We’re excited to share with everyone this amazing program we’ve created connecting Walden Theatre Conservatory students with at-risk Shawnee Academy and immigrant Newcomer Academy students–all through theatre! And best of all, you can get involved yourself by following the link to the project’s listing on the crowd-funding site power2give.org.

Every dollar of support for this program will be matched dollar-for-dollar by corporate gifts from LGE-KU. So make your holiday gift go twice as far!

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This innovative new project by Walden Theatre uses theatre-based activities to create dialogue and common understanding among three very different groups of young people:

  • English as a Second Language students from Newcomer Academy at Shawnee, who’ve recently immigrated to the United States representing 18 countries and speaking 24 languages.
  • The Academy @ Shawnee students hailing from neighborhoods in Louisville’s West End that consistently struggle with crime, poverty, & low education/employment.
  • Acting students from Walden Theatre’s after-school Conservatory Program, a diverse group of students from 123 schools and 57 zip codes in the Greater Louisville area.


During a school-day residency at Shawnee, Walden Theatre teaching artists lead a combined classroom of Newcomer and Academy @ Shawnee students in expressive theatre activities that allow students to experiment with storytelling and performance. Students demonstrate learned techniques through journaling about their life stories.


Acting students from Walden Theatre’s after-school Conservatory Program use journals from Phase 1 to compose and perform dramatic works that will be compiled into an original production performed for the Shawnee student body and again for the general public.