Westport, CT - In response to COVID-19 and the substantial number of high school students experiencing a loss of summer programs and employment opportunities, the Shubert Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre, and Westport Country Playhouse, under the advisement of local teens, co-created a free virtual program that encourages accountability and inspires young people to continue learning during this difficult time. T.H.R.I.V.E. (Teens Having Resilience In a Virtual Environment) is an online program that started on July 20 and runs through August 7, culminating with a creative Virtual Showcase hosted by Broadway legend and two-time Tony Award-winner KELLI O’HARA on Friday, August 14 at 7pm. Ms. O’Hara will chat live with each of the 15 T.H.R.I.V.E. participants as they share their experiences from the past three weeks of work and learning. The Virtual Showcase will be available to the public through the Westport County Playhouse’s Facebook page and their YouTube channel.
The 3-week program has engaged high school students in daily check-ins and workshops with local artists and organizations that explore everything from wellness to the arts via social media. T.H.R.I.V.E. fosters curiosity, healthy habits, and meaningful connections between participants and facilitators that will lead to future engagements and opportunities. Local artists, activists, service providers, and organizations will lead interactive workshops and discussions that have been requested by young people in our communities. Participants earned gift cards based on participation in discussions and workshops. High school students in New Haven and Fairfield Counties were eligible to participate through an application process. In addition to participants, the program is supported by three Youth@Work students who help promote the program, assist facilitators during workshops, and create a record of this historic moment.
About the collaborators:
CAPA / Shubert Theatre-New Haven brings the world to our legendary stage, enriches lives, and creates community through our mission to: Preserve the legacy of the historic Shubert Theatre in New Haven as an icon of the American theatre by operating and evolving our theatre as a world class performing arts center. Present international, national, and local programming of the highest quality, featuring renowned artists from all cultures and embracing all genres of the performing arts and the diversity of our local culture and community. Educate, inspire, and build new and diverse audiences by offering education and outreach programs which integrate the arts into our community and by providing affordable access to live performances at our theatre. Strengthen our arts communities through advocacy, partnership, collaboration, and mutual support. Invigorate the local economy through the programming we present, the audiences we attract, and our support of the businesses in our community.
Long Wharf Theatre's mission is to create exceptional theatre that delights and provokes audiences and artists alike into better understanding themselves, one another, and our world. The work is driven by our guiding values of artistic innovation, kaleidoscopic partnerships, and radical inclusion.
The mission of Westport Country Playhouse is to enrich, enlighten, and engage our community through the power of professionally produced theater worth talking about and the welcoming experience of our Playhouse campus.
Youth@Work engages in-school youth, ages 14-21, who are New Haven residents and/or attend a New Haven Public School. The program is aimed at providing young people with workplace exposure, mentoring and school and community-based enrichment activities. Early work experiences serve as the foundation for future success in the workplace.
A seven-time Tony Award nominee, O'Hara won the 2015 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance as Anna Leonowens in the Lincoln Center Theater’s revival of The King and I. She also received Tony nominations for her performances in The Light in the Piazza (2005), The Pajama Game (2006), South Pacific (2008), Nice Work If You Can Get It (2012), The Bridges of Madison County (2014), and Kiss Me, Kate (2019). O'Hara also received a 2019 Olivier Award nomination for her performance as Anna Leonowens in the West End revival of The King and I.
O'Hara made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in a 2014 production of Franz Lehár's The Merry Widow. In 2018, she played the role of Despina in the Met Opera's production of Mozart's Cosi fan tutte. She has also played roles in television series, such as Masters of Sex and 13 Reasons Why, receiving a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for her starring role in the 2017 web drama series The Accidental Wolf.