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Children of Katrina: Telling Their Stories.

CHICAGO -- We all know the devastation of Hurricane Katrina - a storm that not only defined a year, but one that reminded us of the importance family, friends, and the strength of community. Child's Play Touring Theatre is extending its mission of support and validation by donating writing supplies to the littlest victims of Katrina. Notebooks, pens, binders, folders - everything needed to help the survivors of the storm recount their personal stories; tools essential in revealing a child's eye view of a tragedy that impacted millions of lives.

These accounts, requested from Katrina's survivors, will be read with the goal of developing these stories into a stage production to be performed at venues nationwide. By hearing children's tales of desolation, struggle, loss and miraculous survival, kids across the country will see what it takes to come out of a tragedy. When children watch these sagas onstage, they will no longer think of Katrina as a far away problem, but rather a tangible disaster that, in fact, affects their own lives. According to Executive Director, June Podagrosi, "With this realization comes the desire to help, we want to be a catalyst, to make sure that voices are heard and stories are preserved."

The mission of Child's Play is to share, encourage and validate the creativity of children by presenting original works of theatre, music and dance adapted from stories and poems written by young authors. By combining children's imagination with the artistry of adult professional actors and musicians, Childs' Play has created one of the most innovative children's theatres in the country. Anne McKenna describes Child's Play impact on her son, Dan: "Your choosing his poem made a significant change in his attitude towards himself and his abilities. When you chose his work he started being excited about writing and convinced he's good at it." This same story has been repeated across the country - over 15,000 times.

Since 1978, Child's Play has toured to 36 states from Alaska to Florida. The company as reached an audience over 4 and a half million and has performed in such prestigious venues as The Goodman Theatre, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Tribeca Performing Arts Center, Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, Smithsonian Institute, Annenberg Center, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, Wolftrap Performing Arts Park and the Anchorage Performing Arts Center.

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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Nov 28, 2005
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