Acting Out

The Motor City may never lack for drama, but until the Mosaic Youth Theatre came along there were few opportunities for young people to express themselves on stage.

"I would take professional actors out to schools to teach theater, and...more than 90 percent of those schools in Detroit had no drama program at all," said Rick Sperling, an Oberlin College grad who in 1992 founded the theater project—which is engaged in more than 50 urban and suburban schools.

Mosaic now involves more than 250 actors, singers, writers, and technicians ages 12 to 19 who rehearse after school and on weekends and train with professionals for free. This summer's production, "Reality," was written by Mosaic members based on Moliere's 1672 comedy "The Learned Ladies" and told through the lens of reality-based TV.

—Rose Marie Berger

Photos by Jim West

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