May: Life Lines Community Arts Project & SPHS Present “WITH LOVE”

Life Lines Community Arts Project is a free, nationally-recognized year-round arts and leadership program for youth, ages 10-21, that brings together the arts, education and social work to engage young people in group experiences that promote individual growth, encourage mutual aid, develop leadership, and build community.

Each year, Life Lines presents an improvisational play that brings to life the struggles and vitality of young people and families in our diverse neighborhood. Although there is a skeletal outline of scenes, there is no written script for the final show. Instead, characters play out their situations in improvised dialogue that changes from performance to performance.

"WITH LOVE" - The E-Sports Tournament

“WITH LOVE” – The E-Sports Tournament

Youth are directly involved in each stage of the spring show design process. Through character development, creative writing, community research, dance, music, and visual art, members share with staff their ideas, feelings, and experiences — these are integrated into original pieces for the production. Following a fall semester of dance, vocal and improvisational acting skill development, our auditioned Repertory Company meets twice a week and participates in a February rehearsal retreat to select the themes and develop core content for the show. The January – April “creation” phase culminates with a Camping Rehearsal retreat for the full cast of participants at the Fresh Air Fund in Upstate New York. Over three days we bring together the dances, songs, ensemble pieces, scenery and props created by all Life Lines groups and troupes. Then, it is back to Brooklyn to rehearse, rehearse, rehearse!

Riley and her mother reconnect with empathy and understanding


The Talk with Troy podcast giving everyone a laugh!

This year’s show, WITH LOVE, illustrates love in its many forms! Our show begins with a classroom of high school students with complicated feelings towards love; they start the show wondering whether the vulnerability and trust that love requires is worth the risk in a world that makes us feel like it’s “every person for themselves.” These characters include two mother-daughter duos navigating senior year in their own loving way, a teacher offering support to a student whose family members have newly arrived to this country, mischievous pranksters determined to bring chaos to the school day, an up-and-coming podcaster sharing his philosophy on life, and video gamer friends finding connection in the virtual world.

The scenes, songs, dances, and featured performances from SPHS student groups inspire us to choose love and notice that we’re surrounded by it all the time.


We are thrilled that our performances reached 1,700 elementary, middle, and high school students and over 500 family and community members. We are incredibly grateful to our participants, parents, family members, school and community partners for supporting and joining us for these moving performances as our young people remind us that…


“When hate tries to take the command,
Together we have the strength to withstand.
When it comes to the world that we’ll build,
We’ll build love!”

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