We believe that theater is a powerful tool for education. When drama meets the Common Core, learning becomes activated. Our partnerships with elementary and middle schools allow students to experience ELA and Social Studies through the lens of theater. Beyond academics, our programming brings social-emotional learning directly into the classroom in joyful, creative and purposeful ways. We work closely with the administration in our partner schools to ensure that each of our residencies is tailor-built to meet the goals of the school.

Theater Arts in the Classroom

In residencies with our partner schools, we blend theater arts with customized curriculums that tie in ELA and the Common Core. Our goal is to support teachers by providing indelible and exciting frameworks for academic material as well as offering kids an opportunity to stretch themselves artistically.
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Social Emotional Shakespeare

Through complex text and conflicted characters, Shakespeare provides a rich experience for students to explore and hone their most foundational life skills: self-awareness, critical thinking, empathy, relationship-building and more. This customizable residency ties research-backed social and emotional learning competencies with a live Shakespeare performance and post-show workshops.
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Historical Perspective Playwriting: American Revolution

Students write and perform scenes based on the events leading to the American Revolution to ignite their understanding of history through theater. The culminating experience is a celebration of the creative process and perspective-taking.
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Author's Study

Child’s Play NY leads interactive exercises that connect thematically to each grades’ author study. Students investigate the author’s voice and create short performance pieces. Past programs include: Ezra Jack Keats, Pam Muñoz Ryan, Alma Flor Ada, Eve Bunting, Jacqueline Woodson
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Theater Electives

With a focused study for middle school grades, Child’s Play NY can supplement the school day with elective enrichment for students interested in a more immersive performing arts experience.
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Our residency programs help students…

  • Build their social and emotional skills. As schools look for opportunities to integrate social and emotional learning into their in-school and after-school programs, our customized residencies tie research-backed SEL competencies to curricula.
  • Explore and understand the human condition. The characters we explore are conflicted, complex and deeply human. In order to understand them, we have meaningful conversations about what it is to be human.
  • Boost executive functioning skills. We create opportunities for students to further hone their EF skills—like paying attention, remembering details, switching focus (and more!)—in a joy-filled, playful environment.
  • Tap into their innate empathy. Theatre making provides children with the skills they need to be compassionate. Each of our experiences is designed to help kids build their social and emotional intelligence through the artistry of theater and play.
  • Create connections and a sense of community. Theatre encourages kids to get outside themselves and build connections with one another.
  • Learn how to think outside of the box. The most innovative and successful organizations want employees who know how to think differently. Our theater programs teach kids how to build their imagination and continue to exercise it throughout their lives.
  • Bring the lessons they’re learning in the classroom to life. We partner with schools to create customized curriculums that tie in ELA and Common Core with meaningful theater events. Our Mock Trial and Shakespeare residency programs are thrilling learning experiences.  While they benefit classroom teachers they also provide indelible and exciting frameworks for academic material and an opportunity for kids to stretch themselves beyond what they thought possible.


“Child's Play NY teaching artists are pure magic. And we need magic at a time like this! My 4th graders' theater residency was interrupted when school shut down, and Child's Play worked with me to continue to provide authentic, imaginative, and uplifting theater experiences for my students right in their own living rooms. Seeing the kids' faces light up during our online classes brings me such joy. Parents and kids have reached out to tell me how much the teachers and classes mean to them. It's a wonderful way to connect with each other and enter a world of pure imagination.”
Katie Adams, 4th Grade Humanities Teacher, Arts and Letters 305 United
“This is the best theater group for kids in NYC. Jocelyn and her team are knowledgeable and creative, and produce wonderful plays with children. They are also amazing at building community with the students—along with acting/theater skills. The students are very close and kind/supportive to each other, rejoicing in each other's triumphs.”
Joy Nolan, Division of Teaching and Learning, NYC Dept of Education
“Jocelyn designed thoughtful, intentional, intellectually pressing, age-appropriate, rich, detailed lesson plans that I still use to this day, and the kids never missed a beat. Her level of professionalism and commitment is unparalleled, and her positive energy is infectious.”
Elissa Krebbs, Head of English Department, Packer Collegiate Institute
“I cannot recommend Child’s Play highly enough. When school closed halfway through the twice-weekly residency, Jocelyn Greene and her staff quickly reorganized and took the class online. The final project--a TV “news show” on the American Revolution--was delightful and rich with educational content. The format was flexible enough to meet each kid where she was. The artist/teachers, in their roles as TV hosts, gently “interviewed” performers to elicit more information when needed, and deftly supported the more camera-shy so that they felt comfortable performing and sharing what they’d learned. Since the teachers are performers themselves, they bring deep experience in acting, improv and comedy, skills that make them particularly well-suited to teaching online. Their warmth, playfulness and humor created a shared space for the kids at a time when it was all too easy to feel isolated, disengaged and “zoomed out.""
Liz Kastor, Guardian of 4th Grade Student

Our Residency Partners:

  • Arts & Letters 305 United
  • Brooklyn Green Magnet
  • Lyceum Kennedy French American School
  • Main Street School
  • PS101 Q