The Hilltown Youth Performing Arts Programs

The Hilltown Youth Performing Arts Programs

The program began in 2010 and includes: the HILLTOWN YOUTH THEATRE SUMMER WORKSHOP  providing intensive training, artistic and professional skill building and leadership development for young performers, musicians, artists and set designers and a six month THEATRE ENRICHMENT PROGRAM  for nine towns and five small, community-based elementary schools under served by the arts. In 2015, in response to a statewide opioid crisis, we launched our newest initiative, the RECOVERY THEATRE, a performing arts experience for young people overcoming trauma, addiction, anxiety, depression and other behavioral health challenges. It is a space where teens struggling with mental health issues are valued as artists not patients. As one ensemble member observed, “The community holds itself together and loves every person it holds.” Part of its strength lays in the fact that it is not a clinic, agency or hospital. Put simply, it is a home for anyone living with circumstances that present barriers to them becoming their fullest selves.

Find Us

hilltownyouth.org

What I’ve Done

Leadership and Community Building

This is the work that I am proudest of, and that is the hardest to quantify. Working with Hilltown Youth has taught me to improvise and teach large groups, to manage staff and schedules, and all the creativity, flexibility and hard work that comes with envisioning and building rehearsals, workshops and non-profit organizations.

Documentary Songwriting

Documentary Songwriting is a collaborative method for writing music, that is based on the stories we tell. I’ve used this method to write songs with Recovery Theatre participants about their lives, as well as to write songs for the characters in our performances.

Grant Writing

In my role as Artistic Director, I’ve written grants on behalf of Hilltown Youth. I also took several grant writing classes at Oberlin, which helped to hone my skill.

LaunchU

This is an entrepreneurial boot camp run by Oberlin College. It teaches skills and tools that help identify opportunity, marshal necessary resources, build an action plan and execute for success. I entered on behalf of Hilltown Youth in 2020, to design a business model that was financially sustainable without relying on tuition. I presented an online subscription model I developed to a panel of judges for a $20,000 prize.


Positions

Artistic Director

Jan 2019 – Present

  • Produce and direct large scale, immersive youth theater spectacles
  • Direct work and schedules for a staff of 6 and 70+ participants
  • Plan and organize summer workshops for youth performers to navigate rehearsal needs, guest artist schedules, and camp day
  • Help plan and run Recovery Intensives twice a year 
  • Help create the musical score for the spring Theater Enrichment Program 
  • Help fundraise year-round, including meeting and presenting to donors, and writing grants

Music Director

June 2016 – June 2018

  • Write/Arrange musical score for summer production
  • Teach the music to 70+ young performers
  • Teach music to the band, on many different instruments
  • Teach performers to move and act while they sing or play and instrument

Associate Artistic Director

June 2018 – Dec 2018

  • Direct large scale, immersive youth theater spectacles
  • Plan and organize summer workshops for youth performers to navigate rehearsal needs, guest artist schedules, and camp day
  • Help plan and run Recovery Intensives twice a year 
  • Help create the musical score for the spring Theater Enrichment Program 

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