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Kindness in the Theatre

Updated: Jan 1, 2019

Palace Coffee is proud to have The Amarillo Little Theatre Academy as their cause of the month for the first quarter of 2019. From January 1 to March 31st, you can support this great non-profit by visiting any Palace Coffee location and purchasing their cause latte of the month. $1 of every cause latte sold will go directly to the ALT Academy. Amarillo Area Foundation is also partnering with Palace Coffee and matching funds of up to $500 per month to support ALT Academy.

Amarillo Little Theatre was established in 1927 and continues to be one of the continuously operating community theatres in the country. In 1992, ALT added an academy program that continues to grow each year. The ALT Academy provides theatre, vocal and dance training for ages 3 years all the way up to adult ages. Each season, ALT Academy students from age five to seniors in high school perform three spectacular shows. The students go through the entire process from auditioning, being cast, rehearsals and audience performances. Through their academy classes and the audition process, these students are not just learning how to sing, act and dance, but they are also learning valuable life lessons such as learning to work together as a team, how to handle rejection and remain positive when you aren’t cast, and how to overcome fears like speaking in public. The list goes on and on. There are stories of children wanting to learn to read better so that they could have an opportunity to get cast in a show and other stories of children overcoming anxiety issues by going through the process of being in a show and having peers rally around them to help them along the way. The kids in the academy are like nothing you’ve ever seen. They champion one another. They celebrate wins and are there for one another for the losses. The older students help the younger students. It is truly remarkable to see. When you think of kindness, The Amarillo Little Theatre Academy certainly comes to mind. One story that comes to mind is the story of a student in the academy who went through a tragic loss at the very young age of six. This sweet, shy six year old sadly lost his mother very suddenly. He was a student of the academy and the minute that the academy director, Jason Crespin, heard the news, he sprung in to action. The Academy was able to take this family food and love on them in their time of need. The father of this young boy came to Jason a few weeks after his wife had passed away and looked Jason in the eye and said “Please always make sure that I have my son enrolled in ALT classes always.” He went on to tell Jason that by being in academy classes, this young boy was able to take the things he had learned in class and put them into practice and share emotions he was feeling more openly. He had learned to do that in acting classes, strange as it may sound. This student is still an academy student today and is a sophomore in high school. Jason kept that promise and has always made sure this student was enrolled in classes every semester.

This is just one story of how The Amarillo Little Theatre Academy champions kindness. Over the next three months, Palace Coffee, Amarillo Area Foundation and the ALT Academy are making plans to show kindness to our community. There is a realization that there are kids in our community who aren’t able to commit to weekly classes due to financial restraints, transportation and scheduling. ALT wants to share the magic of the theatre, if even for one day with these kids and therefore will be putting on a one day only theatre workshop at absolutely no cost to the attendees. Additionally, each Spring the ALT Academy does a give back performance. At this give back performance the theater will be filled with kids and families that may not be able to afford a ticket to see a theatre show. ALT Academy works with organizations like Amarillo Area CASA, Children’s Miracle Network, High Plains Children’s Home and others to fill the seats with these children and share with them, free of charge, a performance of their Spring musical. This will be the forth consecutive year for this give back performance and it is truly one of the favorite performances that ALT Academy students take part in. Thank you Amarillo Little Theatre and Amarillo Little Theatre Academy for causing kindness in our community!

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