What We Do

Zara Aina is a Malagasy phrase that means share life. Broadway actors Lucas Caleb Rooney and Bryce Pinkham founded Zara Aina to help at-risk children expand their capacity for achievement through theatrical performance and storytelling. Established in 2012 with headquarters in New York, Zara Aina is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization working with partners to develop sustainable programs that empower and change lives.

Zara Aina confronts the lack of educational opportunities facing children in developing countries by providing a child-centered learning model using theatrical storytelling and performance to enable at-risk children to recognize their potential. Our current focus is in Madagascar where we are developing artist initiatives, teacher trainings and youth workshops in conjunction with established NGO’s throughout the country.

We engage children ages 10 – 14 years old through collaborations with community organizations serving at-risk youth who are prone to panhandling and homelessness. We partner with organizations to create performance-based programming that addresses critical needs in the community such as communication and social skills.

As we grow, Zara Aina seeks to forge partnerships beyond Madagascar and develop programming where our children are not only supported creatively and emotionally, but also develop important learning skills which can translate towards brighter futures.

At the heart of Zara Aina is the transformative power of storytelling. We believe that access to theatre activities creates confident learners who are better prepared to participate actively in their education, community and social lives. From thinking creatively to collaborating with others, and communicating clearly to following an idea from conception through implementation to production, theatrical storytelling and performance can profoundly motivate children to achieve more and invest in their sense of possibility.