The Western Washington Theatrical Training Trust is funded by contributions from employers in theatre, film, television and live-event production who employ workers represented by the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) as well as by contributions from the employees themselves.
IATSE employers and employees believe that workers in jobs in our industry should equitably represent the diversity of our community. To that end, the Trust seeks opportunities to reach out to the young people of communities that are under-represented in our industry workforce.
THE STARFISH PROJECT
In 2017, the Trust partnered with Intiman Theatre, Sawhorse Revolution and Franklin High School to mount an after school program in technical theater at Franklin High School. (You can read more about this program here: http://www.cityartsonline.com/articles/technical-theatre-training-begins-franklin-high-school
In 2018, the Starfish Project landed in Rainier Beach High School, partnering with Donte Felder of the Orca School to teach the craft of onstage and offstage storytelling while centering the voices of the community. In 2019, the City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods extended a grant to the Project which allowed it to expand its scope to include Franklin, Rainier Beach and Sealth high schools and enabled the Project to served over 80 students.
This unprecedented partnership between Intiman Theatre, this Training Trust, the Seattle School District and the City of Seattle has created a holistic, free-of-charge, full-service theatrical training program that will train diverse young artists each year to work professionally across our city, and beyond. Our model includes dedicated, ongoing professional mentorship from top-tier craftspeople, hands-on skill building, and a social justice pedagogy.
What sets us apart from any other program is that we are teaching youth about how to make theatre from a 360 degree perspective: promoting job readiness, critical thinking, and self empowerment every step of the way. Our youth are future leaders who will be able to diversify Seattle’s theatre sector onstage and off for years to come.
The Trust will continue to work with all of it participating employers to increase internships and youth employment opportunities in the industry. Please contact Trust Training Coordinator, Mylor Treneer, if you have ideas you believe might be helpful to our efforts.