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Learning and Laughter Through Theater

Feb 20, 2011

“No matter how important your message or how powerful your story, making an impact on someone is all about drawing on your own experiences,” according to Girl Scout Leah Koch.

Leah’s impact and her experiences have been shaped by her time as a Girl Scout. She won both her Gold Award and became a Young Woman of Distinction for her work on a play and children’s book about a girl named Clementine.

“The message of the project is “be who you are.” In the play, Clementine was so scared to be herself but she discovered that that’s the only way to truly be happy,” said Leah.

Leah channeled her love of theater to deliver the message she had in mind, and recruited friends as actors in the play. They performed for several young audiences, some of whom were patients at local hospitals in Leah’s home town of Chicago.

Leah Koch

“I wanted to use the power of theater as I knew it to bring laughter into the lives of kids who needed it the most. Theater meant so many things to me at different times, but there were moments when it would just lift me up from a dark place. I wanted to help others experience that uplift,” she said.

The process was uplifting for Leah and the other actors too. They each had favorite performances and personal takeaways that they recorded after the project was complete.

Leah is now working to have the picture book she wrote based on the play published, and hopes that other girls will follow her lead to do what they love.

“It doesn’t matter what your passion is – mine happens to be theater,” said Leah. “If you’re passionate about trees, hunger, arts education or pretty much anything under the sun, make it your mission to do something about that passion.”