We gratefully acknowledge our generous donors and sponsors for their essential support and leadership amplifying Youth Underground.

Youth Underground Sponsors

Organization Sponsors

The Betsy Bard Youth Underground Fund

The Betsy Bard Youth Underground Fund elevates and propels Youth Underground–driven by the passion and curiosity that embodies its namesake, Betsy Bard. The following donors have generously contributed to the Fund (July 2, 2021 – May 16, 2023). For more information, or to become a Central Square Theater donor, please contact Maggie Moore Abdow at 617.576.9278 x208 or mma@centralsquaretheater.org

Jo-Louise Allen
Sally Benbasset
Frederic Berman
Rachael V. Cobb
Nina V. Cohen and Craig Barrows
Anne Dane
Laurie DesJardins Ferhani
David Foss
Betsy M. Gibson
Rieko Hayashi
Jane Kamine in honor of Laura Roberts
Kim imo of Mr.& Mrs. I.H. Kim
Marty Blatt
Elizabeth Murray
Sharon & John Parisi
Sharon Pritchett
Eileen Shaw
Vicki Solomon
Mercedes Soto
Karen Veale
Cheryl Weisman-Cohen
Jim Wendelken
Laura Wernick
Susan Wheelwright
Marcia Yousik

The Betsy Bard Youth Underground Fund

For 35 years, Betsy Bard has been entrenched in the world of curiosity.  Recently retired, Betsy served as Social Worker and Manager of the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School on-site Day Care Center.  To expand her passion for social justice and theater, Betsy worked with Anna Deavere Smith in 2000 as the audience coordinator at her Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue at Harvard University.  This experience inspired her to start her own documentary theater project with youth using Deavere Smith’s methodology to investigate issues of concern. Launched at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School in 2003, The Theater Project premiered its first production based on recorded interviews investigating  “the achievement gap”. Through The Theater Project, Betsy Bard directed and  produced five plays with support from the City of Cambridge, Harvard University, and Cambridge Community Foundation. In 2010, Betsy joined the Youth Underground (YU) team, bringing her experience and passion for authentic investigative theater that provokes civic dialogue and action beyond the stage. YU  is a socio-economically, culturally, and ethnically diverse youth Ensemble serving ages 13-25, with stipend-eligible opportunities to create theater together and in tandem with community-based organizations, and showcase their work across Greater Boston. YU is the only Greater Boston youth theater program that focuses on creating devised work that shines a light on social justice issues of concern from/for young people, and moderates companion community dialogues about each issue raised in the thematic plays. 

As Lead Teaching Artist and Playwright, Betsy has created eight YU investigative theater plays, including Money Matters, You Can Tell at Lunch, Crossing Borders, Six Years Online, Find Out What it Means to Me, Don’t Knock Opportunity, Circle Up! And Act Up and Vote. Unfortunately, the touring schedule to schools for this play which focused on Generation Z’ s stories of civic engagement and voter participation was cancelled due to the pandemic. It was performed outdoors at Starlight Theater.

Betsy’s latest play, which was co-conceived with Lemelson-MIT, tells the story of high school students who set out to identify a problem and channel their passion to help the environment. Little did they know that it would open up new perspectives about how to think creatively and utilize their own abilities to enact change. Inventing Samanta was produced by Central Square Theater. Members of The Youth Underground Ensemble were cast in all the roles. The play was performed as part of The Eureka festival at MIT.

Betsy extended her leadership as an Educator, Artist, and Activist by joining the Central Square Theater Board of Directors in 2011.