Amber has been in Changing Lives for three years. She is a junior at Del Valle High School. She is a strong activist in her community.
This is Ananda. She’s fifteen and a freshman at Austin High. She’s a dancer. Sounds lame, it’s only slightly lame. She can sing, and she enjoys painting. Ananda is in Changing Lives because she wants opinions and issues to be heard and dealt with. Nica is inspired by Frida Kahlo, Barack and Michelle Obama, and Ron Swanson. She thinks it’s important for teens to be active in their community because “this is where we live, where we will grow, and where our kids will be. How do we want the world?” And that’s the tea.
Alex is a sophomore at LBJ. She has been acting with the Vortex for three years and enjoys reading, writing, and singing. Her role models include her older friends and she looks up to John Mulaney. Alex chose to audition for Changing Lives because she wanted to join a group of people who shared similar interests, such as acting. She finds that the sense of accomplishment and responsibility give her enjoyment when it comes to helping to change the community.
Alyssa is a senior at Round Rock High School. Right now she is spending as much time on stage as possible before she leaves for college. Alyssa’s biggest role model is Betty White. She loves Changing Lives because it gives her a new platform to utilize youth voice and spread a positive message.
Angela is a junior at KIPP Austin Collegiate. This is her second year involved in Changing Lives Youth Theatre Ensemble. Angela is part of this ensemble because she enjoys being able to bring awareness to the community in a creative form like acting. Also, Angela is very fond of being able to contribute alongside the ensemble to create a play. Aside from being part of Changing Lives, Angela takes pleasure in reading as well as running in her free time. She looks up to the actress Gina Rodriguez due to her marvelous role in Jane the Virgin. Angela is excited to be part of CLYTE this year and hopes to expand her knowledge on teen dating violence as well as spread that knowledge amongst her peers.
Audrey is a sophomore at Pflugerville High School and is challenging herself by incorporating of advocacy through art in her music, speech and debate, and theater. She looks up to people who have fought to share the stories of others and provide a safe community through art such as Cameron Esposito, Dylan Merith, and Kristin Russo. Audrey joined Changing Lives in hope of inspiring young people to take a stand against issues they see in their community and to make a change.
Clara is a senior and returns to Changing Lives for her fourth and final year. Changing Lives has helped pave what she wants to do with her life. Clara is moving onto college next year where she hopes to learn about gender studies, sexuality studies, social work, or whatever social justice studies come her way. While Clara is sad to leave this ensemble, she knows she will be back to share what she learns in the next chapter of her life with Changing Lives.
Eduardo is a freshman at Del Valle High School. This is Eduardo’s first year being part of Changing Lives Youth Theatre Ensemble. His love for theater began in the fifth grade when he got the lead role in his school’s play as the Nutcracker. Eduardo is inspired by many artists who try to change the world in a positive way. Changing Lives inspired him to do just that! He wants to be heard and wants people to listen and see the problems around our society. He strongly believes teens are the key to spread love and inform people what these problems are.
Hello world! Elle attends the Ann Richards School and is a junior. She loves geology, theatre, and has been doing aerial silks for eight years. Eleanor is inspired by the wonderful actor and youth activist, Rowan Blanchard, who influences her passion for being outspoken and confident. She believes it is important for teens to be active in their communities and make change because every second the world is unaccepting, someone is in danger. Her goal is to create safety for children all over Austin to speak out and embrace their identities.
Eleanor is a homeschooled senior. She is very passionate about theatre, activism, and education, all of which drew her to Changing Lives. She is inspired by experimental theatre artists and young activists. She believes it’s important for teens to be active in their communities to make their voices heard and to build a platform where they aren’t traditionally given one.
Eliza Dean-Polacheck is a junior at McCallum Fine Arts Academy, where she double majors in performance theatre and technical theatre. She has been involved in productions at McCallum High School, Coldtowne Theatre, and ZACH Theatre. She is excited for her first year as a peer leader in the Changing Lives Youth Ensemble and to create art for her community.
This is Frank. Frank is a senior at Hendrickson High School. Outside of school, he writes and produces music with his best friend. He finds lots of inspiration from artists like Chris Travis, Miles Davis, and his friends. Changing Lives is a way for him to be heard in a space other than his notebook. He likes to believe he can inspire his peers to make change in their community and the world.
Isaiah is in the 12th grade at Del Valle High School. He has been in Creative Action programs in Del Valle since middle school and a Changing Lives ensemble member for five years. Isaiah is a longboarder and enjoys the company of others. He wishes to put a smile on everyone’s face in his community.
Katia is a freshman at Del Valle High School. She has been involved in theatre for as long as she can remember, performing in school musicals and assemblies. Her favorite role was Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games. Katia is most inspired by artists who aren’t afraid to think outside the box and challenge themselves to new heights, like Changing Lives inspires Katia to take a stand and not ignore the problems we face in our everyday community and inspires other kids to do the same.
Laurence is a senior at Westwood High School. He has been in theatre for five years now doing productions for both his school and community. Changing Lives inspires him to speak up and show his support for the LGBTQ+ community. He wants everyone to come out and show their support as well.
Mac is a senior attending Austin Achieve Public School. He’s a fan of acting. A big fan. A SUPER big fan, actually. He loves acting so much that it’s his dream to be on the big screen. He hopes so much to be in some cool action-packed Hollywood blockbuster. ACTUALLY, he will make it big as a film actor. That’s that. He’ll see you in a theater near you!
Micky is a junior at the Ann Richards School. This will be her third year with Changing Lives. Thank you and have a nice day. 🙂
Mina is a junior at Westlake High School. In her free time, she enjoys acting, slam poetry, and spending time with her dogs. She is passionate about her work in activism and creating spaces for inclusivity and for joy to thrive. Mina strives to inspire people to treat themselves – and others – with love, kindness, and respect.
Nia is a freshman at John B. Connally High School. She has been actively involved in theatre for three years. Being heavily inspired by actresses like Viola Davis and Angela Bassett, Nia strives to be on the big screen, as well as Broadway. Changing Lives gives Nia the opportunity to strengthen her acting skills while helping to overcome her social anxiety. She believes that teenagers should be a huge part of their community because it is our future.
Olivia is a sophomore at Crockett High School. She has been doing theatre for eight years at her school and ZACH Theatre. She is involved in Changing Lives because devised theatre is one of her passions and this program is an amazing outlet for this passion.
Rebekah is a senior at Westwood High School. She has been involved in theatre since 5th grade and loves the way Changing Lives allows her to combine her passion for theatre with her passion for social justice. Rebekah is honored to return to Changing Lives for her third year and she can’t wait to learn and grow as a member of this ensemble.
Tin is a character, at least he likes to say so. He is a sophomore at Cedar Ridge High School, that one place in Round Rock, you know. Some of his role models in life are a lot of queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race, cause a queen betta werk. He loves their personality and confidence and hopes to achieve that one day. He is involved in Changing Lives to make a change in the community and make his voice heard in a world that tries to hide things.
Walter is a junior at McCallum High School. He is sixteen years old, and his hobbies include: being awesome, being right, petting cats/dogs/kittens, watching anime, being a nerd, reading, watching anime, writing and drawing, and theatre. He likes improvisation and almost any type of book. He is very excited to be in Changing Lives for his second year!
Zateriq is a sophomore at Crockett High School. He has recently discovered his talent of acting and is planning to be in Crockett Theatre. His former friends introduced him to Changing Lives and so far he loves it.
Changing Lives’ Artistic Director, Creative Action
Noah Martin is beyond excited to work with the amazingly talented and inspiring youth of the Changing Lives Youth Ensemble as the Artistic Director, working with Creative Action! Noah is an educator and theatre-maker originally from the beautiful and sometimes rainy Pacific Northwest. He moved to Austin five years ago to pursue his Master of Fine Arts from the UT Austin Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities Program. Over the past two years he worked as a Creative Learning Coach with teachers from all over Austin ISD to bring arts based teaching and learning into all areas of the curriculum. Noah has worked as a director and teaching artist in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, and Austin with the Seattle Children’s Theatre, The Right Brain Initiative, Performing Arts Workshop, California Shakespeare Theatre, Woodland Park Zoo, and Northwest Children’s Theatre. He is passionate about working alongside youth to be advocates for social justice and share their stories, especially the stories that often go untold. He was the co-artistic director of a small garage based theatre company in Portland and has collaborated on many original theatrical projects, including a series of bicycle powered plays that were experienced by pedaling audience members. He loves the unpredictable process of diving in and making new theatre and looks forward to taking the journey with the Changing Lives Ensemble.
Changing Lives’ Managing Director, Expect Respect, a program of SAFE
Meg Greene is a prevention educator, writer, theatre-maker and community-based artist. She works with the SAFE Alliance as Changing Lives Managing Director and Expect Respect’s Educational Theatre Manager. Meg earned her MFA in Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities from the University of Texas at Austin (UT) and a BA from The Ohio State University in Journalism and Theatre Performance. As an applied theatre artist she has worked with school based programs, grief and healing communities, people experiencing homelessness, juvenile detention centers and with military youth experiencing deployment. Her teaching artist work spans Columbus OH, Washington DC, Exeter UK, and Austin working with organizations such as UT’s Drama for Schools, the University of Exeter, Arena Stage, Young Playwrights’ Theater and Imagination Stage. Over the last four years, Meg has used theatre as a prevention and social change tool to address issues of sexual assault, dating violence, healthy relationship education, and suicide prevention. Through UT’s Voices Against Violence’s Get Sexy. Get Consent. program she worked as an actor-facilitator and then became the tour director, using Theatre for Dialogue to teach undergraduate students about negotiating sexual consent. She also collaborated with UT Austin’s Be That One suicide prevention program to integrate interactive drama-based strategies into their bystander intervention program. Meg is passionate about the power of theatre to connect people across difference, build empathy, and open up dialogue in order to make change.