Imagination Stage remains dedicated to innovation and growing the ways in which we reach young people and families as we strive to serve ALL young people. Using theatre productions and educational workshops to bridge cultural divides and lift up underrepresented voices, Imagination Stage’s Theatre for Change program explores complex social justice issues to help build a new generation of compassionate, collaborative children who are capable of changing the world. Whether telling the story of refugee children fleeing violence in Central America or developing positive relationships between children and police, Imagination Stage is answering the needs of our community. 



Imagination Stage has commissioned Miriam Gonzales (¡Óyeme!) to write 10 Seconds, a play based on the ideas, conversations, and discoveries from two years of workshops between police and youth. In the play, we see through the eyes of Ray and Jimi, Washington, DC high school students who navigate their young adult worlds, and what it means to be young black men in the city. This spring, Imagination Stage is offering a filmed version of the play for individuals to see online and for school and community groups to screen virtually.


This multifaceted initiative is comprised of an intensive series of educational workshops for immigrant youths – offered through in-school and out-of-school-time programs – and Óyeme, the beautifula touring production of an original play inspired by the experiences shared by the students who have participated in the workshops. Enhancing the impact and engagement of the show is a range of resources, including a learning activity guide, a post-performance workshop for attendees, and professional development training for teachers. Key partners in this results-driven program include the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Maryland Humanities, and the Multi-Arts Production Fund.


The Imagination Stage Youth and Police Partnership is a collaborative program that strives to build positive relationships between DC Metropolitan Police officers and youth through mentorship and arts learning.  Officers and youth use acting, improv, and visual art as a way to begin conversations around themes that are relevant to their lives and the communities they live and work in. Through this program, a space is provided for youth and officers to create art and share experiences that strengthen relationships and foster a community of trust and understanding that can be taken beyond the workshop. Our lead partner is the DC Police Foundation; the project is supported by Wells Fargo, DC Commission for the Arts and Humanities, and The Children’s Theatre Foundation of America.


During the course of this three-month program co-facilitated with the Street Outreach Network team from the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services, Imagination Stage offers weekly workshops that combine spoken word, writing, performance, and other activities. The sessions, which allow participants to build such key skills as collaboration, communication, and problem-solving, take place at the county’s Correctional Facility in Boyd, MD. The first set of workshops launched in October 2019 and included 18 young men between the ages of 17-21.

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To learn more, contact Joanne Seelig Lamparter, Director of Education & Theatre for Change, at [email protected] or 301-280-1646.