Zendaya donates 100k to theatre where she got her start

Zendaya has made a 100k donation credit:Bang Showbiz
Zendaya has made a 100k donation credit:Bang Showbiz

Zendaya has donated $100,000 to the theatre 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, which helps cover the cost of improvements and future shows.

Leena Barakat, President and CEO of WDN, said in a statement: “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.”

Theatre bosses also paid tribute to the 27-year-old star for her generosity.

Clive Worsley, the theatre’s executive director, said: “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!

“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!”

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

The 'Dune: Part 2' actress 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 but she recently admitted she wished she "could have just been a kid" for longer.

Speaking on YouTube series PayOrWait, she said: "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.

"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."