REACH OUT (SOCIAL WEB SERIES)
Reach Out is an animated web series based on plays written by incarcerated Bay Area youth within the nonprofit Each One Reach One. The program partners incarcerated youth, non incarcerated youth enrolled in arts programs, and professional media makers as advisors and consultants.
Incarcerated youth need an outlet of expression as they develop physically, mentally and psychologically. These children are often a hidden population with little voice in our communities. These youth need more ways to feel a part of our communities and to be able to share who they really are, enabling others to have a greater understanding and empathy of the deep challenges they are trying to overcome.
Storytelling is one of the most powerful forms of expression. Each One Reach One (EORO) pairs incarcerated youth with professional arts inside detention for writing of one act plays. We want to expand our audience reach by adapting and animating the youth's plays into online animated videos. These stories can then have the chance to touch the hearts of community viewers, allowing a connection and better understanding of a population otherwise deemed as mere criminal offenders.
After the first staged reading of the EORO plays I knew that something powerful was here. Performance day - plays written by incarcerated youth (young writers) are read by professional actors. Parents, social workers, facility staff and other inmates gather in one of the limited access rooms for the show with about 20 people in attendance. Two weeks after the start of my first playwriting workshop, along with 10 other mentors, I had helped a young writer probe emotional ideas and concepts, allowing him to communicate what's rarely communicated. On that performance day I saw vigor, emotional truth and in a few cases real and raw talent. Everyone needs to see this, I thought. Animated adaptations would be the best way to make that happen.
Robin Sohnen- Each One Reach One. Founder, Executive Director - In 1998 Robin Sohnen started the non-profit organization EORO to address the escalating rate of incarcerating youth by exploring theater-based strategies. Dave Garret - Lead Instructor of Each One Reach One playwriting program & Theater Manager at the Children's Creativity Museum in San Francisco. Matt Szymanowski - Each One Reach One playwriting, filmmaker, producer.