About Running to Places

Mission Statement:
Running to Places (R2P) is a youth theatre company, fostering a safe and supportive community which provides opportunities for the development of life skills to all interested youth through theatre.
My Image
Running to Places (or R2P, as it’s usually known) brings middle and high school students together from across Tompkins County to make friends and develop critical life skills through the art of theatre. Since R2P began in 2007, we have seen hundreds of young people from across Tompkins County and beyond forge deep, life-long friendships that transcend the barriers that so often divide them. We are in the business of youth development, helping raise our community’s children and making excellent theatre in the process. We provide opportunities for personal growth and the development of valuable life-skills, such as:

  • Working under pressure with a deadline they cannot move,
  • Assimilating direction quickly and gracefully,
  • Improvising when things fail to go as planned
  • Working collaboratively with a diverse group of people who may be outside their everyday experience,
  • Successfully managing their time and preparing independently,
  • Excelling as an individual while being part of a ensemble that is greater than the sum of its parts,
  • And so much more!
  • Participation is 100% FREE! Students are given instruction by committed professionals who see this work as a powerful tool for youth development, as well as an important art form. Young people from every school district in the area (including homeschoolers) are encouraged to participate.
Stacks Image 3830
“R2P has shaped me in more ways then I can express. Because of the community I had in R2P I never felt that I had to hide who I was to be “cool” in middle or high school, so instead I had those 7 years to work on becoming the best version of myself possible. I am confident in who I am as a person. I have learned how to work hard and take notes, something that employers and professors respect. I learned how to make big and bold choices. I learned how to succeed and more importantly, how to fail. And I found some of the best friends and mentors I could have ever asked for.

– Ilana, R2P Alumna

My Image
There was a brief period in our history where we charged tuition to help us meet our bottom line. We saw how this led to students being excluded, even while we advertised scholarships of up to 100% with no formal application process other than a simple request. The fact is that for many teens, the stigma of requesting financial assistance – even if only perceived by the student themself – kept many students from joining in. Instead, we rewrote our budget from the ground up with the principle of free participation as the guiding star. We rely on our community to support this idea – effectively crowdsourcing tuition. We hope that you will join as an R2Patron to sustain our work.
Our auditions are welcoming, and no student who shows up is ever cut, regardless of experience or ability – we find a place in a show for every interested young person.

While many of our students go on to pursue higher education and careers in theatre, our real purpose is to give them the tools to become the best versions of themselves – all while being part of a welcoming, respectful, and inclusive community of peers and supportive adults.

On the first day of rehearsals, we dare them to be the “weirdest kid in the room” – because it simply can’t be done. We’re all residents of the Island of Misfit Toys, after all, and we go beyond tolerating each others’ quirks and differences; we actively encourage celebrating them with respect and love.
Stacks Image 3832
“R2P has been my lifeline for high school. I’ve made friends through it who I know I will keep beyond R2P. It creates an environment where I feel safe and loved in a world where that always isn’t the case. R2P has encouraged me to be myself and to learn to love myself, and I am forever thankful.”

– Maddi, R2P Alumna

My Image
In the process of mentoring the young people we serve, we create artistically meritorious theatre that is enjoyed by thousands of people in our community every year, delighting our audiences and inspiring the next round of young artists who are among them.
"Running to Places provided a warm, nurturing, & supportive environment at just the perfect time in my daughter's development. R2P gave her a life beyond the petty antics and peer pressures of middle and high school. Not only did she develop strong bonds with her R2P peers, but R2P provided strong multi-generational bonds, with younger students, college students, and adult professionals. And the confidence and public presentation skills she developed will be invaluable in whatever her future brings."

– Paula, parent of past R2P company member