Local theater program builds confidence among Portland youth - KPTV - FOX 12

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Local theater program builds confidence among Portland youth

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At Journey Theater Arts, students learn how to sing, act and dance, but youth say they’ve taken away so much more.

High school junior Draven Carrere says he’s become more confident and outgoing. During his three years in the program, he’s made a tremendous amount of friends.

“I was kind of that outcast kid where on the playground I would play by myself. I would sit alone at lunch. It was hard, it was rough. It’s changed my life. Now I love to talk to people,” he said.

Journey Theater offers courses for youth ages 6-18 in Vancouver, Portland and Beaverton. Once students turn eight, they can audition for its local youth performances. The program has put more than 600 kids on stage each year.

“Students come with all the labels and hardships that they experience. It’s kind of ironic, but somehow by putting on false characters, they actually become their most authentic self, strip down the layers and get down to who they are,” said Executive Artistic Director Kristi Foster.

Bailey Jackson is going on her 16th show and says the programs have helped her break out of her shell.

“I’m like this is me, this is Bailey everyone look. It’s obvious I’m not the shy kid in the corner anymore. I’m not the shy kid anymore,” she said.

Journey Theater is faith based but everyone is welcomed. Winter registration for classes open on November 14th.

Check out the students in action during their performance of Godspell Jr beginning November 11th. To learn more about youth programs visit JourneyTheater.org.

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