Member Spotlight: True Colors OUT Youth Theater (The Theater Offensive)

One of PYTA's founding members, The Theater Offensive (TTO), presents the diversity of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer lives in art so bold it breaks through personal isolation, challenges the status quo, and builds thriving communities. True Colors OUT Youth Theater uses a proven community-based theater approach to train and activate lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and allied youth leaders ages 14-29. True Colors youth leaders work with The Theater Offensive to develop comprehensive youth programming that engages participants deeply in our mission.

PYTA Administrator Jo sat down with TTO's Director of Programs, Nick Bazo, to learn more about what True Colors is up to, here's a little of what's going on:

Nick has recently stepped out of directing True Colors as he takes on different responsibilities as Director of Programs. Now, he focuses on the big picture, overseeing the logistical pieces, while True Colors has two guest directors, Tati Gil and Pascale Florestal. Both already have strong relationships with TTO as guest artists and directors, but are new to directing True Colors, an exciting change!

True Colors is creating a show around the theme of a "Dream Differed", looking at how the "American Dream" is not always a reality, particularly for queer youth in America. They started rehearsals in early February, preparing for a tour of local schools in May.

Alongside the regular threat of external political forces, one of the biggest challenges for True Colors' leadership has been changes in youth. Many of the youth this year are more interested in behind-the-scenes work than performing, True Colors' model was designed for a different group and Nick, the directors, and everyone involved in the program have to work to figure out how to best serve those that are interested in the program now.

In response to these changes, they will be hosting a SpeakOUT in which youth will be able to give feedback to adult leaders on how to reshape the program. For Nick, this is the most exciting - he's been working with the same model for the past ten years and he wants to see what new opportunities are available for the program to "jettison them into the future".

It's an exciting time for True Colors as they take on the challenge of change and put together the production for the May tour!

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