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A Message from our Director – November 2014

Every year at Thanksgiving, I start thinking of the few holidays I have spent abroad away from my family.

We recently had an actor named Jack start his program in Kenya volunteering to collaborate with an amazing Theatre for Development group in the slums of Nairobi, and it’s made me reflect on the time I first started working with this group myself…just over eight years ago!

In early November 2006, I met the director of this theatre group and started understanding the incredible power and potential for the performing arts to create social change and development in marginalized communities.  In a way, this was the very beginning of the idea for Performing Arts Abroad!

A few weeks later, Thanksgiving rolled around and here is a snippet from my blog entry that day, November 27th, 2006:

“We cooked a simple meal of macaroni and cheese, rolls, maize on the cob, and mixed vegetables. As we shared the food around a small coffee table in our humble little apartment, we went around and talked about those things for which we are thankful. Let me tell you, we had a lot to say.”

Today, I still have a lot to say about what I’m thankful for, starting always with my friends and family.  But I want to express special thanks this year to all of our participants and alums who make PAA the special and life-changing organization it is, especially those who are currently abroad and will miss spending this Thanksgiving with their families.  May your experience of sharing Thanksgiving with new friends and host families be as touching and life-giving as mine was eight years ago in Kenya!

As always, I welcome you to e-mail me directly at   with any questions regarding our programs and how to get involved.  For a full list of locations where we offer programs, please see below.

Program Locations:

Costa Rica
Galapagos Islands
South Africa

Reynolds Whalen
Director of Performing Arts Abroad

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