Funded! This project was successfully funded on April 7, 2012.

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An original play about being a young person in Arizona in 2012, made by youth in partnership with the artists of Rising Youth Theatre

Help Rising Youth Theatre produce The Arizonan Project, a large-scale original play created with young people from across the Phoenix Metro Valley about what it means to live in Arizona.

Rising Youth Theatre’s mission is “to create youth driven theatre that is riveting and relevant, challenging audiences to hear new stories, start conversations and participate in their communities.” 

We are a BRAND NEW theater company based in Phoenix, Arizona. The Arizonan Project is our very first project. Since we are committed to creating theatre that connects to young people’s true stories and experiences and to our community, we thought there was no better first project than The Arizonan Project.

For the past year, we’ve been asking youth from ALL OVER the Phoenix Metro Valley Area what it means to them to live in Arizona in 2012, the year of our state’s 100th birthday. 

RYT has completed 4-6 week residencies at four Phoenix-area boys and girls clubs in Central Phoenix, West Phoenix, Avondale, East Phoenix and South Phoenix. We’ve also completed 4-6 week residencies at Flight 33 in Guadalupe, and Barrio Nuevo in South Phoenix. In all of these residences, RYT artists have worked with youth to invite them to tell stories, to share experiences, and to make theater about what it means to live HERE.

RYT artists have donated their time to complete these residencies. We’ve worked with over 100 youth through our residency process. We’ve made three 10 minute plays, and two radio plays. You can listen to two of our radio plays here.

 And now, we’re writing and producing ONE BIG PLAY based on all of these stories told by all of these Arizona youth.

The play is being written by José Zárate, in partnership with all of the youth we’ve worked with in our Arizonan project residencies. Directed by RYT’s co-founding Artistic Directors, Sarah Sullivan and Xanthia Walker, The Arizonan Project will feature RYT actors Elizabeth Polen and Ricky Araiza performing in the show alongside youth actors. RYT Teaching Artists Leslie Stellwagen and Ashley Hare provide additional artistic support.

The play is being produced at the Phoenix Center for the Arts, and youth from all of our residencies and beyond are coming together to perform in the Arizonan Project play alongside our team of RYT artists: professional actors, designers, directors, a composer, and a playwright.

More than 50 young people auditioned for the play, and we are currently in rehearsals with a cast of 30 kids and teens from across the Phoenix area. You can find out more about what you're doing on our website, www.risingyouththeatre.org.

The Arizonan Project performs April 27, 28, 29 2012. We need to raise $5,000 to make this project happen. Your donation makes it possible for us to create an incredible piece of YOUTH DRIVEN theatre of the highest professional quality. You’re helping us pay for our set, costumes, script printing, marketing, lighting, artistic staff, and more.

It is vital to our mission and values as a company that our work is accessible to the widest range of people possible. So we will never charge expensive ticket prices. That means the budget for our first project must come from contributions.

If we raise more than $5,000, we get to bring our production value to the next level. We can put more resources into the show’s design. We can pay our artists a salary that is comparable to other professional theatres. We can market the show at a scale that will bring a whole new set of audiences into our space.

Thank you for being one of the first official backers of Rising Youth Theatre. Your donation helps us not only make an awesome play but to establish RYT as an organization with a long-term impact on young people’s lives and the place where we live.

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    12 backers

    Program Recognition.

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    Program recognition, a personal thank you note signed by the cast, and Rising Youth Theatre stickers.

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    10 backers

    Program recognition, a personal thank you note signed by the cast, Rising Youth Theatre stickers, an invitation to opening night VIP reception and some authentic Arizona sand (mailed directly to you!)

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    6 backers

    Program recognition, a personal thank you note signed by the cast, Rising Youth Theatre stickers, an invitation to opening night VIP reception, two tickets to see The Arizonan Project and one packet of actual Arizona wildflower seeds (mailed directly to you!)

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    4 backers

    Program recognition, a personal thank you note signed by the cast, Rising Youth Theatre stickers, an invitation to opening night VIP reception, two tickets to see The Arizonan Project, a Rising Youth Theatre t-shirt and one genuine Arizona cactus (small), mailed directly to you!

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    Program recognition, a personal thank you note signed by the cast, Rising Youth Theatre stickers, an invitation to opening night VIP reception, four tickets to see The Arizonan Project, a Rising Youth Theatre t-shirt and one genuine Arizona cactus (medium) mailed directly to you!

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    Program recognition (and producer credit), a personal thank you note signed by the cast, Rising Youth Theatre stickers, an invitation to opening night VIP reception, six tickets to see The Arizonan Project, a Rising Youth Theatre t-shirt, two tickets to Rising Youth Theatre's May Kickoff party, and one genuine Arizona cactus (large) mailed directly to you!

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Funding period

- (30 days)