QuTheatr project seeks to employ, empower LGBTQ+ youth
— QuTheatr, a new performance project aimed at employing and empowering LGBTQ+ youth and young adults in greater Akron, is hosting two workshops this winter to identify participants for the project. The first workshop will take place at The Balch Street Theatre, 220 South Balch St. (Akron), Saturday, Feb. 24, from 2 to 4 p.m. The second workshop will be held at The University of Akron Student Center, third floor, on Tuesday, March 6, 7 p.m., on The University of Akron campus.
A recipient of a 2017 Akron Knight Arts Challenge grant, QuTheatr’s workshops focus on theatre as a vehicle for personal healing and empowerment. They’re offered free of charge and open to any LGBTQ+ youth between the ages of 13 and 21. Those interested in acting, writing, directing and the use of technology in the arts are encouraged to participate.
These workshops are designed to provide a safe meeting place for LGBTQ+ youth to explore their creativity. Some participants may be selected for longer-term participation in QuTheatr and offered a modest stipend for future work in the company. Over the next two years, QuTheatr ensemble members will train, research, rehearse and present new theatre pieces based on their personal experiences and LGBTQ+ life in Akron.
QuTheatr is assembled as a project of New World Performance Lab (NWPL) and the Center for Applied Theatre and Active Culture (CATAC). NWPL co-artistic directors James Slowiak and Jairo Cuesta serve as producers of the project. The company will evolve under the direction of Coach House Theatre Artistic Director JT Buck.
“This project will empower and ultimately employ our local queer youth at a very challenging time in their lives,” said Buck. “We’ll set the expectation that young artists deserve to be paid, and that the voices of LGBTQ+ artists deserve to be heard, nurtured and respected. “
Those interested in participating in QuTheatr workshops are encouraged to RSVP by calling (330) 867-3299 or emailing [email protected]. Participants also may attend the workshops without RSVP.
CATAC serves as the administrative umbrella for NWPL, an internationally acclaimed ensemble of theatre artists that has been active in Northeastern Ohio for 25 years. CATAC/NWPL spearheads numerous community projects, training sessions, educational programs, and performances throughout the region, nationally, and internationally. For info, visit nwplab.com.