Library Journal “Highly recommends” “If You Dare”:
If You Dare.
This documentary chronicles the success and struggles of the Chicago Avenue Project, a dedicated small Minneapolis theater company that helps inner-city children “tap into something they don’t often get a chance to tap into.” It includes daily interactions among kids, actors, and playwrights as students not only learn the craft of stage acting but also get to create their own plays, which they then see performed. Delightful moments here capture the children’s excitement, growth, and productions (two of their full-length plays are included). The film candidly portrays the staff’s realistic approach to working with parents, building kids’ self-esteem, keeping youth coming back, and countering the difficulties inherent in inner-city life. Arts teachers will gain the strength and courage to deal with the issues facing their own arts program. Highly recommended for arts and education collections that serve both parents and teachers.—Ernest Jaeger, formerly with North Plainfield Pub. Schs., NJ
STAR TRIBUNE  gives “If You Dare” 3 Stars:

…Shapiro sparks interest without manufacturing drama, and gives intimate glimpses of the kids involved in Pillsbury House Theatre’s Chicago Avenue Project without exploiting them. Actor and charismatic program leader Payton Woodson is a strong screen presence, even more so than former Minneapolis high-school theater buff Josh Hartnett, who makes a couple of appearances. (60 min.) –Kristin Tillotson

“Dare to watch it, and not be moved” – Renee Shapiro KATV-ABC

Read a review from the November 9th, 2009 issue of Doc Talk review

“If You Dare” spotlighted on Twin Cities METRO Magazine on-line:

Director Norah Shapiro featured on MomCulture Online:

Press Kit

PDF Press Kit for If You Dare.


If You Dare trailer

Watch a clip of josh harnet speaking about the Chicago Avenue Project