Children and families served by the local SAFEHOME shelter took a welcome break from their routines in mid-September to enjoy a Starlight Theatre presentation of “Just Imagine.”
Since 2011, this Starlight outreach program has brought live, interactive theatre directly to some of Kansas City’s most vulnerable residents, particularly children hospitalized with chronic illnesses or living in residential facilities, like SAFEHOME, due to domestic, economic or behavioral circumstances.
“Just Imagine” is led by a troupe of four local professional actors who arrive at host facilities with a trunk load of costumes, props and a colorful backdrop to use in taking children on a fun, fast-paced theatrical journey. The actors perform a 45-minute theatrical and storytelling adventure at each host site.
“We created ‘Just Imagine’ as a means to lighten the emotional load of families who are facing life-changing events,” said Rich Baker, Starlight president and CEO. “For one hour, in their familiar surroundings, ill or displaced children are able to ‘star’ in our show. As parents watch their children smile, laugh and perform, they get a much-needed break from the serious issues their families face.”
Based upon the response from those who participate, the program is accomplishing what it set out to achieve. “To give someone the gift of inspiration and an escape in the midst of trauma and crisis is truly priceless, and that’s what you provided for our clients,” said Jenna Hinshaw, children and family advocate at SAFEHOME. “We greatly appreciate and respect the work you do, and we hope to see you again very soon!”
Starlight will take its show on the road throughout the fall with “Just Imagine” performances at:
- Hope House – October
- Kids TLC – November
- KVC Academy – November
If you would like to learn more about “Just Imagine,” make a donation in support of the program or suggest a potential host facility, please contact Amy Reinert at 816.997.1112 or firstname.lastname@example.org