Edwin Buggage Editor-in-Chief
Aspiring to Reach Higher
Throughout his life and career in the arts, Anthony Bean has been about empowering, informing and inspiring people. Showcasing Black Excellence and aspirations through his stage plays and teaching, his summer camp continues to be one that gives the youth of New Orleans a place to shine and tap into their full potential.
“I have been doing this camp for a long time,” says Bean, sitting in his home uptown speaking of his passion for working in the community and especially with young people. “They are our future and I feel sometimes many looks at the youth of our City and have negative views of them. I would like to present something else and show that these kids, with the right guidance can show that they can be focused, disciplined and dedicated. Showing the world, they have what it takes to be not only successful onstage, but in life.”
This year’s camp will be held at the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra which is located on 1436 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. in Central City from June 7th thru July 16th from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM Mon. – Fri. With a culminating performance of “Shut Up and Dance” a Dance Musical Play written by Anthony Bean.
In addition to Bean training young people on the stage, he will also broadcast their great work on “ABCT Teen TV Reality Show” where they will speak of issues affecting teens and interview community leaders, including a one hour show with New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell. The show will air on WUPL-MY54.
Shaping the Next Generation for Greatness
Bean continues to change lives and making the community better. His is one that shapes all people for greatness, especially African American males. He feels a greater investment in them is necessary to combat much of what happens to them when they fall through the cracks and are not able to thrive and shoot for the stars.
Seeing some become part of the school to prison pipeline or victims of gun violence. He believes more resources at the community level will address the root causes of the problem and can help in bring about solutions. ABCT, have been part of this solution by giving young people a voice that can empower.
The Bean Effect…Young People talks about ABCT and How It Impacted Their Lives (Bold)
There are many success stories of young people coming out of the theater that are in the arts are other endeavors armed with the tools given to them by Bean.
When people ask me, what does ABCT mean to me? I tell them it a place I can always call home. Growing up I was a stage guy; I grew up in the Anthony Bean Community Theater and Acting School. The legendary Anthony Bean taught me a lot when it came to acting. He taught me to always stay ready, because you never know when the director will call your name for that lead role.”
ABCT is a place where I do not have to be afraid to be me. I can feel free to talk about anything that is on my mind as a young Black girl growing up in America. Mr. Bean allows us to express ourselves and be proud to be in a space that is designed with us in mind.
Tyler Nowell Felix
Anthony Bean Theater has been a big part of my life since I was knee high to a duck. It has guided me through life by giving me the necessary tools and knowledge I need to succeed in my chosen field of dramatic arts. When I think of the theater, I think of Mr. Bean, because without him there would be no Anthony Bean Community Theater and Acting School. Mr. Bean is a loudmouth, open minded, ready to set you straight at a moment’s notice all while keeping a smile on his face and yours. Mr. Bean cares for all kids especially Black kids and wants to see them succeed in life. Acting is his passion, and he will teach you everything he knows if you are willing to let him guide you. He believes in the “No Wall” approach. It means to let go and believe there are no boundaries when it comes to acting. Be as silly as you can be or as dramatic as you can be.
ABCT is especially important to me because, it has always been there for me and countless other kids just like me. Showing “Black Children” how to overcome any obstacle. Because of ABCT, I feel like I can take on any challenge and be successful. Mr. Bean is always saying “Triston, make sure you know who you are, not only as a man but as a” Black Man” when it comes to this world we live in; know that and no one or nothing can pull the wool over your head. You hear me young man, make sure you never lose sight of who you are, as long as you continue to do that, no matter what you try to accomplish in life, it will come and find you; you don’t have to go looking for it”. I honestly believe every Black child in America should have the chance to grow up in a place like the Anthony Bean Community Theater and Acting School.