By Dee Jae Cox

‘The Atlantic’ magazine article “How Puberty Kills Girls’ Confidence,” dated 9/20/18, and written by Claire Shipman, Katty Kay and Jillellyn Riley, states that “until the age of 12, there is virtually no difference in confidence between boys and girls. But, because of the drop-off girls experienced during puberty, by the age of 14 the average girl was far less confident than the average boy. The girls surveyed were asked to rate their confidence on a scale of 0 to 10, and from the ages of 8 to 14, the average of girls’ responses fell from approximately 8.5 to 6—a drop-off of 30 percent.”

The Ophelia Project is a program of the John F. Kennedy Memorial Foundation, a 501c3 Non-profit charitable organization located in the Coachella Valley and headed up by CEO Susan Francis. Their mission is to empower young teens to increase their sense of self-worth and maximize their potential contribution to society.

In a critical effort to address the need of girl’s plummeting self-esteem and future success, Sue Wellman, founded the National Ophelia Project in 1997! Wellman had attended a lecture to hear author Dr. Mary Pipher speak on the topic of her book “Reviving Ophelia”. The concept of the book was based on Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” and the trials and tribulations suffered by the young girl, Ophelia. In the book Ophelia dies! Dr. Pipher was saying that we should be aware of the emotional damage done to young girls oppressed by certain situations in modern societies. Ms. Wellman was so moved by that important message, that she launched an anti-bullying program intended to build self-esteem in young girls. From this inspiration, the Ophelia Project was born!


Since 1998, the Ophelia Project, has been providing team mentoring for thousands of teen girls in the Coachella Valley, encouraging them to stay in school and pursue higher education. Their monthly fundraiser, “Evenings with Ophelia,” was started to help bring awareness and another resource to Ophelia Project, further increasing the success of the program through these difficult times.The Ophelia Project offers a variety of virtual entertainment events monthly featuring talented dancers, singers, comedians etc. These fundraising events help sustain Ophelia programming for the young women served by the organization.

This month the Event will feature one of the Coachella Valley’s most entertaining and creative groups, The Improvables of the Desert. The Improvables of the Desert is a local improv troupe of performers based here in the desert, who each enjoy the excitement of being on stage. The thrill of spontaneity. The creativity of making things up right on the spot. The enjoyment of collaborating. And the gratification of making people laugh. The troupe consists of David Brooks, Michele Weiss, Lin Phillippi and Deb Galante Seles.

Improvisation or improv, is the form of theatre, often comedy, in which most or all of what is performed is unplanned or unscripted: the dialogue, action, story, and characters are created spontaneously by the performers. Due to the current need to social distance, this fun, exciting and charitable event will be featured on Zoom this year.

This event will be held Saturday, February 13, 2021, @ 7:00 pm PST.

Step by Step instructions that will allow you to enjoy the perfect stay at home activity to share with your significant other and have a laugh with these hilarious performers.

  1. PLATFORM: Zoom (Desktop viewing recommended)
  2. DATE: February 13th, 2021
  3. TIME: 7:00p.m. PST
  4. PRICE: $20.00 USD
  8. a) Follow the link to view information about the event.
  9. b) Purchase your ticket through the EventBrite link

This performance will help the Ophelia Project to continue to provide the benefits of improving young girls’ lives and encouraging brighter futures!

For more information on The Ophelia Project please visit their website:

Dee Jae Cox is a playwright, director and producer. She is the Cofounder and Artistic Director of The Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Project.