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I Want a Summer Theatre Camp in Gardendale, Alabama

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If you are reading this petition, it means you love theatre or you may have a child who loves theatre or maybe you would like for your child and children in your community to have an experience with theatre to help shape their future. “Shape their future?” Yes, did you know that theatre for children and teens helps them become better adults when they grow up?

Please read below exerts from two articles talking about theatre for young people. Then ask yourself, “Does my community need theatre for our kids? and how can I show my support?”

All it takes is a signature here to help get things started and let leaders and community officials know you support the launch of these programs. You and your family are also stating you will come out and be audience members, actors, costume designers or set builders to support the children in our community and their exploration of the performing arts. Think about the info below, after that we need you to please sign and join us in supporting the launch of more programs like this for the people of Gardendale and Jefferson County surrounding areas in Alabama. Thank You,

Lyn Gardner in The Guardian, Why Children’s Theatre Matters, Wed. 10/23/2013

At a time when the pressures on young people are perhaps greater than they have been at any time since the second world war, and the challenges faced by massive Cultural and Technological Shifts, climate change, and economic collapse are immense, what we need is a rising generation who can use their heads to solve those problems but also their imaginations.

Theatre, particularly theatre for children, fires their imagination, it gives our children the skills and the creativity necessary to face the world, to understand it and perhaps to change it too. We should value children's theatre and take it seriously and that means treating it with the respect that we would any work of art including reviewing and critiquing it.

Lauren, Gunderson, a Dramatist and theater essayist
in Huffington Post's Blogs; How Theater for Young People Could Save the World, 03/19/2012

“Bill English of San Francisco’s SF Playhouse says, theater is like a gym for empathy. It’s where we can go to build up the muscles of compassion, to practice listening and understanding and engaging with people that are not just like ourselves. We practice sitting down, paying attention and learning from other people’s actions. We practice caring.

Kids need this kind of practice even more than adults do. This is going to be their planet and they’ve got more time to apply that empathy and make a difference. Joan Halifax challenges us to actively and specifically teach children (and vote for presidents with) empathy. Why not take your child to the theater to do just that.

In fact “Take A Child to the Theatre Today” is the campaign theme of The International Association of Theaters for Young Audiences for the next three years.

If you take a child to the theater, not only will they practice empathy, they might also laugh uproariously, or come home singing about science, or want to know more about history, or tell you what happened at school today, or spend all dinner discussing music, or learn how to handle conflict, or start becoming future patrons of the arts.

So, take a child to the theater. Take them all the time. And don’t “sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.” Lean forward, engage and start changing the world for the better.

Was that enough to convince you to join The Gardendale Arts Council and Open Doors Productions & Theatricals in New York City as we develop a Resident Summer Stock Theatre for North Jefferson County in Alabama?

Please sign to show your support.

*image from Covey Center, Provo, UT

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