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Annual Summer Cops and Musicals Program Starts

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By BJ Austin, KERA News

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/kera/local-kera-841618.mp3

Dallas, TX – The Dallas Summer Musicals and the Police Department are launching the fifth year of the "Stage Right" program. KERA's BJ Austin says it's a summer curriculum built around musical theatre and the arts - with a "do the right thing" message.

Stage Right began five years ago with 100 at-risk kids, ages 10 to 15. This summer, 800 are enrolled in the program created by Dallas Summer Musicals President Michael Jenkins and Dallas Police Narcotics Detective Monty Moncibias. He says the name came from a basic stage direction used by theatre directors.

Moncibias: We took that component and then the philosophy of law enforcement and doing the right thing and we joined them together and called it "Stage Right." These kids are being influenced at a very early age to do the right thing: to stay away from drugs, to stay away from crime, to stay away from gangs.

The program puts kids in a constructive summer activity, and exposes them to the arts. After a 12 week curriculum, the Stage Right students participate in production of one of the shows at the Music Hall.

Email BJ Austin