Hollywood Fringe Festival Scholarship Winner:
Message From The Fringe:
The Hollywood Fringe Scholarship Program is dedicated to providing accessible spaces for the shows they support. The festival, our presenting venues and the scholarship winners will provide a limited number of 14pt+ font scripts (in the language the show is presented in), accessible seating, and other ADA accommodations upon request. If you are in search of these or any other services, please email [email protected] to reserve in advance. -————————————————————————————————-
SugarFree is a thought-provoking, emotional and hopeful one-hour, one-woman play. It explores the effects of growing up in foster care that leave young adults poorly prepared to enter adulthood and the responsibilities that go with it. The play was written, produced and is acted by Shari Walker, who spent much of her teen years in foster care.
In the author’s words: “SugarFree Foster Care combines the difficult journey of foster youth through my perspective as both a social worker and foster child. I interspersed poetry, personal narrative, humor, and real-life experiences for a theater experience that tugs at the heartstrings of our greatest human needs in the midst of the social welfare system’s inadequacies.”
Q. Why is the subject of the play so important?
A. The challenges that youth leaving the foster care system are staggering:
• 1 in 5 will become homeless after age 18
• Only half will be employed at age 24
• 1 in 4 will suffer PTSD
• 71% of women will become pregnant by age 21
• Less than 3% will earn a college degree
Q. What is the goal of the play?
A. The author seeks to get the attention of community, social welfare and government leaders who have the power to reform the system; as well as foster youth between ages 14 and 26 and the general public who can make a difference through volunteering, mentoring and donating to non-profits serving this population.