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Theater Education and Issue-Oriented Theater
Liz Swados has devoted much of her thirty-plus year career to making shows with, for, and about children and adolescents, including several shows with at-risk teenagers. These shows are created with the young people themselves and the scripts and scores, though primarily Ms. Swados’ work, are closely based on the literal words of her young actors. In extensive workshops lasting from three months to a year, she trains a diverse group of adolescents (aged anywhere from 11 to 20) in acting, movement, voice and writing skills. Through company exercises and improvisation, a group of disparate individuals coagulates to form an ensemble as each person joins in the creative process, adding their own monologues, scenes and songs.
Liz's mission is to create engaging theater that is deeply connected to kids' thoughts and feelings, producing a repertoire that reflects the opinions and issues of the young performers she works with. She has won a great deal of recognition, and in 2006, Liz published At Play, a book which deals with her singular techniques in working with at-risk children and teaching them creativity while healing some of their anger and mistrust.