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Paramount Theatre offers free "Keep it Positive" workshop

Sep 11, 2018 10:15AM ● Published by Tim

The Keep It Positive workshop is spurred by themes of self respect championed in Paramount Theatre's Legally Blonde, starring (right) Casey Schuler as Elle Woods and James Rank as Professor Callahan, seen here in a scene involving sexual harassment between student and teacher.

AURORA, IL, September 10, 2018 – Spurred by the theme of self-respect championed in Paramount Theatre’s new production of Legally Blonde, Paramount’s Education and Community Engagement Department is partnering with Mutual Ground and the Aurora Police Department to offer a free Keep It Positive workshop Monday, September 24 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at West Aurora High School, 1201 W. New York St., Aurora.

 The Keep it Positive workshop targets students ages 11 to 18 and is designed to empower young women to pursue healthy relationships and not be scared to stand up for themselves. Hands-on self-defense training and other resources will be offered. It is presented as part of the new Dive Deeper series of workshops being introduced by Paramount’s new Education and Community Engagement department.

 This event is free, but space is limited. Please register in advance at paramountaurora.com/education/#dive-deeper-programs.

 “The Keep it Positive workshop is another way Paramount Theatre is ushering Legally Blonde into the current decade,” said Shannon Cameron, Director of Education and Community Engagement, Paramount Theatre. “Amidst the Time’s Up movement and #metoo, Elle Woods’ story opens the floor for empowered discussion about women’s safety and commanding respect in workplace and educational settings.”

Workshop topics include sexual harassment, assault and teen dating violence. A professional from Mutual Ground will share how young people can best advocate for themselves. After the presentation, Sergeant Larry Suttles and Officer Christine Tunney of the Aurora Police Department will lead a self-defense workshop demonstrating easy-to-learn techniques that can be instrumental in helping a child stay safe. Note: all three organizations are committed to creating a program that benefits and serves all students, regardless of gender.

 “We are thrilled to be involved with this very important program serving the youth in our service area. The discussion surrounding sexual abuse and dating violence can be tough, but it is an important conversation to have if we want to ensure the safety of the children and teens in our community,” said Kathy Melone, Advancement Director at Mutual Ground. “At the heart of the Keep It Positive program we will be teaching participants that sticking up for yourself is the only way to truly remain safe, and that never goes out of style.”

 "We are excited to collaborate with Paramount Theatre and Mutual Ground in keeping kids safe,” said Aurora Police Officer Skyy Calice. “Our mission is to enhance the quality of life in Aurora through innovation, partnerships and dedicated service to our community. We want the youth of Aurora to know that their safety is of utmost importance. We will be extending our resources to educate students on how to be safe while walking home from school or hanging out with friends. During the self-defense portion of the program we will discuss being aware of your surroundings, how to defend yourself from offenders against youth and getting to a safe place to call for help.”

 Paramount Theatre’s Legally Blonde, directed by Paramount Artistic Associate and Casting Director Trent Stork with music direction by Kory Danielson, is the first production in its 2018-2019 Broadway Series. Based on the 2001 film starring Reese Witherspoon, the musical follows Delta Nu sorority sister, Elle Woods, to the hallowed halls of Harvard Law School as she proves staying true to yourself never goes out of style. Performances run through October 21 at Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd. in downtown Aurora. For tickets and information, visit paramountaurora.com or call (630) 896-6666.

 About Mutual Ground

 Mutual Ground is a non-profit agency providing trauma-informed, victim-centered services to individuals and families impacted by domestic and sexual violence. It is the only comprehensive domestic and sexual violence center servicing southern Kane and Kendall Counties, including the City of Aurora. For more information, visit mutualground.org.

  About Paramount’s Education and Community Engagement Department

 Paramount’s Education and Community Engagement Department is gearing up for the grand opening next year of the new Paramount School of the Arts in the new John C. Dunham Aurora Arts Center at 5 E. Galena Blvd., directly adjacent to Paramount Theatre.

 Construction crews are currently reconverting the basement and first floor of the former Waubonsee Community College building to house over 23,000-square-feet of private and group classroom space, parent lounges, a keyboard lab, a music recording studio and a 1,400-square-foot sprung floor dance studio. The school’s crown jewel - a 1,200-square-foot flexible studio theater - will be outfitted with retractable seating, with additional balcony seating to accommodate audiences of up to 165 for student performed plays, musicals, dance and live music events.

 Paramount’s new Director of Education and Community Engagement, Shannon Cameron, is busy overseeing all planning, curriculum development, partnerships and staffing for the all-new performing arts education center. The school will offer the best in theater, music and dance instruction for children as young as six months, with opportunities for adults and seniors as well. The school also is committed to being accessible and affordable to all students interested in the arts, including persons with special needs and from low-income families.


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