Act Like a GRRRL (ALAG) is an autobiographical writing and performance program that inspires female-identifying teenagers (ages 12-18) to write about their lives and transform their thoughts into monologues, dances, and songs for public performance.
As GRRRLS find their voice and speak their truths on stage, they develop the self-confidence, personal agency and leadership skills to live more empowered lives.
ALAG invites teenage GRRRLS to explode the box in which our society wants to limit them. At the very moment our culture is asking girls to “sit down and shut up,” ALAG invites them to “stand up and speak out.”
During the program, the GRRRLS explore their innermost selves and are introduced to strong adult women who model the power of living authentic lives and pursuing their chosen dreams. Over the last 20 years, we have discovered that the strong, judgement-free friendships the GRRRLS form at ALAG not only provide important support and belonging during their years in the program but long after they graduate and well into adulthood
We chose the name “Act Like a GRRRL” to reclaim language that is often used as an insult. We weren’t going to be acting like G-I-R-L-S. In our culture, it’s never a compliment to be told you do anything “like a girl.” But a GRRRL is something entirely different. It’s a fresh word that allows each individual to define what those “extra Rs” mean for her.
It’s also our tip-of-the-hat to the Riot GRRRL Movement of the 90s.
The Act Like a GRRRL Model is based on Vali’s graduate work in the performance of personal narratives for personal and social change. By bringing together young women from diverse backgrounds who otherwise would not have met, ALAG becomes an incubator for radical personal growth. Vali developed a three-step process of scripting, sharing and performing that has been successfully used with teenage girls, adult women, incarcerated women and a multicultural collection of teenage girls in Bolivia.