Founded in 1996, My Voice Theatre is designed as an after-school theater company which allows participants to work through and express their feelings about some hard-hitting life issues. The overall goal is to break the codes of silence that too often surround such issues within our community and culture. The company strives to effect positive change in the lives of its members as well as in the lives of others through its theatrical performances. Company participants learn to express their thoughts and ideas in verbal and written form and present monologues and scenes.
The group meets twice a week, on Tuesday and Thursday (4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.), and a serious commitment to the group is essential for participation.
Ridgewood Bushwick Youth Center
My Voice Theatre (MVT) is an issues-based youth theater company founded in 1996. The company has performed for thousands of local community residents at RBSCC's Youth Center,
2013-2014 My Voice Theater Players
and civilian and government officials at the Brooklyn Family Court, and at the Supreme Court of New York City. Governor Pataki, and Department of Education Chancellor Klein have been in attendance at MVT performances. Each year MVT performs at the annual Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council's Youth Day and Street Fairs. They have also performed at the North Brooklyn Coalition Against Family Violence Graduation and have appeared on "In The Know" on Brooklyn Community Access Television, "The Artists Forum" on MNNTV in Manhattan, as well as on "UTV Live" in Ireland. Since 2000, MVT has traveled and performed abroad in Liverpool, England, and Enniskillen, Northern Ireland. Recent works include the plays "I AM…" and "The Family That Drinks Together". See a scene from the the play "I AM..." here.
Because of their commitment to social change through the arts, My Voice Theatre Company was the only group from the United States invited to an International Youth Theatre Festival in Liverpool, England in August 2000. They were invited back in 2001 to work in collaboration with the "Links" and "Children for Peace" Youth Festivals in Liverpool and Warrington England. In 2002 they worked on their next international project which was held in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland. This project was for the European Year of Languages and brought together 6 groups from Ireland and Spain who developed theatrical presentations on the theme of communication. They were invited to return to Enniskillen in 2003 to perform for, and work alongside, several organizations who work with disenfranchised and challenged youth and adults in both Northern and Southern Ireland.
Felix Guzman (photo, far right) , one of the founding members of My Voice Theatre (1996-1998) reflects on his experience with MVT:
"Once you look back, you see how other people tried to get out or how they went about life, and you see how My Voice Theatre (MVT) changed us, how it opened our eyes. The founding members of MVT lived on the same block and we turned out nothing like anyone else. Some of our friends are dead, locked up… I didn't think MVT was going to be such a big part of my life, but it was and is. It helped me become a man and make something of myself."