Impact Repertory Theatre

Award Recipients - 2000

Jamal Joseph & Voza Rivers, Co-Founders

Jamal Joseph and Voza Rivers are co-founders of the IMPACT REPERTORY THEATER (IMPACT), a multi-disciplinary arts and leadership training program for youth ages 12 to 18 that emphasizes creative self-expression as a means for community service.  Young people are encouraged and supported to produce artistic works that explore key concerns such as AIDS, drugs and violence as well as identify, family and community.  
IMPACT emerged in 1997 when Mr. Joseph and Mr. Rivers committed o create a theatre arts program in Harlem.  Today, IMPACT has a core group of 100 young people.  New members enter the program through a six-week session where they learn about history, leadership and teamwork, current youth issues, communication skills and hygiene.  They also learn the basic vocabulary of music, drama, dance and self assessment by which to track their progress.  Upon completion, participants enroll in the performance arts program, which includes intensive instruction in dance, moment, music, drama, production, leadership and writing.  Every student receives training in all areas enabling the group to create performance pieces.  IMPACT performs to enthusiastic audiences at schools, community organizations, homeless shelters, drug rehabilitation programs, churches and prisons.  They have also performed at the United Nations, Aaron Davis Hall, the Schomburg Center and the Public Theater.

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