1st Stage launches free Youth Engagement Subscription (YES) pass for Fairfax County high school students

Now in its 12th season, the professional 1st Stage Theatre located in Tysons, Virginia, serves as a cultural hub for the community. Beyond producing award-winning theatrical productions, 1st Stage hosts professional musicians, orchestras, and visual artists, and provides educational opportunities for the community.

1st Stage Associate Artistic Director Deidra LaWan Starnes. Photo courtesy of 1st Stage.
1st Stage Associate Artistic Director Deidra LaWan Starnes. Photo courtesy of 1st Stage.

And now 1st Stage is doing even more for the community. The theatre company announced something remarkable–free theatre subscriptions for Fairfax County High School students.

Founded by Fairfax County Public School Educators, 1st Stage believes that theatre should be accessible to the young minds of the next generation of artists, creators, and patrons. “Time and time again we hear that theatre is transformative, life-changing, relevant, and any other word or words that describe its necessity. Theatre is many things, but unfortunately, it is often inaccessible. We want our youth to have accessibility,” said Deidra LaWan Starnes, 1st Stage’s Associate Artistic Director. “We want to make it easy for them to have up close and personal theatrical experiences. So we said, ‘YES!'”

“YES” is the 1st Stage Youth Engagement Subscription or YES Pass. The YES Pass is a free season subscription for all mainstage shows and is being offered to every high school student in Fairfax County. The Fairfax County Public School (FCPS) system is the largest in Virginia and in the local DMV area. There are about 185,000 students in FCPS, with over 50,000 attending more than two dozen high schools,

The YES program is sponsored by the Ruth and Hal Launders Charitable Trust.

“The mission of the Ruth and Hal Launders Charitable Trust is to provide funds to worthy organizations that seek to better mankind. 1st Stage is extraordinarily grateful to the Ruth and Hal Launders Charitable Trust for believing in 1st Stage’s ability to fulfill this mission by providing artistically excellent experiences to all members of our community. We are so grateful for their support,” said Emily Wall, 1st Stage’s Associate Producer.

With the new YES Pass, 1st Stage aims to ensure that students are not denied access to live theater due to economic barriers, and will have new opportunities to be part of the discussion and the artistic life of Fairfax County. For YES Pass details, contact Deidra Starnes, 1st Stage’s Associate Artistic Director at deidrastarnes@1ststage.org or go online.

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