Rolling Out

Zendaya donates $100K to theater where she got her start

The actor’s donation will go toward improvements and future shows
Zendaya (Photo credit: Bang Media)

Zendaya has donated $100,000 to the theater where she started her career.

The “Euphoria” actress has teamed up with the Women Donors Network (WDN) to hand over the sum to California Shakespeare Theater in Oakland’s North Star Fund. The donation helps cover the cost of improvements and future shows.

“We are very pleased to be able to offer this general support grant in partnership with Zendaya. We hope that our funding supports your work and helps further your strategic vision, wherever funds are most needed,” Leena Barakat, president and CEO of WDN, said in a statement.

Theater bosses also paid tribute to the star for her generosity.

“We are deeply grateful to Zendaya and the WDN for their partnership, and their generous grant of $100,000 to the North Star Fund. This gift helps keep Cal Shakes going strong as we prepare for our 50th Anniversary season!” Clive Worsley, the theatre’s executive director, said.

“Her support moves us forward in a big way toward upgrading sound and lighting systems, enhancing the café, and of course funding our 50th Anniversary production of ‘As You Like It,’ directed by Elizabeth Carter. Thank you Zendaya and the WDN!” he added.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper, Zendaya joined the theater because her mother worked there for 12 summers when she was a child.

The Dune: Part 2 actor shot to fame in her early teens when she was cast alongside Bella Thorne in the Disney Channel sitcom “Shake It Up” before going onto a glamorous Hollywood career in later years. She recently admitted she wished she “could have just been a kid” for longer.

“It’s a lesson you have to learn young. I was a kid thrown into a very adult industry where if you do have a perspective or something to say, it’s like ‘Well they’re a kid’. And the parents … it’s like … they are just the parents so you have to learn how to protect yourself quite quickly,” Zendaya said on the YouTube series “PayOrWait.”

“For me, it was a lesson learned quite early — back in my Disney days — of little tricks and little things I could do to protect myself, or protect my peace or protect my happiness. I think when you’re a kid in this industry, you’re very vulnerable. I do wish I could have just been a kid for a little bit longer but, yeah, the lessons happened very early. I don’t know if there was a specific moment, but it definitely happened quite young, having to learn to have my own back a little bit,” she added.

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