Happy Holidays friends, family, and supporters!
Greetings from LOUD, the New Orleans Queer Youth Theater! Managed by Rebecca Mwase, Rachel Lee, Evan Spigelman and a fierce youth ensemble, LOUD is in its second fabulous year as a transformative space for leadership development, story sharing, and theater making.
LOUD’s ensemble of queer and allied youth has had an incredible year. In April 2014, we performed our first full length piece, Beyond Acceptance, to packed houses. In August, we took the piece on the road to Alternate ROOTS “ROOTS Week” in North Carolina, where we engaged in meaningful dialogue with other artists, activists, and educators. Later that same month, we went with a youth representative to the Annual Meeting of the Pride Youth Theater Alliance, a national network of queer youth theater of which we are a member.
After a year of exploration, travel, and critical engagement, we cast our 2014-2015 ensemble. This year, our ensemble decided to go in a new direction and change our name from the New Orleans Queer Youth Theater. We’ve expanded our devising process from one semester to two, welcomed guests such as Wes Ware from BreakOUT, Dr. Gee Love, k. jones, and poet and organizer Mwende Katwiwa (aka FreeQuency). LOUD’s members have also taken the floor for themselves. In addition to our second-year ensemble members leading audition exercises for incoming youth, everyone taught workshops to their fellow ensemble members to share skills and interrogate issues that affect their lives.
In 2015, we are looking forward to performing our second full-length piece, currently in development. But making theater can be an expensive affair! This is where we need you. For many of our youth members, taking time to rehearse with LOUD is a labor of love that can often take them away from other responsibilities. That is why LOUD is committed to providing a stipend to each of our youth ensemble members.
A donation to LOUD supports initiatives like the youth stipends and will help cover upcoming production-specific costs, such as venue rental, costumes, props, lights, marketing expenses, and more. This holiday season, please consider making a donation to LOUD, either in a one-time sum or as a regular “sustainer” (monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly donations). To donate, simply send a check to the address below and make checks payable to Alternate ROOTS (our fiscal sponsor, www.alternateroots.org) with LOUD in the memo. You can also donate online on our website at www.noqyt.org/donate/,
Thank you! Your support means the continued growth of a space for the queer and allied youth of New Orleans to come together and raise their voices.
Happy Holidays and a Safe and Healthy New Year!
Rebecca, Rachel, and Evan