CTC at Home of the Innocents
Home of the Innocents is where Louisville’s vulnerable young people find emotional, physical, and intellectual support that can transform their lives with a range of important residential, treatment, and community-based programs. Thanks to Arts for Kosair Kids®, an amazing program supported by the generosity of Kosair Charities in association with the Fund for the Arts, CTC has been proud to work with a remarkable group of young people throughout spring of 2018.
The program, tailored to meet the needs of different groups served at Home of the Innocents, uses theatre as a means for these young women to express themselves constructively, build self-confidence, and cultivate an environment of mutual trust and respect.
In all, 51 students participated in the residency program that spanned 67 hours from January to May. All groups learned foundational drama techniques including pantomime, tableaux, non-verbal communication, and improv to harness the tools essential to an actor: body, voice, imagination, and courage.
- Group 1’s younger students worked on improv scenes and activities and stressed team building exercises while learning to use the actor’s toolbox.
- Group 2 worked exclusively on improv, which they showcased with two long-form scenes at the culmination of the program.
- Group 3 devised a semi-autobiographical performance exploring self-worth and belonging.
- Group 4 collaboratively wrote three fictional scripts that ranged in theme from a comical murder mystery to a piece on acceptance of one’s sexuality to the challenges faced by elder siblings left responsible when parents are out of the picture.
Here are two stories that illustrate the successes of the program:
Two teen participants with oppositional defiance disorder who were recommended by their social workers to participate in the Arts for Kosair Kids ® “Discover Drama” residency. This was, in part, to gauge if the students would later be able to transition into public school. Initially, the students did not want to participate but then they became very involved in the project.
Because of this program, they demonstrated that they were ready for public high school, were able to enroll, and finished out the school year.
Other teens living in the same house were always concerned about losing their privileges to participate in “Discover Drama.” Counselors reported that the girls made an active effort to be on their best behavior on Wednesdays so that they could take part in the drama activities. They even reminded the house chaperones when it was time to line up to go to drama.
One teen resident enjoyed her experience participating in Arts for Kosair Kids ® so much that she expressed a desire to continue with acting, and with tuition assistance was able to enroll in the spring of 2018 at CTC’s Walden Theatre Conservatory.
She was cast in her Conservatory class showcase and did a tremendous job. Because she’d already graduated high school, this was her only opportunity to leave the Home of the Innocents campus. Having an opportunity to socialize with Conservatory students outside of the foster care system was clearly therapeutic and her peers and staff from The Home came to see her perform.
As her group at The Home prepared for their final performances her housemates insisted that she play the leads. She glowed with pride, knowing that she was the best at something.