When Saint Joan Looks Like a Foster Child

When a young budding actress who has lived most of her life in foster care sees St. Joan on Broadway starring Condola Rashad and says “Oh!  She looks like me! I could do that!” it gives us another reason for urgency to have full representation in entertainment!Not only was Ms. Rashad brilliant but she was kind and generous with her time after the show.

waiting for autograph

getting autograph

gondola rashad supporting a dream

I’m going to keep this young actress’ name private here but some day you will see her in the arts, either on stage or behind the scenes.

believing the dream

She went to see Ms. Rashad perform twice with two different FYD mentors because it is rare that we see people who represent our #fostercare population in such a unique and inspiring way on Broadway. Thank you, Ms. Rashad from all of us at Foster Your Dream! 🙂  A wonderful time was had by all! 🙂

Toy Drive

TOY DRIVE was huge success!  We collected 3 times as many toys as 2017!

In December we said:  TOY DRIVE 2018 is in full swing!

You can donate new toys for any ages at the lobby of 36 west 44th Street, between 6th Ave and 5th Ave….or the Signature Theatre on 42nd street between 10th Avenue and 9th Avenue.

New and unwrapped.  Any age group.  Let’s make this the biggest one yet!  Last year we got a letter from the commissioner:

We bring the toys to the ACS Children’s Center where all ages go when they get pulled out of their homes.  The Center houses them until a proper foster family can be found.  This can be days or weeks or months.  Our mission with the toys is to give them a few minutes of happiness while they chose a toy to bring with them to their new foster home.


FYD Has Ongoing Toy Drive For Foster Children

Our first ever Holiday Toy Drive was such a success!

When a child gets pulled from their dangerous living situation they often get  placed in the Children’s Center while waiting for a foster home. They are scared and sad. We decided to give them a few minutes of distraction and hopefully happiness by letting them choose a toy and bring it with them to their new home.

How did this start?

Painted Angel overlooks our Human Angels!

The angels at the Signature Theatre organized the first one for us.

Left to Right: Molly Shoemaker, Frank Gambino, Colleen Hughes, Sarah Lang

It started with a bin….

…and a few toys from patrons and staff …

… and bloomed in to a wonderful experience and inventory fun.  Many thanks to Colleen Hughes and ACS!

Then another surprise happened as Nancy Sing Bock from neighboring PS51 brought over a group of students with a load of toys!  Ms. Bock had walked by the Signature theatre many times on her way to her school and one day saw the sign for the FYD Toy Drive. She wanted her children to understand service and ‘giving’ first hand so they organized their very own toy drive!  Literally the day before everyone scattered for the holidays, this group came by with yet another load of toys and the Signature staff and FYD was in happy and humble shock.

THANK YOU TO ALL AND LET’S KEEP THE TOYS COMING! CONTACT ME TO FIND OUT HOW TO DONATE TOYS TO US!  sue wolf at foster your dream dot org (all smushed together!)

Teknopolis Funopolis

Sometimes the theatre things we rustle up are too “out there” for children who haven’t been exposed to much theatre.  So when we approached The Children’s Center we asked the recreation director, Timothy Dugger, to keep an eye on BAM’s website and let us know if his children wanted to participate in something.   He was excited about TEKNOPOLIS and we scored 12 tickets from Dewonnie Frederick!

Everyone had a blast and we poured a little science knowledge into our kids and got them out and about on a Saturday afternoon!

The People Speak to Foster Your Dream

BAM and the Onassis Cultural Center New York presented The People Speak, gathering actors and musicians to bring to life Howard Zinn’s extraordinary history of ordinary people.  With Staceyann Chin, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Talib Kweli, Deva Mahal, Aasif Mandvi, Frances McDormand, Peter Sarsgaard Stew, David Strathairn and Marisa Tomei among the performers, FYD jumped at the chance to attend.

As sometimes happens, a promise of 10 coming to the show only produced 2.  But the story of the 2 is heartwarming and important.

This client who came and brought a friend, is an avid theatre goer and wishes to become an actor. We’ve known her for many years.  She arrived and said to me “I emancipated today!”  I said “Congratulations!” She said “Well, now I’m not sure!”  We grabbed a burger and she told me the details (which I have changed to protect her identity).

She has been in a foster family in Queens and works in Queens.  Her foster mother decided it was not a good fit (after many years) and ACS decided to move her 42 miles away to another foster home.  She was so frustrated at being torn away from work and friends and ‘the system’ that she decided to emancipate herself then and there.  She wasn’t even sure where she was going to sleep that night.  Yet … she came to the theatre with a friend who had never been to the theatre.

There we sat the three of us and watched a stage full of artists perform empowering and wondrous speeches of resistance.  The girls were enthralled.  Afterwards we went to Dunkin Donuts, watched a drunken man pass out and the paramedics come and discussed how empowering the event was to them.  They remembered and recounted many of the speeches and were wowed by the performances.  I won’t go in to further details but this young woman is so inspiring to me. I hope that performers know that their efforts can often serve as salve against heartbreak which I saw it do with my own eyes that night.   When a young person doesn’t even know where he/she will rest his/her head that night and still comes out to see some theatre, I bow down to the strength of all foster youths everywhere.

Everybody Goes to See Everybody

What happens when Everybody goes to see Everybody, the play? We loved it.  It wasn’t for everybody (meaning younger patrons) thus we invited some of our older Foster Youths who had their mind blown by the production, which boasts a randomness in casting and madcap foray into death!

We were able to expose some of our deeper thinkers to Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and his creative and humorous mind!

We spent time afterwards discussing life and death and dancing skeletons (in the play of course!) thanks to the Signature Theatre and Colleen Hughes!