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Arts & Culture

Theatre For Change Tells Real Stories From The Texas Foster System

Sandra Trevino
Shannon Ivey.

They’re a local theater group with a very different objective. It's called Theatre for Change, and I talked to the group’s founder, Shannon Ivey.

"Theatre for Change is a nonprofit that turns statistics into stories," she said.

I had Ivey explain exactly what that meant.

“One in 82 children are victims of child abuse, and we turn that one into a narrative,” she said.

Ivey said we’re overwhelmed by statistics in our news feeds and Facebook to the point that we become inured to the people behind those statistics.

"Our objective is to narrow that down and put a face and a story to a statistic" Ivey said. "There’s something anonymous going on in our world, and we’re hoping to put a face to that anonymity."

To make those tough statistics more human, they're creating a TV pilot focusing on something they call Region 8.

“Referring to the Foster system, there’s actually 11 regions in the state of Texas," Ivey explained. "Region 8 is South Central Texas.”

They researched and interviewed all the interested parties in the foster system beforehand.

"Foster parents, bio parents, the kids, the workers" said Ivey. "It follows these two sets of kids in the system."  

That TV pilot will dramatize the workings of the Texas foster system. The script is being shopped around in Los Angeles now. She said in today's TV landscape, they have an advantage.

"There’s something much more powerful when you can relay to an audience that everything you’re about to see is true," Ivey said.

To get the word out, Ivey brought together Democratic and Republican legislators to events to raise awareness. She said their objective is that is is such a big problem that it can’t be partisan.