>>About Inna Shapiro
Inna Shapiro came to the United States from the former Soviet Union, where she was a professional actress.
She started her acting career in the Leningrad State Theatre for Young Audiences.
At that time, this theater was considered the best theatre for children in the world.
In the States, she started Classika Theater, a professional theater for American children; based on Russian theatrical traditions, located in Arlington, VA, a suburb of Washington, DC.
For ten years she was the Founder and Artistic Director of the company.
directed, wrote, adapted, and translated more then 60 plays.
Classika Thearter was in reality three theaters under one roof: the Puppet Theater for small children, a Fairytale and Story Theater for elementary school-age children, and the Theater of International Classics for teenagers and adults.
Classika Thearter offered a drama school and art school in the theater, a summer camp, and an extensive after-school outreach program for children enrolled in Title 1 Federal programs.
Title 1 programs were created for children from underprivileged families who needed support and were behind in their studies for at least six months.
wrote and implemented these programs for these activities.
Among the programs she
wrote for the outreach activities was a year-long program called "We Love Geography" - a poetic journey around the world, written in rhymes, introducing children to the seven continents of the world and more then twenty countries.
There was also a "Virginia History" program that was created for fourth graders at the Drew Model Elementary School
in Arlington, VA, to help them learn material about the rich history of Virginia.
Through the implementation of this program, children's scores were raised on the State exam by 75%, and Classika
earned a $500,000 grant from the US Congress
to expand this program among other public schools in Arlington and Alexandria, VA. For the next three years, Classika's educators worked with more then 2000 children.
In 2004, WETA, named Inna Shapiro
a Hometown Hero because of her
work with underprivileged children.