Founded in 1997, the Albany Park Theater Project seeks to transform the way that people interact with performances by highlighting voices that are often marginalized. With justice and representation at the forefront of their work, the APTP includes both youth and adult artists in their programming and shows. The APTP performs original plays that tell true stories about the lives of the artists. Inspiring and fresh, these stories push audience members to take a step back and look at life from a different perspective. In the past 24 years, the youth ensemble has put on 19 different shows and has performed in front of over 50,000 audience members.
In order to foster a successful environment in which youth can express themselves, the APTP has a developed mentoring program. The majority of the theater’s youth come from working-class and/or immigrant families. With this in mind, the APTP aims to validate youth’s experiences while emphasizing the importance of creativity and education. In fact, they’ve instituted a tutoring program and a college access program to promote their goals of supporting the theater’s overall ability to keep youth actively and consistently engaged with APTP. In terms of social justice, APTP uses its platform to challenge racism, xenophobia/anti-immigration sentiment, and inequality. By shedding light on issues such as poverty, hunger, and housing insecurity, immigration, and abuse, the theater’s performances give audience members the chance to hear stories that are often ignored or misconstrued. In this way, art functions as a tool for furthering social change.
With raving reviews, the shows put on by the Albany Park Theater Project are a must-see.