2019 Walking the Beat: Elizabeth



Four years ago, we at the Elizabeth Youth Theater Ensemble, took a stab at an idea to bring police officers and students together in response to all of the unnecessary violence happening across the country. To devise a piece of theater focused on community policing. A crazy idea, but we believed it was possible.

And now, our cops/kids program has expanded to Los Angeles in partnership with the Fountain Theatre with A Wall is Just Another Door. The Elizabeth Youth Theater Ensemble's (501 (c)(3)  mission and purpose is centered in the voices of young artists to gain confidence and skill in the resilience for developing theater as a powerful place of community building and social justice.

Walking the Beat is a creative writing, theater, and multi-media workshop for students grades 9-12 and local police officers, designed to establish a positive relationship between the two. Students and cops will actively participate in creating original writing and performances about their neighborhood, local heroes and sheroes, and what their own role can be in community safety. 

Help us make our Summer 2019 Production  a Success!

2019 Broadway World article feat. Walking the Beat - Hollywood 

2019 American Theatre Magazine feat. Walking the Beat - Hollywood 

 Star Ledger Coverage on Walking the Beat



The workshop curriculum will employ

·         group discussion

·         devised and applied theater practices

·         improvisation

·         conflict resolution tools

·         creative writing

·         personal narrative

·         performance autobiography

·         oral history and interview techniques

·         media such as video production 

·         photography

Our first residency occurred in October of 2016, where they met three times a week through December-- working  with the classroom teachers T Jefferson Arts Academy.

Since then, we've completed three cops/kids residencies!

Your support goes towards:

·         media and production expenses
·         contribution to the Elizabeth Police Department to  support programs that deepen community engagement
·         salary for program facilitators and visiting artists
·         marketing support

Project Facilitators:

Theo Perkins - Actor/Producer; Founder, Executive & Artistic Director (MFA UCLA; GS USC Arts Leadership; BA- Morehouse College)

Angela Kariotis - Writer/Performer/Curriculum Director and Program Facilitator (BA Seton Hall University, MA University of Texas at Austin)

Project Collaborators

The City of Elizabeth, NJ
Elizabeth Police Department
Thomas Jefferson Arts Academy
HBO - Corporate Social Responsibility Dept.
Will & Jada Smith Foundation
Union County

Donations (0)

  • Anonymous 
    • $250 
    • 4 mos
  • Lydia Teffera 
    • $35 
    • 4 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 4 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 5 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 5 mos
See all


Theo Perkins 
Elizabeth, NJ
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