During the three-week program, which will run Jan. 13-29, 2014, staff members will write plays based on the lives of the local participants and inspired by the cities in which they take place.
This marks the third international partnership with the U.S. Department of State and Arena Stage, following a two-and-a-half week program in India in October 2012 and a three-week residency in December 2013 in Zagreb, Croatia.
The Arena Stage team — which includes director of community engagement Anita Maynard-Losh and director of education and designer of the Voices of Now process Ashley Forman, along with Rebecca Campana, Raymond Caldwell, Anthony Jackson, Sean-Maurice Lynch, Fareed Mostoufi, Psalmayene 24 and Ariel Warmflash — will also conduct professional development training seminars in each city.
"We are so grateful to have forged this partnership with the State Department, and can build on the success of our time in India last year. It is meaningful to see this locally-grown program, which reaches hundreds of youth annually in the D.C. area, extend its scope and impact to our participating artists and audiences in India," artistic director Molly Smith said in a statement.
Voices of Now, an 11-year-old program, equips participants to write and perform autobiographical theatre that asks questions about social, cultural and emotional issues. The program focuses on creating projects that bring voice to issues of relevancy for the young artists involved. "With the additional resources of time and staff, we are incredibly eager to delve deeper into dialogue with our participants as they create plays that are dynamic and nuanced. It is such an honor to use the tools of Voices of Now to facilitate the transformation of these brave artists’ stories into theater," Forman said in a statement.
Visit arenastage.org/education/education-programs/voices-of-now for more information.