By Chanel Ward
Kids of all ages were treated to an evening of food, entertainment and prizes at the Cope Boys and Girls Club in West Denver on November 6. Casa Milagro Youth Solutions presented its interactive performance on teen engagement, teen dating, violence, bullying and peer pressure; with drawings for two flat screen televisions, two tablets with keyboards, a $100 gift certificate to Tres Chiles, a feast for 4-6 from Famous Dave’s, a Cinzzetti’s dinner for 4 and a Maggiano’s gift certificate worth $75. Also, the Museum of Nature and Science donated tickets for their exhibit “The Science Behind Pixar,” to all of the youth that attended last week’s event.
Casa Milagro was founded in 2012, and works with various organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club, The Bridge Project, Denver Public Schools, juvenile and municipal diversion and other organizations, to take their interactive theater to the youth. The kids interact with the actors and even take their place on stage to act out a much healthier scenario.
The gym at the William E. Cope Boys & Girls Club branch in Denver was filled with about 100 kids, ranging from ages 5-15 and had the interest of every single kid. There was little chatter to calm sporadically however, for the large crowd and over three-hour time frame, the kids seemed fully entertained and well fed with pizza provided by Pi Pizzeria.
Millie Durán, Executive Director of Casa Milagro, and has an MA in Public Administration with an emphasis on Domestic Violence and Policy explained, “Today we are having a rehearsing for life events, two of the performances that Casa Milagro presents is on teen dating and violence and one is on bullying, these are interactive performances where the youth get to step in and take the roll of the protagonist and change negative behavior to positive options without violence.”
Durán explained, “because of the reality, these performances are based on real life situations and it’s so alive wherever the youth are, there’s such significant issues going on,”
The three plays titled, “Texting For Life,” “In My Sisters Eyes” and “Placas” all touched on these issues in a relatable and interactive way.
“We really felt like this was a big need,” Duran expressed, while crediting the late Brazilian film director, Augusto Boal for inspiration behind Casa Milagro.
“I saw the need because we’re seeing children that are child witnesses to different violence, different abuses and they’re taught to be resilient, so they’re overlooked; but it is a trauma, it’s a real serious issue. So, what we see is that the kids end up instead of being treated, they end up getting into trouble in school and later with the court system, then the cycle begins, so we wanted to give the kids an outlet at an early stage in life to be able to address these issues and we see that this forum theater is a real outlet for kids.”
Casa Milagro works with children of all ages and utilizes Augusto Boal’s forum theater techniques, using current topics that the youth are affected by today.
To learn more about Casa Milagro or to inquire about their mobile services you can visit their website at www.CasaMilagroYouthSolutions.org or contact Duran at 720-202-0692.
Chanel Ward is an Independent Reporter for The Weekly Issue/El Semanario.
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