Arts & Culture
3:18 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

Magik Theatre Group Gives At-Risk Teens A Place To Grow, Express Themselves

A theater performance on Friday at the Magik Theatre is a little closer to real life drama than those on any other stage in town. That's because some of the young people on stage have been arrested for, as James Apollo Bradley says,  things like "truancy, and possession, vandalism and things of that nature that could lead to more serious crimes down the road."

Bradley has developed a method to get those teens to take the exit before they head on down that road. His idea:

"We work with at-risk youth, at these different facilities, and we provide theater education for the students, giving them strong writing and leadership skills, teamwork building, and education," Bradley said.

Bradley is the Xcelerated Theater manager at the Magik Theatre, which isn’t an intellectual exercise on his part, he speaks from experience.

"It actually helped me find my way in life because I, I didn’t exactly grow up on the right side of the tracks, if you will. Having theater was something that really opened my eyes up to education," Bradley said.

What does the Xcelerated Theater do for these young people?

"I go in and I hold eight classes with them, and in that time they write their own show," Bradley said. "They invite their friends and family, and just to see that their friends and family do care, and they are there for them, and that they’re able to finish something, to accomplish something, stays with them for the rest of their lives."

The students' low recidivism rate shows the program is working.