About Us!
Watch a video about the Performing Project from WBZ-TV Boston ​​

What do we provide?
Each summer we provide a two week intensive for over sixty Lawrence Massachusetts students that range in age from nine to eighteen. During the intensive, the actors audition for, rehearse, and perform a musical complete with costumes, set, props, lighting, and sound. In addition to performing in the musical, they get a chance to help build and paint the set, sew costumes, create props and move scenery. They also get a chance to take part in masterclasses with experts in the field such as voice teachers and acting coaches. They perform the musical for their family members, friends, and The Performing Project supporters twice, a Friday night and Saturday matinee performance. Last year over 500 Lawrence residents saw the musical free of charge. The musicals we have done in past years are “Annie Jr.”, “Seussical Jr.”, “The Wizard of Oz” and “Shrek. Jr.”. The actors are always immensely proud of themselves and so happy to see so many of their family members and friends there to support them. Apart from our two week summer program we offer classes during the year. We also have students rehearse and perform musical theater cabarets during the school year and take many of the students to see professional theatrical productions throughout the year. We want to promote the idea that theater can be a part of your life year round if you want it to be,

  What does a typical day of the Summer Program look like?
Each day at camp we start at nine with attendance and a group warm up. Then we break into groups. Actors are either working on blocking scenes, choreography, music, theater games, running lines, or character work. We have lunch each day around noon, which is provided free of charge. Our high school counselors make lunch each day. We also
have a fun camp activity each day for the whole program to do together. A favorite among many of the students in our program is the candy relay race. After that we split back up into groups for another two hours. At the end of the day, everyone meets back in the auditorium to perform what they have learned that day for the other children. This helps them get comfortable in front of an audience and feel supported by their peers. We often end the day with a theater game like “get off the bench” or “museum”. The program ends at four, and the children go home to work on lines, songs, and unwind for the night.
The Performing Project was founded in 2011 in partnership with The Actors Studio of Newburyport, MA and the Youth Development Organization of Lawrence, MA. The purpose of the program is to give children in Lawrence an experience in the performing arts that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford because of show fees, costume costs and transportation to rehearsals. Our program gives a theatrical opportunity to over sixty Lawrence students each year. We strive to help actors become more confident in their theatrical ability and themselves. Our motto is “Find Your Inner Star” which is our ultimate goal. The children form friendships and develop self confidence throughout our two
week summer program and the other theatrical experiences we offer throughout the year.
The Performing Project was founded by Maggie Budzyna who is now sixteen years old. At the age of eleven she was playing the title role of Annie. Although rehearsals for the show were held in Lawrence none of the fifty actors in the production actually lived in Lawrence which puzzled her. She was surprised to hear that it was the financial aspect of theater that kept many Lawrence children from participating.

Show fees, minimum ticket purchase rules, and transportation to rehearsal made participating in theater impossible. It then became her mission to give children in Lawrence, Massachusetts the opportunity to do theater. Maggie couldn’t imagine her life without theater and wanted others to have that chance no matter what their financial situation was. Maggie found participants for the program through the Youth Development Organization in Lawrence and partnered with The Actors Studio, a local nonprofit in Newburyport. The annual fundraiser, community partners, committed volunteers and individual donations are what have made this organization a continuous success. 

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