Throughout our Theatre and our Organization, we…
Listen deeply and come from a place of curiosity.
Seek to understand humanity by investigating intrinsic motivation and root cause.
Amplify the voices of the oppressed.
Create physical and emotional environments that inspire dialogue.
Provide the “freedom to fail” – to make a bold choice, revise, and come back stronger.
Collaborate with artists and non arts organizations.
Reflect both the beauty and complexity of society to open hearts and minds.
Develop a physical, visual, and emotional memory to support intellectual concepts.
All of our programs are designed to focus on and strengthen positive rather than negative behaviors. We have intentionally designed our programming to take place over the course of months so that we have enough time to build robust, meaningful relationships. We feel this is vital as Mirror Image Arts works to serve as a positive role model for youth who may not have one in their lives. To do this, we use social-emotional learning to build empathy and understanding in young people so they can make better decisions when faced with difficult situations. The youth we work with are considered “at-risk” due to socioeconomic challenges, and many are dealing with the effects of complex trauma due to violence, abuse, and extreme poverty. Our approach uses proven methods to offer youth an opportunity to not just learn new techniques, but to practice them – through theatre – to be ready for real life.
Professional theatre artists facilitate all of our programs. These artists also receive training in facilitation, partnership practices, classroom management, cultural responsiveness, positive youth development, trauma informed care, and restorative justice.
Theatre in and after School
This program builds social emotional skills (i.e empathy, self-awareness, compassion and responsible decision-making) by understanding, labeling, processing, and regulating emotions. Through theatre, we create honest, courageous spaces where youth (ages 7-21) can build and maintain positive relationships with adults and their peers. We offer opportunities to practice healthy life choices by using role play where youth reflect on their own experiences through scenarios in a play, and then perform new choices (of their own making) that can be made in future difficult situations. In these moments, young people can process the challenges and trauma they have faced and work toward healing. This program is ongoing and employs curriculum at all grade levels between 2nd and high school:
- 2nd-3rd grade – My Curious Courage (11-22 weeks)
- 4th-5th grade – You, Me, WE! (11 weeks), Finding Your Voice (11 weeks)
- Middle School – It Starts With Us (12-24 weeks)
- High School – Shaping Your Voice (12-24 weeks)
Theatre in the Juvenile Justice System
“Restorative Theatre” addresses incarcerated youth’s need for social-emotional wellbeing as they face the deconstruction of identity and isolation created by the constructs of the juvenile justice system. The goal for this program is to build self-awareness, relationships, and resilience through theatre activities and performance with youth, ages 12-21, in Denver Youth Corrections facilities. This program series is ongoing and includes the following curriculum over the course of a year:
- Improvisation – 8 weeks
- Perform a Play – 12 weeks
- Create a Play – 12 weeks
JOINING THE ENSEMBLE
“Joining the Ensemble”, is for formerly incarcerated youth on parole. The goal of this program is to provide a supportive, creative community to youth who have participated in Restorative Theatre in the system as they reintegrate back into society. With 2-3 touch-points a month (participating in rehearsals, mentorship meetings, taking youth to see professional theater), this year-round program seeks to provide a pipeline to employment. If youth participate fully for the whole year, they have the opportunity to audition to become a teaching artist with Mirror Image Arts.
Theatre for Professional Development
REHEARSAL FOR REALITY
Through interactive theatre performances and drama based activities Mirror Image Arts provides professional development opportunities to youth serving professionals. Content is based in positive youth development, culturally responsive teaching, and trauma-informed care practices in addition to Mirror Image Arts’ own best practices in facilitating programs for and with young people. Our goal with these workshops is providing practitioners with a safe space to try new techniques and to reflect on current practices. The workshops can be stand-alone or stacked together to create a cumulative experience. Below are our current curriculum:
- Community Building
- Coming from Curiosity
- Leading through your Authentic Voice
- Building Relationships with Youth
- Bullying Awareness
- Classroom Management
- Restorative Practices