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changing lives youth theatre ensemble

original theatrical productions written and performed by youth artists and activists

Changing Lives Youth Theatre Ensemble (CLYTE) is a collaboration between Creative Action and Expect Respect, a program of SAFE. Since 2003, CLYTE has offered original theatrical productions written and performed by youth artists and activists. Each year, the ensemble is paid to write, rehearse, and tour a brand new show around the themes of healthy relationships, social justice, and violence prevention, reaching up to 3,000 audience members across the greater Austin area. 

currently touring

weathering the storm

From the outside, Kenzie has it all figured out. She’s a cheerleader who has caught the eye of her dreamy classmate Sebastian, and everyone thinks it’s a match made in heaven. But when she shares a moment of connection with Sebastian’s friend Delphine at a party, Kenzie finds herself drawn to Delphine’s confidence and self-possession. Meanwhile, there’s friction at home as her family navigates a stressful financial situation. Will Kenzie find the strength to question the expectations of those around her, weather the storm of adolescence, and explore her own independence?

The play reflects the experience of exploring your identity and helps youth (grades 6-8) recognize signs of peer pressure and manipulation.


past performances include

Meet the directors

headshot of Jacqui

jacqui calloway: creative action

Jacqui is an actor, educator, and theatremaker who has appeared on Rosewood (FOX), The Inspectors (CBS), and the CW Seed’s I Ship It. She is a VORTEX company member and winner of four B. Iden Payne Awards. Jacqui has taught acting at Texas State University and The Actor’s School (in affiliation with Austin Community College), and is an ensemble member and teaching artist for the Paramount Story Wranglers. Fun Fact: She has performed at the Teen Choice Awards! Learn more at

claire k. redfield: expect respect

Claire is a director, educator, and community-engaged artist. She has taught undergraduate courses in Acting: Viewpoints and Composition and Advanced Viewpoints at Arizona State University and as a teaching artist for six years at the Tony Award winning Lookingglass Theatre. Claire has also worked as a director and dramaturg at numerous Chicago theatres, including her own theatre company focused on gender, identity, and representation: Eleusis Collective. Claire is also a proud co-founder of community-based theatre company Sleeveless Acts. Learn more at

watch the video to hear from our teens

teens, Want to get paid to perform?

Auditions for this paid opportunity are open to all Austin area high school students! You don’t need to be a theatre expert. We are looking for team players who are excited to work with others on collaborative artistic projects. We offer spring and fall auditions.

Want to bring Changing lives to your school or event?

CLYTE tours from March to early May each year. We have performed at over 25 different middle schools in the greater Austin area, as well as conferences for AATE and Healthy Futures of TX, the AISD Pride Festival, The Cohen New Works Festival, Austin Central Library, and Foundation Communities.

Our performances are approximately 1 hour long, including a pre-show activity, a 35-40 minute runtime, and a post-show talkback. Each year, we write a new play, but previous themes have included: navigating jealousy, setting healthy boundaries, giving and getting consent, identifying emotional abuse, using nonviolent communication, and grappling with unrealistic expectations set by social media. 

Performances are $300 for a half day of up to two performances, or $500 for a full day of up to four performances. However, we never turn schools away for financial reasons and have many scholarships available.

Interested schools or community partners can contact and to learn more about the booking process.

Check out the schools we have worked with

  • Covington Middle School
  • Small Middle School
  • KIPP
  • Del Valle Middle School
  • Webb Middle School
  • Park Crest Middle School
  • Dessau Middle School
  • Pflugerville Middle School
  • Headwaters Middle School
  • Hill Country Middle School
  • Bedichek Middle School
  • Manor Middle School
  • Gus Garcia Middle School
  • Navarro High School
  • Texas School for the Blind & Visually Impaired
  • Martin Middle School
  • Decker Middle School
  • Bertha Sadler Means Middle School
  • Provan Opportunity Center
  • Gorzycki Middle School
  • Dobie Middle School
  • Manor Tech Middle School
  • East Austin Prep School
  • Austin Discovery School
  • Kealing Middle School
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