For over a decade, the Chance has worked with local teens to “speak up” about their lives and experiences through an original production as part of the Speak Up Summer Program. Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, hundreds of students have received full scholarships to participate in this program at no cost to them. To sponsor a student for $600, please contact Erika Miller at the info listed below.

About the Program

Find your voice through theater and Speak Up. Through story circles, improv games, and writing exercises, students will learn the fundamentals of storytelling and have a ton of fun. Over five weeks, they will work collaboratively with their peers from all over the county to write, design, and perform a new play!

By participating in all elements of constructing and producing a new play (play writing, acting, design, marketing, etc.), under the guidance of Chance staff, professional designers and professional actors and our program director, the students take ownership of every aspect of a creating original theatrical work, and learn that theater can be a powerful means for self-expression. Additionally, during the process, they also gain confidence, grow a sense of community, as well as learn leadership, team-building, communication and public speaking skills.

Studies show that developing “21st Century Skills,” which include problem solving, critical and creative thinking, dealing with ambiguity and complexity, integration of multiple skill sets, and the ability to perform cross-disciplinary tasks, is in decline due to the loss of many arts programs in schools. By teaching these skills to our students, they will personally benefit and, ultimately, our community will benefit ten-fold as they mature and join the workforce with these skills.

This program is open to ALL STUDENTS from grades 7-12.
Click here to meet the instructors.

Join us for an orientation and bus safety meeting (provided by OCTA) open for anyone who would like more information. Date TBD

Summer Session: June 18 – July 27, 2018
Monday, Wednesday and Friday (Grades 7-9) 9:00am – 12:00pm
Monday, Wednesday and Friday (Grades 10-12) 12:30pm – 3:30pm
Rehearsals: July 23-27 Monday-Friday (All Grades) 9:00am – 3:30pm
Performances: July 28 & 29 at 11:00am and 7:00pm

Check Back Here to Apply!

  • For more information: email to Karen O’Hanlon at
  • Support the program: This program is funded through the generosity of foundations and individuals who believe in giving ALL students an opportunity to experience theater as a means for expression. The cost for 1 student to participate in the program is $600. If you are interested in sponsoring a student, please contact Erika C. Miller at or call 657-549-0499

Click here to watch video on YouTube

“Speak Up- Take a ‘Chance’ has allowed me to express myself in an artistic manner and for once I felt like I had a voice and it mattered. I felt like I was a part of something great, positive and important” 
– Daphne R., grade 9
“In my opinion, the most valuable aspect of the workshops were collaborating with one another. Listening, speaking, and learning from unique students from different schools. Programs like this end rivalry, and prejudice throughout the district. Suddenly theater is not a competition, but a celebration of arts, and reflection of human experiences. It was an honor to work with these students.”
– Amilcar, grade 11


“I learned to be more outgoing and trusting of my fellow actors and how to build an entire play from the ground up. It was an extremely productive summer and a great experience!”
– Carolina M., grade 7

Generous program support provided by:

sponsor_occf-sm sponsor_Allergan-Foundation sponsor_acf_sm
sponsor_aac_sm sponsor_kiwanis_sm sponsor_egeorgefound_sm