RYT Blog: Current happenings

Announcing 2016-2017 Season


Phoenix-based company continues its commitment to performance in non-traditional spaces with two new projects in 2016-2017.

 Rising Youth Theatre, a theatre company that creates socially relevant original plays with youth announces its 2016-2017 season. As in previous seasons, this work will pair youth and adult artists together to create plays that reflect young people’s stories and experiences in the greater Phoenix community. For the second year, none of Rising Youth Theatre’s performances take place in a traditional theatre space, inviting community members to participate as audience members in unexpected spaces. This includes the fourth incarnation of the company’s popular Light Rail Plays and a new project exploring youth voices titled The Kids Table. The ideas behind this new season came out of a collaborative process, in which Rising Youth Theatre artists (both youth and adult) came together to discuss what the company should take on next.

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 The Kids’ Table: September 2016 – May 2017

 The Kids’ Table is a unique, site-specific theatre experience that places young people at the center of major conversations in our community. Over the course of a year, an artistic ensemble of youth and adults will host a series of conversations, artistic dialogue, and performance by installing tables in a wide variety of community spaces. Youth will be trained as both facilitators and performers in order to lead dialogue across the city. Ultimately there will be a formal theatrical performance, featuring youth and adult performers, where the greater Arizona community can hear directly from its young people.

While there are many major social issues in our community that affect young people directly (our education system, race and class, immigration, etc.), it is rare that we ever hear directly from young people when these issues are discussed. This project will ask the question – what might happen if “The Kids’ Table” became a space where youth were not separated out, but integrated into the center of these dialogues, asking questions all over the city and creating art that continues the conversations across generations.   

 The Light Rail Plays 2017: February 2017

 Rising Youth Theatre will return to public transportation for the fourth time with an all new series of The Light Rail Plays! Partnering with Valley Metro, this project pairs young artists one-on-one with adult professional artists to create 5 minute, 2 person plays on and around our public transit system.  Using a wide range of theatrical elements, including music, dance, circus, and masks, this is a transformative community experience not to be missed.

As a company, Rising Youth Theatre is committed to creating plays that are accessible to our entire community, and all performances are offered on a donation basis, free to the public. For young people and adult professional artists who are interested in getting involved this year, contact Rising Youth Theare at info[at]risingyouththeatre.org.


Under the Rug / Debajo de la Alfombra


Under the Rug / Debajo de la Alfombra

Written by Sigrid Gilmer and the Rising Youth Theatre Ensemble



(Phoenix, AZ) Are you really living in your living room? Rising Youth Theatre, a theatre company that creates socially relevant original plays with youth will present the world premiere of Under the Rug in two city parks this June. Performances will take place at Verde Park in the Garfield Neighborhood (9th Street and Van Buren) on June 2 & 3 and in Coronado Park in the Coronado Neighborhood (12th Street and Palm Lane) on June 4 & 5. This outdoor performance will explore “living room stories” with the community, and is supported by a grant from Arizona Humanities. All performances begin at 7:30pm and offer the opportunity to see the show and engage in a conversation with community members. Attendees are encouraged to bring a family photo, a memory, or an object from their living rooms to share with the ensemble.

Playwright Sigrid Gilmer worked with a team of Rising Youth Theatre artists, both youth and adult to explore stories of our living rooms. What do these places mean to us? What memories do they hold? And what does it mean to take the stories that happen in these private family spaces and move them into a public park? Together, this team created three short plays that explore how we feel about the places where we live.

Each of the three plays is directed by a youth and adult director: Sarah Sullivan and Rachael Bernardino, Liliana Gomez and Matthew Mendez, and Xanthia Walker and Presley Nasisse. A team of youth and adult artists also make up the ensemble of performers, designers, and technical crew.

There is no cost to attend a performance of Under the Rug / Debajo de la Alfombra but we ask that you reserve your ticket online ahead of time! Tickets can be reserved at www.risingyouththeatre.org or directly at www.undertherug.eventbrite.com. Families and those who live in the Coronado and Garfield neighborhoods are particularly encouraged to attend. Bring a lawn chair, a blanket, a picnic, and get to know your neighbors (and their living rooms).  

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Swap N Tell

Join Rising Youth Theatre for a community yard sale and day of stories!

No money will be exchanged – bring objects from your home that you no longer want and find something new and wonderful to take home with you! All we’ll ask is that you share some of the stories behind the items with us.


One Day Left!

Just 1 day left until the Light Rail Plays open! New Plays. New Actors.

“Our piece is something you have to see to know the message” – Juan, youth performer

Reserve your FREE ticket NOW www.lightrailplays.eventbrite.com

Meet the Cast Members

The Light Rail Plays are back! Don’t miss Ericka and Emma this weekend. Here’s a sneak peek at their piece.

Reserve your FREE ticket NOW www.lightrailplays.eventbrite.com