Arizona non-profit for abused children performing their stories at Herberger Theater

- A group of more than 40 valley teens are ready to tell their stories.

The hardest part, according to Niya Davis who will be performing on stage for the first time, is the subject matter.

"So what's hard about it is sharing your story with other people that you don't even know, like they don't know your story, you don't know yours," Davis said.

Every single story that will be told, every performance will center around abuse.

Jessica Flowers is the Program Director of Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona, a theater camp that was founded in 1993. The non-profit helps heal homeless and abused children through artistic expression.

"This is a show based solely on their life experience. They come in at the beginning of the first week and we have no script. We have no story. And literally over the course of ten days, they share their stories, they create art with their stories using drama, spoke word, poetry movement, music and visual arts," Flowers said.

"My life has been very tough with domestic violence involved and other things. We have overcome it," said Rebecca Rodriguez, a performer.

Rodriguez said stepping on stage helps take away some of the pain.

"On opening nights, it's very exciting because I am happy that I am about to inspire people and tell them my story," said Rodriguez.

The Herberger Theater Center donates the space. Volunteers, professional actors and coaches, producers and directors donate their time and compassion so when these kids take a bow at the end of the night, their hearts are full and not broken.

The non-profit helps more than 8,000 kids every year through partnerships with 42 different social service welfare agencies across Maricopa County.


Final performances are scheduled at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Friday, June 30.

Final performances are open to the public. Tickets are free, but anyone interested in attending is asked to please register tickets at http://www.freeartsaz.org/events/theater-camp/

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