La Cage aux Folles IMPACT PROJECT

Beginning with Season 15, Arizona Broadway Theatre launched a new program to create community-related Impact Projects to accompany each production. These projects are designed to provide ABT the opportunity to expand its community engagement in meaningful, measurable and memorable ways that extend beyond the stage. Art, as they say, imitates life, and with each production come real-life show-specific themes that correlate to topics and issues of the day. With this in mind, ABT will run a teen-youth anti-bullying community Impact Project entitled, “I Am What I Am” in conjunction with the run of La Cage aux Folles.

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Opening on Broadway in 1983, La Cage broke barriers for gay representation by becoming one of the first hit Broadway musicals centered around a same-sex relationship. The show’s now-infamous torch song, “I Am What I Am,” has become an anthem within the greater LGBTQ community worldwide.

“While the central theme of La Cage focuses on issues of inclusion and acceptance related to the LGBTQ+ community,” says Brad York, ABT Director of Marketing & Development, “Our intent with the ‘I Am What I Am!’ teen-youth anti-bullying Impact Project is to broaden the focus of inclusion and acceptance among all people, regardless of one’s sexual orientation, gender identity, race, religious, national origin, physical disability, or socio-economic background; especially teen-youth who confront the demands and pressures inflicted by today’s social atmosphere.”

ABT is partnering with Phoenix-based One n Ten, whose mission is to serve LGBTQ youth and young adults ages 11-24. They enhance their lives by providing empowering social and service programs that promote self‐expression, self‐acceptance, leadership development, and healthy life choices.

Another long-time ABT partner, ONE Community, launched the UNITY Pledge, a concerted effort by Arizona businesses, organizations, faith leaders, and individuals to advance workplace equality and equal treatment in housing and public accommodations for LGBTQ individuals and their allies. ABT was the first arts organization in Arizona to sign the pledge. To date, more than 3,200 businesses and over 20,000 Arizonans have taken the UNITY Pledge, which is the largest equality pledge in the nation. ABT will continue to support ONE  Community’s efforts in the community through this Impact Project.


Only 20-30% of students who are bullied tell adults or authorities.

Approximately 30% of young people admit to bullying others.

The most common types of bullying are verbal and social.

20% of students ages 12-18 experience bullying.

Most bullying happens in middle school.

70.6% of young people say they have seen bullying in their schools.

41% of school staff witness bullying once a week or more.

15% of students ages 12-18 were bullied online or by text.

29.3% of middle school students have experienced bullying in the classroom.

29.2% of middle school students have been hit, slapped, or kicked by bullies.

Adults often don’t know how to respond when they recognize bullying.

When bystanders intervene, bullying stops within 10 seconds 57% of the time.


RESOURCES – Text HOME to 741741 from anywhere in the USA to text with a trained Crisis Counselor.

AZ Teen Helpline: 602-248-8336 (TEEN)