An endowment to ensure another 50 years of React.

Thanks to the Christel DeHaan Fund for support of React, we’ve been gifted a Legacy Award of $662,000 to establish our very first endowment.

What is an endowment?

An endowment is a pool of philanthropic funds that generates income through interest for nonprofit organizations. This gift from the Christel DeHaan Family Foundation will be invested in our name, ensuring the long term financial stability of React.

Our ask?

Continue this act of kindness by contributing today, and supporting the future of React as a non-profit youth theatre.

Where will this money go?

Most of it will stay in the endowment itself, but a portion of the interest we earn will go towards our annual budget: from staff salaries, to tuition scholarships, and everything in between.

From 1976
 2023 to the future...

Established in 1976 by Charlotte Kaufman, React, then known as “Young Actors Theatre” (YAT), was the hub for youth acting training in Indianapolis.

To honor Charlotte’s incredible influence on Indy’s youth, Justin, one of Charlotte’s long time students, became our Executive Director in 2005. He has been exponentially growing the program ever since.



Set Design


Sound Design




After years of acting under Charlotte, Justin became involved in every aspect of the program.

New generations of React students followed this example, and turned what used to be an exception into the norm.

React is more than just a training ground:

It’s an incubator for a new kind of arts education.

It’s a gathering place for Indianapolis’ youth.

Whether it be devising and writing original plays on fairy tales or social issues, or working with students behind the scenes, our growing staff of former React students and Indy theatre professionals, including our Artistic Director, Georgeanna Smith Wade, have cultivated a new way of learning the craft of theatre.

We were breaking new creative ground




The momentum of the last decade came to a halt, and we finally had a moment to reflect on everything we had accomplished.

We thought long and hard about our history, who we are now, and where we want to go.

Keeping our roots in mind, we decided that we needed a new identity that reflected our growth...

Our founder, Charlotte Kaufman, always said:
”Half of acting is reacting.”

And with that, we knew we had our name...

React’s homebase is the Athenaeum, where our roots were first sewn into Mass Ave.’s Cultural Art District.

You can find someone in our community hanging out here most days of the year.

Our programming locations:

The Athenaeum
React Headquarters

Indianapolis Arts Center
Our home away from home.

Camp Rivervale
Our summer retreat.

Schools across Indiana
Our destination for school shows.

We believe in the power of art as a tool for social change.

React sees theatre as a means to an end: a better individual, a better community, a better world.

We give our students the opportunity to use their theatre training to advocate for the issues that their generation is grappling with, such as: bullying, homophobia, and violence.

Our response to the rise of America’s opioid epidemic.

Our response to the rise of eco-anxiety in youth.

React is a second home to our current students all around Indianapolis, our former students who are scattered from L.A. to New York to London, and our future students who have yet to find us.

React is an incubator for creative and empathetic thinking, where students cultivate a mindset of lifelong learning and build a lifelong community.