TheatreLAB’s new #weRVA initiative aims to support Richmonders who need it most
TheatreLAB creates unexpected and evocative performance… and now they will collaborate with the local Richmond community to cultivate relationships essential to a vibrant community.
With the final show of its second season, “The Altruists,” TheatreLAB launched #weRVA a new Community Outreach Initiative. The Altruists plot of young ‘slacktivists’ acting as if they are fighting for something but really only protecting themselves, is what inspired the project.
According to its website, “Since its inception, TheatreLAB has placed focus on producing plays that inspire conversation, as well as creating programs that bring people together in an effort to make a positive impact in their community.”
#weRVA will include workshops, post-performance talk-backs, community partner nights, and other exciting and inventive special events.
For The Altruists, TheatreLAB partnered with ACTS, a Hands on Greater Richmond program which works with the ”Greater Richmond interfaith mission providing support and resources during periods of financial crisis to prevent homelessness.”
The July 31st performance of The Altruists was followed by a talk back with the actors and Billy Poarch, Executive Director of ACTS.
Poarch was “honored to partner with TheatreLAB.” Of the collaboration, he said “ACTS gained much more attention of a totally new, diverse audience. It was so great to see the interaction of the audience and the actors who really wanted to hear more about ACTS and how we work. Homeless prevention by providing financial assistance is not done by many agencies and without it, many in our community will fall through the cracks.”
Heather Falks, TheatreLAB’s Director of Community Outreach, said the #weRVA initiative “aims to bring people together to find our commonalities, celebrate our differences and share our stories.” The initiative grows out of “TheatreLAB’s core value system [which] is rooted in supporting our community: that means giving it back and paying it forward!”
Throughout their upcoming 2015/16 Season, entitled “A Vivid Impression of Reality,” TheatreLAB will continue to collaborate with non-profit organizations throughout Richmond. Each show will feature a partnership with an organization that embodies the themes and ideas of the particular show.
And TheatreLAB’s outreach is extending to the LGBTQ community as well with their first full year of SPECTRUM their youth outreach program in collaboration with Richmond Triangle Players that launched last fall.
Community partnership has always been at the heart of TheatreLAB’s core mission. Artistic Director Deejay Gray and his diverse ensemble of artists love “putting on a show,” but feel equally passionate about developing community interaction that “strive[s] to make a huge impact in Richmond for underrepresented individuals.” TheatreLAB “love[s] using theatre and storytelling as a platform to share and communicate with our community.”
From thought-provoking drama to heart-stopping musicals, TheatreLAB has wowed the Richmond community with exceptional theatre. And with its heart and energy for outreach, TheatreLAB makes Richmond not just a more culturally rich place, but a more compassionate one as well.
For more information about TheatreLAB and #weRVA visitwww.theatrelabrva.org.
For more information about ACTS visit www.actsrva.org.
Top image THE ALTRUISTS cast; Photo by Birgitte Photography
Julie Harthill Clayton is an out and proud bisexual with a passion for reading, writing . . . and NOT arithmetic. Her work has appeared in the Christian Science Monitor, the Internet Review of Books, Curve Magazine, Lambda Literary and more. She is working on her first novel - Two Tickets to Freedom - a semi-autobiographical queer coming-of-age tale. A paralegal by day, Julie spends her free time knitting, writing, and reading anything she can get her hands on. She lives in Richmond with her partner, local artist David Turner, and their mischievous and loving hunting dog, Max.
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