Parents Talk:

Act Like A GRRRL has been a haven for my daughters, a place where than can be themselves FULLY without fear of reprisal, ridicule or abuse of any kind. It is a testing ground for all of the life lessons I have tried to instill in them as little tiny women. As a mother raising daughters in a patriarchal society, I have had to search for places and spaces in which my girls will not be treated as prey or used as the example when someone has dogma to prove or beliefs to validate. ALAG is one of those rare places for my daugthers. It is an extension of home.”

Act Like a GRRRL has given my daughter the gift of confidence and expression. As the youngest of three sisters, she often found herself observing their type A behaviors and in doing the listening and watching she set herself apart. ALAG gives her an avenue of expression of her wonderful self. This experience of working with girls both older and younger is community at its best -- sharing, writing, working, and playing. She loves to write and part of that emerged from the experience of ALAG and its charismatic leader, Vali.”


Act like a GRRRL has given my daughter confidence to be herself and to value who that is and to walk to the beat of her own drum rather than following other drummers. It also seems to be very therapeutic for her, not just in a creative sense but in a cognitive therapy sort of way. It is so unique, she has met girls unlike any she has met anywhere else, and these girls have inspired her, and the adult mentors have also become very important to her. It is also helpful to me to know there are strong female voices for her to listen to and hear when she is not in the mood to hear mine (which, at this age, is often.) She doesn't have an older sister and some of these mentors and other GRRRLs have filled that void."

"For myself, I love hearing the GRRRLs even separate from my daughter’s role/participation. Finally, my daughter has given me very concrete examples of incidents and issues in the past school year where she has drawn from her act like a GRRRL wisdom, these issues are too personal to her for me to mention specifically, suffice to say, I noticed how relatively well she handled these situations and was glad she had finally achieved the tools to cope so beautifully with things that in the past have been much harder for her. She loves to write, act, sing and dance and act like a GRRRL combines all of these with a nurturing, safe, and empowering environment that I wish each of my daughters could always have around them. I'm grateful for act like a GRRRL.”


“Spending time with the girls of ALAG helps me keep in touch with who I was when I was at their stage in life. It’s undoubtedly a difficult time, but exciting too. You have all the possibilities in the world available to you if you’re open to them. I love sharing my experiences with the girls and learning from them. Their warmth, optimism, and exuberance inspire me, as an adult woman, to live up to all my youthful potential.”

Act Like a GRRRL has, quite simply, changed our daughter’s life. We began to see a transformation within the first few weeks of the summer program, and she has continued to blossom and grow with her continued participation with the group. She has found a place where she can be herself, where she can speak out, where she can figure out who she is as a writer and a young woman. We have been so impressed with the co-leaders and with the amount of love, thoughtfulness, and joy embodied in the group. Our daughter sees firsthand the kind of woman she may become, whether it’s by spending time with the other GRRRLs and co-leaders or meeting and interacting with the strong, independent women from the community who share their time. She has been exposed to ideas that have reshaped her view of the world in a very positive way. The teen years are a challenging time – ALAG is helping her find a path that is meaningful and true. She loves who she is now, as well as the woman she will be. More young women should have the opportunity to participate in programs like this; it’s been a wonderful experience for our family.”

"My daughter has now spent three and half years working in the company of the the extraordinary women and GRRRLs who together are the life force of Act Like a GRRRL. I can tell you, without any hesitation, that this experience has changed and shaped the destiny of my daughter in nothing but the most positive ways. At 15 years of age, she possesses not only a healthy self-confidence, but a remarkable understanding of the wisdom and beauty and challenges of girls and women all over the world. More importantly, she has been imbued with a desire to be an agent of change, to better herself, and in some way, to help build a better world. Act Like a GRRRL provides the basis for our girls to be stronger women. It is a prototype for a program that I wish every ‘GRRRL’ in the world could be exposed to."agent of change, to better herself, and in some way, to help build a better world. Act Like a GRRRL provides the basis for our girls to be stronger women. It is a prototype for a program that I wish every ‘GRRRL’ in the world could be exposed to."


"Act Like A GRRRL helped me realize I can be my own person. I don't have to follow in the footsteps of past generations, I don't have to focus on the bad moments that have happened in my life. I can set and achieve my own goals, be the shining being I'm supposed to be, and most importantly have tremendous faith in myself."  --- Jenna, age 16, MLK Magnet High School

" Act Like A Grrrl is like a whole new universe, where everyone is equal, and being yourself is wonderfully excepted. Act Like A Grrrl changed my life in every way possible, and I wouldn't be the GRRRL i am today without all of my fellow GRRRLS by my side 24/7."  -- Fasoranti, age 13, Thurgood Marshall Middle School

" Act Like A GRRRL taught me how to be my highest self, both-and, and embrace the goodness within myself,but also just me. I don't have to pretend to be someone else just to impress these GRRRLs, I know they love me no matter what. It taught me to be confident in everything I do. It is the group you thought didn't exist. The one that you could only dream of having." -- Augusta, age 15, MLK Magnet High School
" Act Like A Grrrl does the impossible. It changes a grrrl's outlook on life in the best possible way, without changing what makes the grrrl special." -- Page, age 15, St. Cecilia Academy

" Act like a Grrrl gives teenagers the chance to express themselves without holding back. It provides a reliable group for constant support and encourages grrrls to be their  best selves as they go through the process of discovering who they really are."  -- Tess, age 15, University School of Nashville"

ALAG inspires you to reach beyond the boundaries you didn't realized you had imposed on yourself.  You can be more than just a secretary or an assistant.  You can take charge of your life and allow your fullest ambitions to be realized.  ALAG instilled in me a spirit to "prove them wrong," and go after typically male-dominated studies and professions, specifically in astrophysics, optics, and philosophy.  I feel smarter and more capable now than I ever thought I could be."   -- Haviland, age 21, Agnes Scott College

" Act Like a Grrrl is an intention to build a community where there are no judgements, and where we seek to break the stereotypes of girls being negative toward one another. It is a life-changing experience that will change many of your perspectives.I feel that without ALAG, I wouldn't be as brave or accepting as I learned to be and I wouldn't have chosen the career path that I did. Every young woman who seeks to better herself and her community should be a part of this group."  -- Kamilah, age 20, Middle Tennessee State University


" Act Like a Grrrl is a place where you don't have to censor yourself to fit in with anyone. It's the height of acceptance  and love."
  -- Asabi, age 16, home school

" Act Like a Grrrl has helped me to find my highest self and always keep her with me. It has inspired me to follow my own path, set my own goals, and introduced me to some of the best friends I'll ever have!"
-- Hannah, age 15, Hume Fogg Magnet High School


" Act Like A GRRRL is probably the best thing to happen to me. It opens up so many opportunities that I probably would never have imagined possible. It helps me to embrace how brightly I shine. It reminds me daily that I can do whatever I set my mind to. Act Like A GRRRL changes lives. It sure did change mine." -- Chelsey, age 15, Hillsboro High School


Experts Talk:

"Numerous studies have shown that when they hit adolescence, formerly assertive, confident, healthy girls begin to change. They stop excelling in math and science courses, they develop eating disorders and anxieties about their bodies, and many become depressed or engage in cutting, binge drinking, and other self-destructive activities; in short, they begin conforming to the demands of a culture that is often hostile to them. ALAG creates a place for girls to express themselves, to practice speaking out and learning what they have to say, to practice being strong and loud, to practice taking up space. ALAG introduces the girls to strong women--through readings and through guest lectures--who make healthy decisions about their own lives and bodies. ALAG also gives girls the tools to analyze critically the culture in which they live so that they become active change agents rather than passive recipients of cultural messages. ALAG celebrates girls' strength and girls' voices and by so doing, promotes girls' leadership."

-- Dr. Alison Piepmeier, Director of Women's Studies at the College of Charleston & 2005 ALAG Co-Director

Read more statistics here.


If you'd like to see the show schedule and buy tickets
to the next performance of Act Like a GRRRL, click here.

If you'd like to help support this program,
you can send a check payable to Actors Bridge Ensemble (memo: ALAG) to:

Actors Bridge Ensemble
1312 Adams St.
Nashville, TN 37208

Rather to talk to someone and give more information?
You can call Vali Forrister at 615-498-4077 to make a donation by credit card.

You can also donate online through Actors Bridge Ensemble right here
by indicating your donation is for ALAG in the special instructions box.