At its core, Powerstories is about empowerment.
Powerstories Theatre is a nonprofit theatre that stages true stories to open minds and hearts to inspire action worldwide as well as teaching workshops, and facilitating motivational events primarily for women and girls.
“We believe that every person has a power story to discover and share with others. Our programs increase confidence, awareness, understanding, and deepens appreciation for diversity,” explains Heather Clark, Girlstories Leadership Theatre Manager and who is also a Language Arts teacher at Jennings Middle School in Seffner, FL.
“My niece has become more expressive and the program has given her the tools to grow in the future,” says Valentina Ocasio.
The story began in June 1998 when Fran Powers crossed the Wyoming border on a cross country bike trip. The idea took root when she returned to Tampa and notified women of an audition opportunity. She simply asked “Do you have a story to tell?”
Powerstories Theatre debuted in November 2000 at the Friday Morning Musicale in Tampa, Florida. By August 2001 they performed at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center to sold out audiences. The Theatre has served over 10,000 individuals and 60 organizations since its inception in 2000.
“We teach these girls self esteem and leadership through theatre. We perform for many elementary school’s so when they enter middle school we hope that they will also enter our program,” says Janice Nepon-Sixt, Director of Girls Programs. “We are developing the girls into better students who are active in extracurricular activities, who are helpful in the community, who become problem solvers, and who ultimately become kind and caring towards others.”
Girlstories Leadership Theatre (GLT) is a comprehensive theatre arts program for middle school girls living in Hillsborough County who are in the 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. In 2010 GLT was awarded the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House. Then in 2011 and 2013 GLT was honored by international singing star, Josh Groban in front of 12000 fans.
“Our workshops use creative discovery techniques, dramatics, storytelling, writing and art activities to help these girls communicate more effectively, and to tell their own stories with confidence,” explains Fran Powers, Founder/Executive Director.
Throughout the school year the girls are involved in this program and it is held at the Powerstories Studio Theatre at 2105 W. Kennedy Blvd, Tampa, FL 33606. Middle school girls from diverse backgrounds then attend a six-week summer drama intensive to prepare them to perform for the general public and elementary school groups during the year. This Summer Intensive program is held at St. Peter Claver School located at 1401 N. Governor Street, Tampa, Fl 33602.
In addition to an in depth theatre curriculum, the project serves as the impetus to talk about important issues and to educate girls about achieving their goals and dreams. While working on individual self-esteem, the girls also work on team building activities to form a cohesive, effective group. At the end of the summer a one-hour play with four sections is created by staff and students.
The performance this year is called “Can you Hear Us Now?” and will be on Saturday, July 26th at 7:30 pm and Sunday, July 27th at 2:30pm. Performance will be held at Hillsborough Community College- Ybor City Campus Main Stage Theatre at 2204 N 15th Street, Tampa, FL 33605.
Tickets are $10.00 and Children are FREE under AGE 6. To order tickets go to www.powerstories.com or call 813-253-2000.
Mailing Address: Powerstories Theatre
PO Box 18021
Tampa, Fl. 33679