What’s in [the original] name?
Before we had a name for it, we knew we wanted a totally non-traditional theatre program. Where my background in performing was competitive and high-pressure, we wanted something focused way more on developing people than performers. Theatre would take a backseat to the mentoring and coaching at the core of the program and we wanted a name that reflected that. We based Random Acts of Theatre Company (RATCo) on the idea of random acts of kindness.
Theatrical productions were just our mechanism for teaching youth to express themselves freely. As we evolved, we found young people who wanted to be involved but had more diverse interests than just acting and singing. Aspiring writers, videographers, spoken word performers, painters, rappers, photographers, dancers, and musicians all needed a safe place to learn, develop their crafts, and gain confidence. As we began branching into other aspects of the arts, we found that our “theatre” brand was unintentionally limiting. We needed a reboot! “New Expression” represents the heart of our mission beautifully—while being more accessible to all kinds of artists.
One difference going forward will be the artistic diversity of our programming, and of our participants. Our new expanded vision includes our first youth film festival (coming Spring of 2016), a dance team, a children’s choir, and workshops on everything from film editing to acting to digital animation. The sky is the limit!
What’s Staying the Same?
While some things are changing, others will remain the same. RATCo has always represented inclusion, acceptance and unity. That will never change. We will always provide a place where everyone is accepted for exactly who we are. As we’ve said from the beginning: “Every person has a part, and every part is important.”