RYT was awarded the Zeta Phi Eta-Winifred Ward Outstanding New Children’s Theatre Company Award from the American Alliance for Theatre and Education (AATE) at their national conference this summer.
(Phoenix, Arizona) Rising Youth Theatre, a Phoenix-based theatre company that creates socially relevant original plays with youth received this acknowledgment in recognition of their artistic work with young people in Arizona. This award honors a theatre company serving young audiences that has been in operation for at least two full years, but not more than five. The company must have attained a high level of artistic production and possess sound management practices while having stimulated community interest in its endeavors. RYT received this award as it is about to begin its fourth season of programming. The company’s co-founders, Sarah Sullivan and Xanthia Angel Walker received the award on July 31 at the national conference for the American Alliance for Theatre and Education held in Denver, Colorado.

The award committee commented specifically on Rising Youth Theatre’s commitment to developing high quality theatre experiences that connect to the Phoenix community. The company’s work has included five original productions, including Shipwrecked by Sigrid Gilmer (about young people in the foster system),aDoBe by José Casas (about incarcerated youth), Venus in Stitches by Lou Clark (an exploration of what it means to make a family), Finding Family, a series of three plays by Charlie Steak, José Zárate and Andrés Alcalá (about youth who immigrate to the US without their families), and Some Are Beginning by José Zárate (investigating what it means to be a kid in Arizona, in partnership with the Boys and Girls Club). The company also produced View from the Tracks: The Light Rail Plays, a public art project that put original plays on Phoenix’s Light Rail system.


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