Theatre for underserved youth.
A History of Creating Opportunity and Access
The LCAO program was created in 2010, as an opportunity for children of New York City’s low-income and homeless community, to provide the theatre arts and develop essential social skills. The goal of Little Creatures Act Out is to provide children a safe, fun, and artistic alternative. LCAO camps take place during public school vacation periods. These camps are FREE for the participants. This includes all meals and supplies.
Our Little Creatures range from ages 8 to 15 (many living in and out of shelter housing), and many attendees lag behind their grade level in reading, writing, and social skills. Many deal with transient (and often violent) home lives, and rarely have an opportunity to just “be a kid”. Our mission is not to prepare these children for professional theatre, but rather to give them a safe, creative place to play and be children. LCAO uses the theatre arts to develop confidence, communication, collaboration, and caring. These skills are critically important for children in their ongoing academic and personal development.
LCAO gives these kids a chance to reclaim their creative spirit and tools to express themselves safely and productively. In our eight years of programming, we’ve discovered these camps to be an important transformative experience for the children. The child who won’t make eye contact, or speak above a whisper on the first day, will “find their voice” and come to life.
Camps culminate with a free performance for the children’s friends and family, held in a professional theatre with sets and full production values. This is often the first time the children and their families have been to a professional theatre, making this a truly special day for them. To foster a spirit of achievement, a ceremony is held after performances, where the kids’ achievements are acknowledged.
Over 1200 kids have participated in LCAO camps and workshops.