ABOUT

Empowered Players is a Fluvanna-based nonprofit  501(c)(3)designed to make a difference in the community through the arts. We promote youth empowerment, are dedicated to community service, and believe the arts have the power to unite.

Our mission is to uplift the human spirit through access to quality arts experiences, youth empowerment, and community service. 

 

Tel: (434)-996-7874

 

Email:

empoweredplayersvirginia@gmail.com

TEAM
Jessica Harris

Artistic Director

 

Jessica Harris is the founder of Empowered Players, a Fluvanna-based youth theater organization dedicated to improving the lives of students through increased access to theater. Through her work with Empowered Players, she directs a local troupe of young actors, writes short musical theater pieces for the troupe to perform at local venues, and conducts year-round and summer camps and classes. A student at the University of Virginia, Jessica is a veteran performer and teacher, who has been performing for 12 years, and teaching dance and theater for 5 years. Jessica was recognized for "Excellent Individual Performance by a Female" at the 2015 Junior Theater Festival, and she has received 3 nominations for Missoula Children’s Theater’s Residency programs honoring outstanding performances and dedication to theater. Jessica previously worked as the dance counselor for Four County Kids Summer Camp, and has worked with DMR Adventures as an Assistant Choreographer and Musical Director. Additional work credits include Musical Director with the Virginia Players, and Lesson Leader with Kids Acting Out, a University organization that provides after-school theatrical programs in Charlottesville-area elementary schools. She loves watching students express their own personality through theater, and hopes to inspire all students to find their voice and make the world a better place!

Sharon Harris 

Managing Director

 

A homeschooling Mom and chauffer to two very active and involved theater, dance and sports kids, Sharon Harris was once a Counselor, program director, grant writer, and otherwise gainfully employed adult.  Inspired by her talented and passionate children, Sharon has become a theater-nerd who saves her performances for solo car trips. 

Catharine Reagan

Co-Director 

Catharine Reagan is a second year at the University of Virginia. A sociology major, Catharine was a theater emphasis student in high school, directing her own play as her final capstone project. She has been working with kids for over 5 years, from directing to teaching and counseling, and prior to her time at UVA attended Hollins University where she stage managed productions in their theater department. Catherine enjoys Shakespeare and 20th century plays, and plans to work with children and pursue social work in the future. 

Haley Nelson 

Co-Director 

Mission and Vision: Empowered Players is a Fluvanna-based nonprofit
501(c)(3) designed to make a difference in the community through the arts. We
promote youth empowerment, are dedicated to community service, and believe
the arts have the power to unite.


Empowered Players seeks to uplift the human spirit by bringing quality arts
experiences to communities with limited access to arts education and
performance opportunities. Our goal is to expand access to the arts to bring
the associated benefits of academic and personal development to underserved
individuals, and communities.


Toward that goal, Empowered Players programming includes free classes and
camps to be held at area community centers, theaters, schools, churches, and
any locale where kids are welcome and music is encouraged. The learning
programs created by Empowered Players are designed to teach life skills and
instill values that translate to the world beyond the stage. Drawing on a range
of theatrical learning experiences and activities, Empowered Players cultivates
an environment where young people can grow and thrive, both as individuals
and as members of a cooperative team.


Our programs incorporate a multi-faceted teaching approach, emphasizing the
traditional elements of acting, singing, film, and dancing, while also modeling
and stressing the importance of respect, team building, community awareness,
and responsibility. The learning programs created by Empowered Players are
designed to teach life skills and instill values that translate to the world beyond
the stage. Drawing on a range of theatrical learning experiences and activities,
Empowered Players cultivates an environment where young people can grow
and thrive, both as individuals and as members of a cooperative team.


History: Empowered Players was founded by then high-school student, Jessica
Harris out of her passion for the arts and strong desire to share that passion
with others. Far too often these benefits are limited to those residing in
metropolitan areas. Likewise, families with limited economic resources are
often unable to provide their children with acting, vocal or dance training, or
tickets to professional performances. Thus, Jessica created Empowered Players
as a vehicle to bring arts training and performance opportunities to youth in
her community. Partnering with the local arts council, a local performance
group, the county parks and recreation department, and other community

members, Jess secured free space to offer classes and camps. EP began with a
summer of free camps, classes, and performances, and quickly led to the
formation of an acting troupe, the continuation of arts training during the
school year, the addition elementary and middle school acting troupes, and the
production of live performances during the school year, as well as in the
summer. In its first summer, EP served 12 students. With phenomenal growth,
EP now works with over 100 students on an ongoing basis, and entertains
hundreds of students and family community members through community
performances.


What We Do:
• Empowered Players offer accessible arts education and performance
opportunities for young people.
• Through arts education and mentorship Empowered Players expose
young people to the magic of the performing arts. Ultimately, the goal of
this program is to acquaint area youth with the wonder and
transformative power of working together to create live theater.
• The learning programs created by Empowered Players are designed to
teach life skills and instill values that translate to the world beyond the
stage. Drawing on a range of theatrical learning experiences and
activities, Empowered Players cultivates an environment where young
people can grow and thrive, both as individuals and as members of a
cooperative team.
• Empowered Players engages in a multi-faceted approach to theatre
education. We emphasize not only the traditional elements of acting,
singing, and dancing, but we make it our priority to help in the
development of respectful, thoughtful, reflective, and aware young people
equipped with the life skills and sense of purpose they need to be
successful students and future leaders empowered to leave a positive
mark in their community.

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