Community theater inspires with charity performances

The Agape Performing Arts Group will hold a performance Nov. 11, 2017, for their production "Scrooge, The Musical" and have invited several hundred children and adults to attend free of charge. (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Agape Performing Arts Group will hold a performance Saturday afternoon for its production “Scrooge, The Musical” and have invited several hundred children and adults to attend free of charge.

Tracey Rollison, assistant director for the show, said it’s something Agape has valued since the group was formed early 2016.

“There are kids with tremendous amounts of ability, native ability that needs to be nurtured,” Rollison said. “That doesn’t necessarily mean that their parents have a lot of income to be able to do that.”

Rollison said Agape has a scholarship program that allows children to participate in their performances for free or at reduced cost to their families. She also said the group holds charity performances, where they invite children and adults from Julian Center, the Children’s Bureau, Veterans Affairs and The American Legion.

“Some of these kids would never have experienced such a cultural event. Sometimes its opening door for them,” Annie Martinez, vice president of communications and development for Children’s Bureau, said. “If one kid sees something in someone on that stage that they identify with, it could truly change their life.”

Martinez explained how Children’s Bureau focuses on strengthening families while managing two shelters for children and working with children in the foster care system. She said several organizations around the city reach out and provide admission to community events for the children they serve.

“They’re invaluable to us. All of those organizations are invaluable to us because that’s how we offer these experiences to these kids and families that otherwise we would never be able to,” she said.

Agape Performing Arts Group extended 205 tickets to Children’s Bureau, and all have been spoken for by sheltered children, foster care families and social workers.

“It’s excitement for them. It’s exposure,” Martinez said. “Normal is only what we know.”

Rollison said some of the kids who attended a charity show previously auditioned and made it into the cast for the next play.

“I have seen kids that are so shy just blossom over the course of several plays they’ve come out of their shell, voices improves, confidence improves, ability to have friendships with other kids improves,” Rollison said.

“Scrooge, The Musical” is showing to the general public at 7:30 p.m. Friday inside McGowan Hall, 1305 N. Delaware St. The charity performance is at 2:30 p.m. Saturday followed by general-public performances at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets range from $4 to $10.

Agape’s next show will be “Pirates of Penzance” in April, and “Oliver!” in the summer.