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Recently, some of our Inside Out Community Arts (IOCA) students from Foshay Learning Center and Whaley Middle School took a field trip to see FAT HAM at the Geffen Playhouse. Read about the experience from Lucas Esperanza, P.S. ARTS Programs Assistant.


Hello! My name is Lucas Esperanza and I am the Programs Assistant here at P.S. ARTS. This past weekend, I had the pleasure of joining one of our after-school programs, Inside Out Community Arts, for a theatre field trip with Foshay Learning Center and Whaley Middle School. From a morning full of fun filled theatre games and ensemble building to standing in ovation with a packed audience for a Broadway play, I will never forget my first (and hopefully not my last) P.S. ARTS theatre field trip!

The day’s curtain rose with something of a wrench thrown into the day’s agenda. What was supposed to be a bright sunny Saturday morning where middle school students from Foshay and Whaley would join forces at a community park in an extravaganza of theatre games ended up turning into a cold, windy, rainy day. Despite the less than ideal weather conditions, we embraced the age old saying, “the show must go on,” and continued the day’s festivities indoors, Zooming each other in with updates from the classrooms at each school’s respective campuses. We then hopped on the bus to make our way to LA’s historic Geffen Playhouse en route to see James Ijames’ Tony award winning play Fat Ham. I personally found the show to be sensational, and based on the giggles, gasps, and WOAH!’s exclaimed by the students throughout the evening, I have a feeling they did too.

Fat Ham actor Matthew Webb poses with Foshay IOCA students

The overall experience of the day was exciting, moving, and inspirational. Although slightly shy at the beginning, the students’ curiosity and excitement increased exponentially as they gave themselves over to the “theatre magic” of the day’s activities. One memorable moment I will always remember was a conversation I had with one of the students from Foshay during our lunch break. We were talking about plays we’ve seen and been part of, and I asked him if he wanted to continue doing theatre in the future. “Definitely,” he declared. He mentioned that he wants to continue pursuing theatre up through high school and needless to say, my heart was so full. The spark to the flame of an aspiring actor/playwright/stage manager/theatre artist was born!

Overall, my impressions of the weekend’s adventures are that opportunities like these are where it all begins when it comes to cultivating the future storytellers of the world. The moment students feel as though their voices are celebrated in creative spaces the possibilities for imagination, artistic exploration, and aspirations for the future are endless. Inside Out’s advocacy for creative expression, identity development, civic leadership, and technical acting and playwriting skills for younger generations is something that I wish I had access to growing up; I am beyond grateful that this program exists and is on track to continue impacting more students’ lives. To P.S. Arts, Inside Out, and all the brilliant minds of Foshay Learning center and Whaley Middle School, thank you for the most amazing theatre field trip experience!

SCENE!


Thank you, Lucas, for sharing the experience! To learn more about IOCA, click here.

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