For Parents

Summer Institute is learning experience for parents too! At Penumbra we directly confront difficult issues such as race and identity. We do not tell our students what to think; instead, we help them develop tools to practice critical thinking. We believe that our role is to present material for student consideration and to help young people articulate their positions about various issues.

We encourage students to acknowledge and celebrate difference, and in so doing combat a very serious pressure common amongst teenagers to fit in. We believe that when we acknowledge difference, we celebrate humanity. Theatre affords us a unique opportunity to begin that practice.

As your child explores his or her identity in relation to various stereotypes, he or she will likely come home with challenging questions. For over three decades Penumbra Theatre has been known as a safe place to explore racism and its social consequences. We offer parents practical tools to keep the classroom dialogue going at home.

We couldn’t have been more pleased with the program. Our son completed Summer Institute with more inner strength and confidence. He found a community where he belonged.
–Theresa Taniguchi

I can honestly say it is the best program we have ever enrolled our child in. The intensity, focus and scope matched his needs, desires and maturity so well that it was easily the highlight of his summer. And it has so much substance it will influence his thinking/actions for years.
–Tom Eckstein

This is our 3rd year and it has made a big difference in our son’s life. He is so much more aware of things in the theatre community. He loves the other students. He loves the classes. You got him to write!
–Dedra Slack

I really appreciated that my daughter could see that art does not depend on costuming and makeup and how much you can sound like “the soundtrack.” She has a unique story and she got to share that story and assimilate it into her identity through this program – thank you.
–Shannon Bangs

Photo Credit: Allen Weeks