In 1999, Talmadge Ragan and Debbie Wastling formed Kings & Clowns as an educational nonprofit to bring classical theatre to students in schools. A group of professional actors toured edited versions of Shakespeare for three years in several schools. Between 1999 and 2007, Kings & Clowns produced 13 shows with the Hermosa Beach Playhouse and surrounding school districts. Schools began partnering with Kings & Clowns to provide educational opportunities for the children within the school day and thus was born “Kings and Clowns in Training”.
In 2005, Kings & Clowns created “Arts Alive” to offer more disciplines for in-school and after-school programs. Starting with their first partner school in Carson, they began hiring qualified and specialized teaching artists to teach small groups of woodwinds, keyboard and drama. Since the inception of this program, Kings & Clowns (now more commonly known as Arts Alive LA) serves over 15 schools throughout LA County from Long Beach to Downtown LA offering classes and performance opportunities for youth.
The Arts Alive program is a value-based organization that puts the benefits of our students first creating lifelong learners who are INNOVATIVE and HARDWORKING team players. Students join the Arts Alive program as more than enrichment, but a chance to engage in sequential, standardized arts curriculum that will continually build their skills both on stage and off.