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In line with our mission to create original work that leads to lasting change, Collaboraction has created and developed The Peacemakers, lead by our Director of Youth Programming, Luis Crespo. The Peacemakers is a group of teen artists who generate their own work dedicated to telling their stories and cultivating a dialogue of hope and change.


Additionally, Collaboraction has teamed up with After School Matters to create the Teen Ensemble in which students create, rehearse and perform their own showThe sessions occur every semester, giving new students a chance to learn and create, year after year.


Collaboraction's Youth Programming is online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Check out our weekly writing for performance youth masterclass The Prodigy's Workshop!

Join Collaboraction's Youth Theater Program! 


High school students can register on and search for "Collaboraction Teen Theater Ensemble" when looking for programs. Fill out the application for our summer program and set up and interview/audition with Luis Crespo at

Have any questions? Let Luis know!

After School Matters® (ASM) is a non-profit organization that offers Chicago high school teens innovative out-of-school activities through Science, Sports, Tech, Words and the nationally recognized Gallery programs. It is ASM’s vision to provide teens with opportunities to discover their potential and find their future.

A NOTE FROM LUIS CRESPO, Director of Youth Programming


During my teen years, I participated in after school programming and summer programs similar to the one we run here at Collaboraction, and it made a profound impact on my life, enough to where I find myself full circle as mentor privileged to guide youth the way I was as a teen. Watching the group grow, learn and support one another as they develop, train and prepare is a beautiful thing. Being a witness to the power of arts programming in a young persons life and the way community programs can help shape, guide, empower and inspire youth is immensely rewarding. Providing a space where teens can be safe to discuss, create, play, devise, develop and perform is as important and vital as the process or the final performance and goes beyond Theater or a summer program. It’s about those young people eager to change the future. Its about nurturing and giving the young men and women in this city a voice so their talent and potential can shine.

The chance to take Crime Scene and have the teens put their voice and fingerprint on it was not only a great opportunity, but a giant responsibility. Having teens from around the city bringing Crime Scene to life was scary and intense. Yet, the teen ensemble approaches the source material with honor and truth. They infuse themselves into the stories, accounts and the horrors of violence that plague Chicago, and they’re doing justice to the play in the way that only teens can. Collaboraction’s Teen Ensemble works for 6 weeks to 10 weeks on a draft of the original Crime Scene: a Chicago Anthology and through various workshops, theater activities and discussions develop their own version of this play about increasing the awareness of violence, and in the process, transform into new advocates and heroes with the goal to increase the peace and spread the love.