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Kids, Music, Dance and Theater at Kids Who Care

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

What organization tells a story with music, dance, theater and kids and has a host of top-notch theater-arts professionals joining in each production? Kids Who Care lights up the stage and has done so since 1988.

Kids Who Care is about quality theatrical productions with kids of all ages. The organization operates under five premises: (1) create a place where the child is cherished, (2) leadership education and training is part of everything we do, (3) hire professionals who adore working with children, (4) kids who look like kids and (5) financially diverse and culturally inclusive.

Look Up just kicked off a nine-month tour, "where our Resident Company will perform in venues in and around the Fort Worth area, with a study tour to take the show to New York this March," notes Public Relations Director Kristen Thiebaud. This theater company isn't kidding around. Its productions sit at the head of the class.

How can you get such grownup results when working with children? Thiebaud explains their strategy: "When you teach children the leadership skills that we model our KidPower Leadership training after, the results are confident and creative kids. Kids Who Care's KidPower Leadership combined with the desire to produce great work; while dealing with the top professionals in the industry, means that the productions continually delight and exceed the expectations of audiences of all ages."

KidPower Leadership is at the core of their kids-first programming. Implemented by Executive Director Deborah Jung in 1996 to foster job opportunities in the arts for teens during the summer, it has become an essential part of the corporation with kids writing the KidPower Fund request each year for the summer production. This leadership foundation creates leaders that are respected at all levels, as it spills over into all kinds of Kids Who Care business.

School-year and summer works are performed. Camps and classes are also given. Ages four to seven can attend the Mini Musical Theatre Camp. The June Musical Theatre Intensive is where performers from 1st through 12th grade become full-time actors for 14 days to produce a known musical. "July International Musical Theatre for 1st through 12th graders, describes Thiebaud, "includes a cast of kids that includes exchange students from all around the world and kids from north Texas and across the Unites States who work on a Kids Who Care original work."

The organization has both audition and non-audition classes. Audition classes allows those children actors who want to take their performance beyond the entry-level to step up their learning. "At Kids Who Care," states Thiebaud, "each student has the ability to work on their own skill levels and the instructors are trained to individualize the training for each student." At Kids Who Care, it's the kids, not just the stage performance, that really matters.

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About The Author

Elizabeth R. Elstien has worked in real estate for over 15 years as a real estate...

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