A Platform for Youth Expression
On the evening of Tuesday, July 23rd the Neptune Theatre was filled with theatergoers, waiting patiently for a program of new one-act plays to begin. The plays ranged in artistic style and voices – one an abstract multimedia piece, another an exploration of isolation and community. All dealt with issues that our community’s homeless young people face, and with good reason: the playwrights have all experienced homelessness themselves.
Many were new to playwriting; thanks to a program from The Platform, a local arts non-profit, five young people learned the craft through a five-week workshop with theater professionals. During the class, youth received instruction on creative and dramatic writing, as well as an opportunity to express themselves through poetry, storytelling, playwriting, song, art and so much more. The resulting plays were performed on this warm summer night by professional actors and were filled with insight and emotion.
The Platform began in 2009 as a classroom experiment of four students at Cornish College of the Arts who wanted to use their education to impact the world, reach their community, and be involved in the ever-changing landscape around them. The students approached YouthCare that first year to partner on “Orion Out Loud,” a collaborative theater piece written by homeless youth accessing services at YouthCare’s James W. Ray Orion Center. Five years later, YouthCare continues to partner with The Platform to help bring youth words to life and share them with the greater Seattle community. Thanks to a grant from Seattle Department of Neighborhoods and the STG Theatre Group’s Nights at the Neptune Series, this year’s plays were seen by the largest audience yet.
We are grateful to The Platform for their ongoing partnership, and look forward to next year's performances! Click here to learn how you can support YouthCare's work and partnerships like these.