Culture for Teens at a Pasadena Children’s Charity

November 10, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
(Pasadena, CA)—Getting dressed up, walking through the opulent doors, finding your seat, and waiting for the curtain to go up is a common thing for many theatre goers, but is a brand new experience for the children at Hillsides, a Pasadena charity that creates safe places for children in foster care and prevents the cycle of domestic violence for children at risk and their families.

The Pasadena Playhouse has made this a possibility for a group of Hillsides teenagers through the charity of their New Generations program, which brings at-risk youth to mainstage productions so they can experience the theatre and interact with the artists. Not only have the Hillsides children been able to attend mainstage productions at the Pasadena Playhouse, but have also attended shows put on by the Furious Theatre Company and at the Children’s Theatre.

“Being exposed to an environment that differs so greatly from the unhealthy and unsafe surroundings the children were born in affords them an opportunity to witness and realize that there are better things out there for them and they deserve to experience them,” said Maisha Jeffery, a Hillsides group home manager.

“Through New Generations, the children are given good seats, respected as patrons of the theatre, become acclimated with other theatre patrons, are taught theatre etiquette and begin to understand and speak the language of the theatre,” said Deborah Ash, the creator of New Generations.

In the three years the Hillsides foster care children have been attending productions through New Generations, they have come to appreciate and look forward to each visit. “To see these girls so enthralled with the surroundings and mesmerized by the performance that they become distracted from their personal issues is exciting because I realize that these plays have provided to each girl a moment of happiness in their troubled childhoods,” said Jeffery.

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About Hillsides: As a Pasadena charity founded in 1913, Hillsides creates safe places for children in foster care living in its residential treatment center and is a community treatment center preventing the cycle of domestic violence for children at risk and their families. To learn more about Hillsides, visit