Founded in 1997 by David Feiner and Laura Wiley, Albany Park Theater Project (APTP) is a multiethnic, youth theater ensemble that inspires people to envision a more just and beautiful world. APTP's youth ensemble creates original theater that shares the real-life stories of people whose stories might otherwise go untold: urban teens, immigrants, and working-class Americans. APTP has created more than 50 original performance works, integrating theater, music, and dance. The ensemble has performed for more than 30,000 people at its 100-seat home theater and at venues and events throughout Chicago and beyond, including the Chicago Humanities Festival, the Goodman Theatre, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and Northwestern University. APTP is the subject of the forthcoming documentary, Trust, from filmmakers Nancy Kelly and Kenji Yamamoto. In 2006, APTP's co-founder and co-director, Laura Wiley, was featured in the documentary, Beauty Rises: Four Lives in the Arts, commissioned by the Illinois Arts Council and produced by Chicago Public Television. APTP is also known for its outstanding youth development achievements. APTP teens have a 72% better high school graduation rate, a 42% higher college matriculation rate, and a 600% higher college graduation rate than the average for students in Chicago's public schools. APTP was recognized with the 2004 Coming Up Taller Award by the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities, the nation's highest award for cultural organizations that encourage the participation of young people in the arts.
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