The 5th's Flagship Education Program, Rising Star Project to Collaborate with KUOW's RadioActive

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The 5th Avenue Theatre and KUOW Public Radio program are proud to announce a pilot collaboration of their education programs, Rising Star Project and RadioActive, respectively, called RadioActive Musicals. This remarkable collaboration brings together two like-minded Seattle organizations with successful arts education programming that celebrates and amplifies youth voices. Both The 5th and KUOW employ a cognitive apprenticeship model to teach, mentor, and empower local teens in two unique, compelling storytelling art forms. These programs help fill the gap created by Washington's chronic underfunding of the arts, particularly for youth who have limited access to arts education and opportunities, including those from groups historically impacted by sexism, racism, colonization, homophobia, and other forms of oppression.

Inspired by 21 Chump Street, a 2014 Lin-Manuel Miranda mini-musical based on a 2012 NPR This American Life episode, as well as the interview-inspired storytelling that shaped Broadway sensation Come From Away, RadioActive Musicals will bridge the analog and digital divide with a revolutionary, interdisciplinary collaboration that combines radio journalism with live theater to bring our community stories to the stage and inspire civic engagement.

Youth-generated radio journalism created as part of the 2018 KUOW RadioActive Youth Media intro workshop feature short radio stories with compelling protagonists that tackle community issue like gender identity, sexual orientation, gun violence, homelessness, and racially-motivated hate crimes. Occurring every two years, The 5th Avenue Theatre's Rising Star Project: 10-Minute Musicals brings together nearly 50 teens from schools across the region to immerse themselves in the complex and exciting process of creating new musicals.

This year's Rising Star Project writing teams will select a RadioActive feature story from 2018 that they are drawn to and believe would make a compelling musical. Rising Star Project participants will take on the roles of book writers, composers and lyricists; directors and music directors; stage managers; actors; marketing and public relations administrators; and producers. Participants spend 100+ hours at The 5th learning from and being mentored by professional musical theater writers who served as writing mentors, professional directors who served as supervising directors, and more. The program is tuition-free.

The Rising Star Project: 10-Minute Musicals acting company will perform as many as six musicals in three staged readings for youth and community members in late spring of 2020. Facilitated post-performance discussions will delve into the compelling narratives the musicals explore and allow audiences to have meaningful conversations about the issues important to youth, inspiring a sense of hope and a desire to take action in the community.

About The 5th Avenue Theatre

The 5th Avenue Theatre is one of America's leading musical theater companies. We enrich the community we love with the art form we love-giving the Pacific Northwest a front-row seat to original powerhouse productions that go on to light up marquees and audiences all the way to Broadway. From the page to the stage, we bring passion and epic scale to every musical we create. With big talent. Bigger-than-life productions. And did we mention dazzle? As a nonprofit theater company and our region's largest performing arts employer, we spread the joy of great musicals with people of all ages across our region and state. Each year, we reach 75,000 young people through our nationally acclaimed education programs. Programs designed to develop new musicals ensure that the next generation of great musicals will be there to tell the stories that captivate tomorrow's audiences. On the national stage, we are a leading voice for the power of this American art form to lift the human spirit.

For more information about The 5th Avenue Theatre, its season and its programs, please visit

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