Forum