The Oasis Program

  • Brooklyn Children’s Theatre’s OASIS program brings children from family shelters into BCT’s musical theatre classes.

    Not only do the children gain skills in acting, singing, and dancing, but they become part of a loving, caring community where their presence matters and their individuality is honored.

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    Support BCT's students from family shelters
  • “BCT is giving our children an opportunity that no one else has.”
     
    Oasis parent
     

    Since July 2015,

    63 different homeless children have received over 200 scholarships to BCT’s musical theatre classes.

    • They have performed in dozens of musical theatre productions.
    • They have taken classes in acting improvisation, written musical plays, and recorded cast albums of BCT’s original musicals.
    • They have sung at a Cyclones Baseball game and performed at the International Day of Friendship for Borough President Eric Adams.
    • They have sung in a Flash Mob and seen the dress rehearsal of FROZEN on Broadway.
    • They have participated in master classes with Broadway cast members from “CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY” and “Disney’s THE LION KING.”
    • In addition to theatre classes and experiences, BCT provides free tickets and transportation to BCT’s shows:
      • Over 100 OASIS children and their parents have seen BCT’s Teen Players productions of “LION KING jr,” “Getting to Know… THE SOUND OF MUSIC,” and “SHREK jr.”
    • And… because something as simple as a metro card can be a struggle for our OASIS families, BCT provides chaperones, transportation, and meals to our OASIS students so that every child can get to class and no child has to perform on an empty belly.

     

    RECRUITING

    Finding families who can commit to a 12 week musical-production-rehearsal process can be a challenge! We make great efforts to find children and parents who want to work with us as much as we want to work with them:

    • BCT staff conduct informational sessions at family shelters with slide shows, videos, and time for question and answers.
    • We send buses and staff to bring potential families to our shows so that they can see what we do. Most of our Oasis students have never seen a play before.
    • BCT staff conduct one-time acting workshops at the shelter so that potential students can try out our program in a familiar setting.
    • BCT holds “Oasis-specific” workshop classes to see which students are genuinely interested in theatre and ready to make a longer commitment.

     

    COLLATERAL BENEFITS

    BCT’s mission is to bring children together from diverse backgrounds to learn and grow through the collaborative art of musical theatre. Through BCT’s connections, our Oasis students have received numerous collateral benefits, just from being part of a caring, altruistic community of individuals. From BCT’s connections, our Oasis students have:

    • Received free eye glasses and dental work,
    • Received free tutoring and help with their middle school and college applications,
    • Gone to the beach for the first time and learned to swim at the Y,
    • Had their Christmas wishes fulfilled, and received Easter baskets and back-to-school supplies,
    • and… made friends with children who live outside of the shelter.

    “Having something like BCT makes you forget that you’re in a shelter – it makes you feel like you’re a part of the outside again. People think that if you’re in a shelter, you don’t have any talent, or you’re not capable of doing anything positive –it’s a serious stereotype – it affects kids really hard. BCT shows that that is not true. When the kids are on the stage, they’re all performing at the same level because BCT welcomes kids from everywhere. When the kids are on stage, you can’t tell who’s who. The children are all treated the same, they all have equal opportunity.”

    ~OASIS parent

     
     
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