Stage the Change strives to cultivate SOCIALLY MINDFUL WORKS OF ART through interactive learning
Through an annual conference, participants are challenged to find new ways to use their voices. The 4 different sections of our annual conference reflect this goal:
“Bringing kindness and dignity to the forefront through theatre empowers students to make a difference in their own schools, communities and their world.” - Ruthie Pincus
STAGE THE CHANGE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Ruthie Pincus, President
Stephanie Turner, Vice President
Amy Kaplan, Secretary
Gary Fortmeyer, Treasurer
STAGE THE CHANGE was founded in 2012 through the Hauppauge High School Drama program after a staggering response to their original production, “The Anti-Bully Project.” A series of student-written vignettes, “The Anti-Bully Project” was created to address topics including bullying, peer pressure, healthy relationships and other issues important to high school students. After touring performances of “The Anti-Bully Project,” the drama department began to gain recognition throughout New York State from countless theatre, education and social activist organizations.
Founding Director, Ruthie Pincus, was thrilled to find that her students were eager to write and share their own perspectives through their creation of thoughtful and conversation-provoking theatre. Pincus recognized the potential to expand beyond the high school setting and explore more and more challenging topics of great importance to students including racism, LGBT acceptance, and human rights issues, to name a few. The next step was clear: Create an open forum to empower students to use their “theatre voices” to inspire social change by inviting professional artists whose techniques, art forms and performances have been a catalyst for change.
What evolved was a one-day annual conference filled with panel discussions, interactive workshops, keynote speakers and student performances which would encourage and enable students to produce theatre. In 2015, Stage the Change expanded its focus to include dance as a vehicle to inspire social change. As the organization continues to grow, the conference serves to launch new works created by students, which they can showcase in their own communities and, at the same time, inspire change. This conference is motivating students to become artistic global citizens who create the world that they would like to live in.
Guest speakers and panelists have included Drama Desk Award Winner, writer, actress and activist, Anna Deavere Smith; Broadway actor and playwright John Cariani (Almost Maine, Something Rotten); and Sheryl Kaller and Tom Kirdahy, the director/producer team behind Broadway’s Mothers and Sons, Jeanine Tesori, composer of Broadway’s Fun Home, Shrek and Thoroughly Modern Millie, and Violet and Terrence McNally, four time Tony Award winning playwright. This year’s 2018 honored guest speaker was Jessica Hecht, acclaimed actress of Broadway, Television and Film.
Stage the Change works in partnership with Tilles Center for Performing Arts. The annual conference is hosted at Tilles Center on the campus of LIU Post in Brookville, New York.
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Stage the Change is committed to serving all students and wishes to keep the conference cost nominal to allow participants of all socio-economic backgrounds to attend. The cost of this inspiring and extraordinary day has been funded entirely by generous donations. Our costs continue to rise with our expanded reach to students and communities in need as our theatre and dance based focus is growing to include film and music. The demand is there. We need your generosity to continue to make a difference. Please donate.