About Us


Illuminate’s purpose is to provide exceptional, enriching, accessible, wholesome, family-friendly opportunities in every aspect of the arts in an atmosphere that allows students to discover and pursue their potential. We believe that everyone has the ability to learn new skills, grow in their gifts, and to use their individual talents to Create + Collaborate + Shine Brightly to the Community.


Learn + Create: To accommodate all skill levels and provide appropriate learning challenges for all students from preschool age to adult, providing additional leadership opportunities for students who excel through mentoring, internships and student teaching opportunities

Grow+Collaborate: To educate students about all aspects of production on and off the stage through classes, workshops, coaching, and performances that are competitively priced, with Options that fit within homeschooling schedules.

Shine+Community: To nurture and empower students to discover their potential through family-friendly, wholesome educational content that respects  their beliefs and values. Students are then given opportunities to take their gifts and talents to serve the community through our various outreach teams, as well as cultivating leadership skills by interning, coaching, and assisting Team Illuminate.

How A Work in Progress became illuminate creative + theatrical arts co…

Jennifer Keating grew up as part of a theatre arts company that changed her life’s path. After receiving a BA in Theater from UMass Amherst and living in NYC (working on Broadway and performing off broadway), she moved back to Massachusetts shortly after 9/11, where she spent a few years traveling the state, teaching theatre at performing arts centers, colleges, high schools, and community groups.

But once she became a mom, that lifestyle was hard to maintain. She thought she may have to stop teaching theatre altogether, when she heard about a group of exceptional homeschool students that met just down the street from her. After teaching and directing these students for five years, she branched off to start A Work in Progress. The name was something she thought of as a temporary name- with the idea that she would come up with a better name once it was more established (see this video for the official name change announcement made in June 2020!).

And thus, in January of 2013, classes began with 15 eager students. By the fall of 2013, the company had discovered the beautiful theatre in Tolman High School, and “Singin in the Rain” was performed with a cast of only 15 students, none of which had ever performed on a stage of that size before. Yet AWIP managed to pull out all the stops- from professional lighting and costuming to special effects and intricate choreography. And it was then that it became real: that this ‘work in progress’ experiment had substance… and that the name was going to stick.

Now, the company has grown to serving over 100 students, is officially incorporated as a nonprofit organization, has an active Board of Directors, Army of Volunteers, Interns, Staff, and Membership.

illuminate is Incorporated as of June 2, 2015, and officially became a 501(c)(3) corporation in July of 2015. At illuminate, we want you to feel warmly welcomed and comfortable from the moment you register to the moment you step on the stage. We want students of all ages and abilities to gain confidence while using their gifts and talents to shine. Our hope is that students will let their light shine- not just on the stage, but in class with each other, and in the communities that we perform for.

illuminate: our locations

The Cast + Crew of “Beauty & the Beast” 2019

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