Fountain Theatre brings cops and kids together for life-changing program ‘Walking the Beat’

2022 outdoor performance of Walking the Beat at Fountain Theatre.

“Critical hope is needed.” Walking the Beat, the Fountain Theatre’s innovative community-building program that sees cops and kids working together to create theater, presents two free performances of this year’s culminating, hope-inspiring production. Two free performances of C.H.I.N. Up! will take place at 8 p.m. on SaturdayAug. 5 and SundayAug. 6 on the Fountain Theatre’s outdoor stage.

To create C.H.I.N. Up!, 12 teenagers from Compton Early College High SchoolHollywood High SchoolCamino Nuevo Dalzell LanceHawthorne High School and Orthopaedic Hospital Medical Magnet High School joined in a transformative group process with six officers representing the Los Angeles School Police Department to generate ideas and stories around the theme “critical hope is needed.”

Now in its fourth year at the Fountain, “Walking the Beat” utilizes performing arts as a vehicle for youth empowerment and community building, providing life-changing experiences for underserved youth and police officers. Founded by the Elizabeth Youth Theater Ensemble and led by executive and artistic director Theo Perkins, this year’s program provides students with opportunities to work hands-on with program facilitator and director Angela Kariotis, teaching artists Ali Chen and Nathan James, and drama therapist Danielle Levenas.

“Walking the Beat” supporters include HBO Warner Media, The Araxia & Vladimir Buckhantz Foundation, Mary Jo & David VolkAllison ThomasThe Audrey & Sidney Irmas Charitable FoundationThe PhillipsGerla Family and Sharyl Overholser.

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