ORSP’s goal is to guide the students in building an inclusive team /circle of support that creates a final product with professional standards and allows students to depart with increased confidence, self-esteem and critical life skills applicable as they develop career interests and pursue jobs.
ORSP is launching in partnership with the Oregon Thespian Society and the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle. It is being modeled after a project at the 5th which has an eight-year history of success! Because the program will be tuition-free, it will be accessible and welcoming to all 15 to19-year-olds from every demographic, including the underserved and underrepresented. In the first year, we anticipate half of the students will reside in Marion and Polk counties.
ORSP is aligned with the Elsinore’s goal of encouraging broad community use of the theater by providing youth activities and educational opportunities through a work experience environment. Both students and their mentors will establish personal goals at the beginning of the program. Measurement of outcomes will be subjective based on opinions expressed in post-project surveys completed by students and mentors. “Squads” of 9 students across different roles (actors, musicians, backstage roles, administration, production) will be created to foster team building and appreciation of other roles.
The Project’s impact extends beyond drama and performing arts. Performance roles in the cohort are outnumbered by roles in the fields of arts administration, artistic leadership, and theater technology and design. Regardless of whether or not a student pursues a career in theater, the process of mounting a full-scale musical on a professional stage is a rich opportunity for students to grow and develop the “21st century skills” that we now know are crucial for success in the world after high school: creativity, critical thinking, communication, collaboration, growth mindset and perseverance.