Friday, April 5, 2013

"The CASA Project"

Theatre For Change partners with CASA on original production
Fall 2013 production highlights CASA volunteer Advocates’ work and multimedia

San Antonio, TX – April 5, 2013 – In honor of Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month, Theatre For Change (TFC) announces it will be teaming up with Child Advocates San Antonio (CASA) this year to produce an original production that centers on Texas’ foster-to-adopt issue. This live dramatic media event will use a hybrid of film and live theatre to raise awareness and promote a call to action to bolster CASA’s volunteer program and will be the first official originally produced event by TFC.

CasaAccording to the Child Protective Services (CPS) 2012 Data Book, there were 275,961 alleged victims of child abuse in Texas last year.  CPS confirmed 6,205 of these cases in Bexar County, the largest number for any single county in the entire State.  Of the 212 child deaths from abuse and neglect last year in the State of Texas, 19 occurred in Bexar County. This placed us second only behind Harris County, which has three times the overall population.  Unfortunately, CASA volunteers are only able to serve one-third of the children currently in State-protective custody in Bexar County; however, the agency is working diligently towards providing an Advocate for every child who needs one by the year 2020.

Spearheaded by TFC founder and Texas Lutheran UniversityDramatic Media Assistant Professor, Shannon Ivey; TFC Community Organizer, Shelly Chance; Recruitment and Training Manager, Elisabeth Reise; and TLU student filmmakers, the group will gather testimonies from CASA volunteer Advocates, judges and families to create a script for the docu-drama currently titled “The CASA Project”.

The CASA Project will run over the course of an entire weekend with three performances at San Antonio’s historic Carver CommunityCultural Center. The Carver lobby will feature art from CASA children who are currently in care, giving them an opportunity to share their art created in classes hosted by professional TFC artists prior to the event.

The mission of Child Advocates San Antonio (CASA) is to recruit, train, and supervise court-appointed volunteer Advocates who provide constancy for abused and neglected children and youth while advocating for services and placement in safe and permanent homes. This production will shed light on the foster-to-adopt situation in Texas and help recruit volunteer Advocates for CASA.

Details concerning performance dates and times will be announced at a later date.


About Theatre for Change
Theatre For Change is a coalition of South Texas dramatic media artists who are committed to linking the stories inherent within theatre, film, and new media to the needs and messages of non-profit organizations.  We aim to weld the weakest links in our community by producing, reviewing, and creating works of theatre, film, and new media that encourage awareness, compassion, and a call to action.

About Child Advocates San Antonio (CASA)
Child Advocates San Antonio is one of 1,055 programs in 50 states affiliated with the National CASA Association. Nationally, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) was launched in 1977 by a Seattle Superior Court judge who utilized community volunteers to speak for the best interests of abused and neglected children in court. Locally, recognizing a critical need for Advocate services to aid abused and neglected children in San Antonio, the National Council of Jewish Women founded CASA in 1984 to serve children in Bexar County.  For over 29 years, CASA has successfully provided abused and neglected children in Bexar County a unique service that no other agency does. Through our community volunteers, we provide critical advocacy to these vulnerable, at-risk youth, ensuring that their needs and best interests are addressed.

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