about us » History
In 2001, actor, director, teacher, and person-who stutters Taro Alexander founded Our Time to provide a safe community free from judgment and ridicule where children who stutter could come together and express themselves creatively, while building their confidence and communication skills. Our Time's local program, Our Time NYC, has developed considerably over the past decade, resulting in a collection of year-round opportunities for kids who stutter from the New York Tri-State area. In its first season, Our Time began with a single activity exclusively for teens who stutter, ages 13-18: participants had an opportunity to write their own plays and music, which they performed in Off-Broadway theatres. Inspired by the tremendous success of the Teen Play Project, in 2004, Our Time opened up its programming to pre-teens who stutter, ages 8-12, and inaugurated a one-act play activity which provides an additional learning experience in writing, directing, and design for senior participants of the company. In 2009, Our Time NYC added a film-making activity to its programming, allowing pre-teens and teens who stutter to create their own short films that showcase them as the stars they truly are. Also in 2009, Our Time released a benefit album, Listen, which is a collection of 15 original songs, written by the Our Time kids, and recorded by iconic artists from the worlds of pop, rock, R&B, Broadway, hip-hop, and more, including Carly Simon, Daryl Hall & John Oates, John Forté, Duncan Sheik, and Mandy Patinkin.
Since its inception, Our Time NYC has produced 70 original plays/musicals, and has delivered over 54 performances of its young participants’ work in renowned New York City Off-Broadway theatres. The company has also performed and presented at stuttering conferences and arts festivals, including the annual conferences and conventions for the National Stuttering Association (NSA), Friends (The National Association of Young People who Stutter), and the American Speech-language-Hearing Association (ASHA). While touring around the nation and abroad, Our Time Founder/Director Mr. Alexander was often approached by families of children who stutter, requesting that Our Time's one-of-a-kind programming be accessible to those who live beyond the New York Tri-State area.
In 2008, the organization extended its reach by launching Camp Our Time, a 10-day, sleep-away summer program for kids who stutter, their young family members, and friends (ages 8-18) from around the country. In its first year, this program served 27 children and has grown exponentially since then, now serving approximately 75 kids each summer.
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Our Time is proud to present our first ever Mentor Project! Pre-teens, teens, and alums have come together to create songs, stories, skits, plays, poems, you name it! Presented at The Signature Theatre on June 21-23rd.
Movie star and Our Time board member Paul Rudd hosted a Bowling Benefit at Lucky Strike on October 22nd! CLICK HERE for all the information on the event!