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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Actors Bridge Ensemble Theater of Nashville Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Performing Arts Schools, Theater

Mission: Our mission is tell the stories that matter to Nashville as we train theater artists, produce socially conscious plays, create new work, expand what counts as theater in our community, and help artists and audiences find their authentic voice and speak easy on stage and in life.

Results: For the last 20 years, Actors Bridge has been a force on Nashville's cultural landscape. As an actor training program, we have worked with over 4,000 students who have gone on to perform on local, regional and national stages as well as film and television. There are few local productions that do not include a performer in some way influenced by Actors Bridge training. As a professional theatre company, our mission is to tell the stories that impact our community by producing provocative and socially relevant theatre, creating new theatrical works, showcasing emotionally authentic ensemble acting and fostering a nurturing environment for theatre artists at any stage in their professional development to take creative risks. We have produced over 80 plays, including 14 world premieres and 50 Nashville premieres. Some notable Nashville premieres include THE LARAMIE PROJECT, THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES, NEVER THE SINNER, MARISOL, NEXT FALL, BLACKBIRD and 100 SAINTS YOU SHOULD KNOW. The company is led by co-founder Vali Forrister. For more information: actorsbridge.org

Target demographics: The city of Nashville; acting students; teenage girls

Direct beneficiaries per year: 350 students; 100 pre-teen and teenage girls; 4000 audience members

Geographic areas served: We are a training program for new and seasoned actors. We are a theatre company dedicated to telling the stories that need to be told in Nashville. We are committed to taking big risks for the reward of authenticity on stage and in life. We are in love with broadening what is considered theater in our community. We are people who help others find their voice and speak their truths.

Programs: professional actor training, premieres of new theatrical works, storytelling programs, and an autobiographical writing and performance program for teenage girls

Community Stories

13 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Act Like a Grrrl (a program of Actors Bridge) is truly a transformative model. Grrrls are called to be their best selves by mentors--artists, entrepreneurs, writers, community organizers and leaders. But the community that emerges is what makes the program truly outstanding.

1

Former staff

Rating: 5

I have worked with ALAG locally, nationally and internationally for over a decade now. I have seen girls and women transform. I've seen them not only change how they relate to themselves, but also to the world around them. They are strong, curious individuals that know how to explore their own depths while trusting that they have a place in the world that will support and nourish what they find in themselves. There's a reason I have helped facilitate this program for so long. One can not stand by and simply lead, I learn from them as much as they learn from us. It is a beautiful process that every grrrl can benefit from.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

my daughter participated in the "Act like a GRRRL" program and she loved it. The final show was insightful, thought-provoking, and validating for all the girl participants. Fantastic program!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I've had the pleasure of working with Actor's Bridge Ensemble over the last 13 years as both a donor and a participant in the classes and programs offered by ABE. My daughter spent five years as part of the Act Like A GRRRL program and was it truly transformational for her as she journeyed through adolescence. ABE is a tremendous organization offering unique and empowering programs and theater to our community and beyond.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I went to the Act Like a GRRRL final performance and was blown away by the girls' performances, their work, what they had learned in the program, and how profoundly it clearly impacted their lives. I wish I had access to a program like Act Like a GRRRL when I was an adolescent! I really admire the Actors Bridge Ensemble Theater's work and their mission to give back through theater.

1 Hayley2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Amazing performance!! So inspiring. So impressed by the Act Like A Grrrl performance.

1 Kayla26

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Went to their 'Act like a GRRRL' show. Amazing!! Highly recommend for women to participate in, or at least go see!!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have donated to this non-profit for over 5 years. Both of my nieces have participated in the Act Like a GRRRL program for multiple years. They have become more confident, out going young people, who have found their voices and authored their own lives.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

My experience working as a co-leader with Act Like a GRRRL has been nothing short of amazing. I love getting to
Make a difference in these GRRRLS lives, and I love even more that they're making a difference in my life.

1 Sarah307

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter's life has been changed in such a positive because of her experience at Actor's Bridge Act Like A GRRRL!" we are so grateful that she was awarded a scholarship so that she was able to attend. Can't say enough about this magical program!!!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My first exposure to Actors Bridge Ensemble was through the Act Like A Grrrl program. This program provides a platform for teenage grrrls to share their voice and stories with their community. The entire Actors Bridge Ensemble wraps their love around this program- with the set up of the performance space, spreading the word to the community, sharing their wisdom and time, and sitting front row to cheer on these grrrls. The ability for the leadership team to shepherd a group of teenage grrrls, help the grrrls write a full script after a week at camp, spend four days in rehearsal and then produce three incredible professional grade performances to a full audience is nothing short of impossible- but these folks will tell you, they specialize in the impossible. Well done!

1 Hope L.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Actors Bridge's Act Like a GRRRL has helped dozens of middle school and high school girls develop a great sense of self and confidence through performance and leadership. This small-group program has changed the lives of many young people both in Tennessee and around the country.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Every performance is professional and the material is always thought provoking.