Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
The Laguna Playhouse Receives Funding from Bank of America for the Our Stories Outreach Program

The Laguna Playhouse Receives Funding from Bank of America for the Our Stories Outreach Program

This vital program targets underserved individuals, primarily Transitional Age Youth (TAY) 16 – 24, who have experienced dire life experiences.

Laguna Playhouse has received support from Bank of America for the Our Stories program for the third consecutive year. Bank of America has voiced its support of this mental wellness outreach program that seeks to improve the lives of local underserved youth.

Laguna Playhouse launched the Our Stories program the beginning of 2020. This vital program targets underserved individuals, primarily Transitional Age Youth (TAY) 16 - 24, who have experienced dire life experiences such as homelessness, domestic violence, foster care, and debilitating illnesses. Our Stories engages with participants to create original creative works using their own life experiences as inspiration and catalyst for healing and change.

The Our Stories program encompasses workshops, intensives, special events, presentations, youth theatre productions, and mental health panel discussions to reach and engage with youth and young adults. The Our Stories workshops and intensives are led by specially trained teaching artists and are monitored by mental health counselors and program managers. The Playhouse teaching artists use various exercises and prompts to create a space of safe self-expression of each individual's story, ensuring that each participant feels validated and empowered in the process. The participants share their story through a variety of artistic methods including playwriting, dance, spoken word, music, and visual arts. Through the isolation and uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic this initiative has provided an essential tool for promoting mental wellness in the midst of a mental health crisis.

Due to support from Bank of America and others, Laguna Playhouse was able to form partnerships with over 30 community organizations who serve at-risk youth and young adults. A few of the organizations who have partnered with the Laguna Playhouse this year to serve their clients with the Our Stories program are Laura's House, Project Kinship, Latino Health Access, Save Our Youth, Orangewood Foundation, Orange County Rescue Mission, OC Youth Center, Los Alamitos Youth Center, Project Hope Alliance, and Vera's Sanctuary. The Playhouse has ultimately served over 2,000 local individuals through these partnerships. At the completion of the sessions the participants are given resources for mental health professionals who will assist them with achieving an improved level of mental and behavioral health.

Through this funding the Playhouse will continue to provide the Our Stories program with community organization partners, serving 2000 at-risk individuals again this year. Through increased funding the Playhouse will work to expand the outreach of this innovative program to individuals outside of the TAY demographic, ultimately sharing it with those experiencing incarceration, elementary and middle school aged children, and individuals in hospice and skilled nursing facilities.

Joe Alanas, Director of Education & Outreach for the Laguna Playhouse said "The Our Stories program is instrumental for strengthening the mental health and well-being of underserved and at-risk youth in our community. The Laguna Playhouse is immensely grateful to Bank of America for their support of this very pivotal program."

"The arts can be a transformational force for healing a community and helping to connect us," said Allen Staff, president, Bank of America, Orange County. "Laguna Beach Playhouse continues to do great work with its Our Stories project, bringing positive, lasting impacts on the well-being of older teens and young adults. We're proud to support this important program."

For more information on the Our Stories outreach program contact Laguna Playhouse Community Outreach Manager Erin O'Flaherty at eoflaherty@lagunaplayhouse.com or (949) 500 - 0508. Website: https://lagunaplayhouse.com/education-community-engagement/our-stories/

ABOUT LAGUNA PLAYHOUSE

Founded in 1920, the historic Laguna Playhouse is one of the oldest continuously operating not-for-profit theatres on the West Coast and is proud to be an active participant in the celebrated Laguna Beach arts community. From classic plays and musical comedies to the current off-Broadway smash, Laguna Playhouse brings the magical experience of the performing arts direct to over 100,000 patrons each season.

Laguna Playhouse educational programming includes year-round classes, productions by and for children and teens (Youth Theatre) and is one of the few companies in the region that offer a curriculum-based professional theatre-touring program, TheatreReach, which aligns with the California State Standards for literature, history and performing arts curriculum.

Laguna Playhouse has been recognized for the past five years as one of Orange County Register's "Best of OC" in the category of Live Theatre. The Laguna Playhouse has featured many talented performers on stage, including Ed Asner, Leslie Caron, Hershey Felder, Melanie Griffith, Val Kilmer, Gregory Harrison, and Dan Lauria to name just a few.

Laguna Celebrates 100 Years! at www.lagunaplayhouse.com.



Pageant of the Masters Honors Harlem Renaissance in Upcoming Production, ART COLONY: IN TH Photo
This summer, the Pageant of the Masters celebrates 90 years of tableaux vivants (“living pictures”) with the production Art Colony: In the Company of Artists. Audiences can expect a diverse theatrical celebration of artists from around the world that have embraced communities where they could live and work, and take inspiration from one another. One of the art colonies featured in this year's Pageant is New York's Harlem Renaissance, a cultural movement that celebrated art and African American culture in the 1920s and 30s.

Photos: Go Inside (mostly)musicals SONGS FOR A HAPPY NEW VENUE Photo
On Tuesday, January 10th (mostly)musicals kicked off their 9th season with their annual Happy New Year show, featuring Gregory Nabours and a stellar lineup of talent from Broadway and LA. Their 44th edition took the stage in front of a full house at their NEW venue – the Knitting Factory NoHo (Upstairs at the Federal)! Scroll down for photos of the show and celebration!

Larry Cedar Stars In Franz Kafkas THE TRIAL At Good Naked Diary Photo
Good Naked Gallery presents THE TRIAL, a group exhibition featuring works by Nick Aguayo, Rachel Domm, Barry Hazard, Katie Hector, Natalja Kent, John Kilduff, Jeremy Shockley, and Joey Weiss.

Photos: Unique Coalition Launches Catch Up California Campaign At Rally To Fund Performing Photo
An unusual coalition of management and labor launched a kick-off event on Friday, January 27 to secure budgeting for SB 1116, the groundbreaking arts funding bill that passed the state legislature and was signed into law last year, but remains unfunded in the most recent budget. See photos from the event.


More Hot Stories For You


The Blank Theatre Young Playwrights Academy Spring Session Begins Next WeekThe Blank Theatre Young Playwrights Academy Spring Session Begins Next Week
February 3, 2023

Enrollment ends on February 4 for the 2023 spring session of The Blank Theatre's Young Playwrights Academy (YPA). All classes, which begin on February 6 and run through April 12, are conducted live online.

Filharmonie Brno Performs an All-Czech Program With Dvořák, Janáček, and MartinůFilharmonie Brno Performs an All-Czech Program With Dvořák, Janáček, and Martinů
February 3, 2023

The pastoral landscape and folklore of Eastern Europe and America are brought to life through the music of three of the greatest Czech composers – Dvořák, Janáček, and Martinů – performed by the Czech Republic’s own Filharmonie Brno under the baton of Chief Conductor and Artistic Director Dennis Russell Davies.

Cal Performances at UC Berkeley Presents the U.S. Premiere of SIBYLCal Performances at UC Berkeley Presents the U.S. Premiere of SIBYL
February 3, 2023

As part of its Illuminations series, which this season addresses the complex and changing relationship between technology and creative expression, Cal Performances at UC Berkeley presents the eagerly anticipated U.S. premiere of William Kentridge’s hit multi-disciplinary theatrical production SIBYL, a meditation on the ultimately unknowable nature of the future (March 17–19)

Pageant of the Masters Honors Harlem Renaissance in Upcoming Production, ART COLONY: IN THE COMPANY OF ARTISTSPageant of the Masters Honors Harlem Renaissance in Upcoming Production, ART COLONY: IN THE COMPANY OF ARTISTS
February 2, 2023

This summer, the Pageant of the Masters celebrates 90 years of tableaux vivants (“living pictures”) with the production Art Colony: In the Company of Artists. Audiences can expect a diverse theatrical celebration of artists from around the world that have embraced communities where they could live and work, and take inspiration from one another. One of the art colonies featured in this year's Pageant is New York's Harlem Renaissance, a cultural movement that celebrated art and African American culture in the 1920s and 30s.

Larry Cedar Stars In Franz Kafka's THE TRIAL At Good Naked DiaryLarry Cedar Stars In Franz Kafka's THE TRIAL At Good Naked Diary
February 2, 2023

Good Naked Gallery presents THE TRIAL, a group exhibition featuring works by Nick Aguayo, Rachel Domm, Barry Hazard, Katie Hector, Natalja Kent, John Kilduff, Jeremy Shockley, and Joey Weiss.