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.



Stephen R. Rourke Presents A Staged Reading of Melissa Borgerdings SOMEONE CLOSE TO YOU Photo
Stephen R. Rourke, through a special arrangement with the Baltimore Playwrights Festival, presents a special staged reading of Melissa Borgerding's deeply moving drama, Someone Close To You, directed by James A. Goins.

HARD Summer Music Festival Announces Return To Los Angeles After 10 Years Photo
Today, HARD Events has announced the grand return of HARD Summer Music Festival to the City of Angels for the first time in ten years. Taking place in Downtown Los Angeles from August 5th-6th, the milestone fifteenth edition of HARD Summer will utilize a brand new venue combination with various stages spread out across the campuses of the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Exposition Park, and BMO Stadium.

Tori Amos Announces Summer US Tour Dates Photo
Tori Amos announced a US tour this summer to continue celebration of her highly acclaimed 2021 album, Ocean to Ocean. Following a sold-out World Tour throughout 2022, Tori will once again be performing with long-time collaborator bassist Jon Evans and renowned UK drummer Ash Soan, with special guest support to be announced.

Casa Romantica Announces 2023 Spring and Summer Season of Programming Photo
Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens, Orange County's major cultural institution and arts destination, has announced its programming for the 2023 Spring and Summer seasons.


More Hot Stories For You


Casa Romantica Announces 2023 Spring and Summer Season of ProgrammingCasa Romantica Announces 2023 Spring and Summer Season of Programming
January 31, 2023

Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens, Orange County's major cultural institution and arts destination, has announced its programming for the 2023 Spring and Summer seasons.

FRECKLEFACE STRAWBERRY, The Musical is Now Playing at Santa Monica's Morgan Wixson Theatre
January 31, 2023

The Morgan-Wixson Theater kicks off the 2023 season of its award-winning Y.E.S. (Youth Education/Entertainment Series) Program with FRECKLEFACE STRAWBERRY THE MUSICAL, based on the beloved New York Times best-selling books by celebrated actress Julianne Moore, with music and lyrics by Gary Kupper and book by Gary Kupper & Rose Caiola. 

Photos: First Look at Redondo Ballet's SNOW QUEENPhotos: First Look at Redondo Ballet's SNOW QUEEN
January 31, 2023

Redondo Ballet's production of SNOW QUEEN, directed and choreographed by Donna Perkins and Francesca Stern, is based on Hans Christian Andersen's tale, but puts an incredibly unique and exciting spin on the story, taking Rudie (whose best friend has been taken by the evil Snow Queen), on an adventurous odyssey.  Check out photos here!

Whitefire Theatre Announces Lian Ben Porat's One Woman Show SECOND NATUREWhitefire Theatre Announces Lian Ben Porat's One Woman Show SECOND NATURE
January 30, 2023

Actress, playwright, dancer and singer, Lian Ben Porat has announced with Director Kimleigh Smith that the one night only VIP performance of Porat's International one-woman show, SECOND NATURE will be featured at The Whitefire Theatre's Solo Fest.

Rehearsals Begin For CALVIN BERGER at the Colony TheatreRehearsals Begin For CALVIN BERGER at the Colony Theatre
January 30, 2023

Rehearsals are underway for The Colony Theatre’s new production of the musical Calvin Berger. Directed by Ovation Award-winner Richard Israel with musical direction by Anthony Lucca, the cast features Corinne Miller, Jordan Quisno, Jasmine Sharma, and Frankie A. Rodriguez (star of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series on Disney+) as Calvin Berger.