Playhouse offers free group outings for select nonprofits through its kids’ TheatreHope program

From September 28 - 30, the Laguna Playhouse Youth Theatre, through its new TheatreHope program, will present a play based on the classic children’s novel, The Giver – and because of the generosity of donors, the theatre will be able to offer free group outings for nonprofit groups serving families in need.

Guests who arrive early will also receive an exclusive backstage tour of the historic Moulton Theatre. In addition, following each performance, a panel of mental health experts will discuss the themes of the play and how they relate to the current challenges facing many of today’s youth.

Playhouse offers stage

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Young guests are exposed to many different aspects of the theatre, not only acting, as well as discussions before and after the show

For nonprofit organizations that need assistance, TheatreHope reimburses group transportation costs. In addition, if the majority of the group is comprised of individuals with household incomes below 200 percent of the poverty line, a complimentary meal will be provided prior to the performance.

“TheatreHope enables kids to gain exposure to the many roles and responsibilities required to produce a world-class play, such as costume design, set building, stage managing, lighting, sound work, casting, box office, executive management, screenwriting and directing,” said Michael Garman, the Playhouse’s new Grants and Community Outreach Manager. 

Playhouse offers seats

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These kids enjoy a rare opportunity to watch a play through TheatreHope 

(TheatreHope is different from the Playhouse’s TheatreReach community project, which was highlighted in a recent issue of Stu News Laguna.

TheatreHope brings groups of kids to witness a variety of plays in the Playhouse itself, opening up new vistas of possibility and showcasing performances relevant to their lives as a result of the free outings. 

TheatreReach actors and producers go out to schools in poorer areas or underserved areas to enact short plays based on curriculum books, bringing schoolwork to life in front of the kids and stimulating an appreciation of the arts.) 

Garman notes how valuable this exposure to the theatre is for kids who would normally not have access to this world.

Expanding kids’ world view through the arts

“Through these experiences, participants learn about the employment opportunities that exist in live theatre, and in Southern California’s entertainment industry as a whole,” he notes. 

Before and after the performance, Playhouse personnel share their personal stories and professional paths to the theatre, providing guests with guidance about pursuing a career in the arts for themselves, an opportunity which may have seemed unattainable or unavailable to many participants prior to their experience at Laguna Playhouse. 

“We have partnered with a growing coalition of local nonprofits serving families facing homelessness, food insecurity, disabilities, terminal disease, and the effects of addiction,” adds Garman. 

Our goal is for The Playhouse to provide a platform for local collaboration by bringing together community members, service providers, politicians, philanthropists and local businesses to facilitate important discussions and collaborative action plans to tackle pressing economic and social issues.” 

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Boys and Girls Club members enjoy a great outing through TheatreHope

Since the program’s inception, Laguna Playhouse has been fortunate to establish relationships with a broad coalition of nonprofit organizations, including ThinkTogether, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County, South County Outreach, Community Outreach Alliance, Laguna Niguel & Mission Viejo YMCA, Glennwood House, Simon Family Foundation, Boys and Girls Club of Laguna Beach, to mention just a few. 

These organizations provide a wide range of services for the most vulnerable in our community, including: homeless families and those living in transition; military families; food insecure families; individuals with disabilities and terminal disease; and those affected by addiction. 

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The Giver is a 1993 American young adult novel by Lois Lowry, adapted for stage. It is set in a society that at first appears to be utopian but is revealed to be dystopian as the story progresses. 

Performances of The Giver will take place on Friday, Sept 28 at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.; Saturday, Sept 29 and Sunday, Sept 30 at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.

To set up a group outing, contact Michael Garman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (949) 715-5355.

For more information, visit www.lagunaplayhouse.org.