Founded by Dr. Cydelle Berlin twenty two years ago, The NiteStar Program uses a theater based model incorporating drama, music and peer education to help guide pre- adolescents, adolescents and young adults as they confront the many challenges of growing up in the age of AIDS. Productions are all original, created by the members of the company. They are culturally appropriate and age-specific, designed to diffuse myths, provide HIV/AIDS awareness, pregnancy, substance abuse and relationship violence prevention, help youth to make informed decisions, provide options for changing attitudes and prejudices, and create opportunities for behavioral change.
ABOUT THE NITESTAR PROGRAM
The NiteStar Program is a special project of the Center for Comprehensive Care
NiteStar uses the performing arts and peer education to help young people make informed decisions, providing options for changing attitudes and prejudices, and creating opportunities for promoting healthy behaviors. It is built on the belief that a significant impact on adolescent health is possible only if young people have comprehensive understanding about the issues they face growing up in the age of AIDS.
The NiteStar Program was founded by Dr. Cydelle Berlin in 1987. It was housed at The Mount Sinai Medical Center's Adolescent Health Center with the mission of bringing lifesaving, accurate health information to young people through the medium of theater. The program has been located at St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital Center on West 114 th Street in Manhattan since 1998.
Unlike generations before them, today's youth face a tremendous number of challenges. They are frequently confronted with issues of sex and sexuality, domestic and teen violence, substance abuse, and multiple health threats, including teenage pregnancy, HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases. One-quarter of all new HIV infections in the United States are estimated to occur in young people under the age of 25. Clearly, young people are in tremendous need of access to confidential health services and health education. The NiteStar Program provides this crucial information in an arresting and exciting way that is greeted with great enthusiasm by young people everywhere.
In December 1996, PBS Television premiered "Sex and Other Matters of Life and Death," which profiled a year in the life of NiteStar. The acclaimed one-hour documentary combines intimate profiles of the young actors with engaging scenes from performances to capture the complexities of growing up in the age of AIDS.
*Click above to listen to an excerpt from The Best I Can Be