In-School Residencies

We believe that theater is a powerful tool for education.

Our partnerships with elementary and middle schools allow students to experience ELA and Social Studies through the lens of drama.

Beyond academics, our programming brings social-emotional learning directly into the classroom in joyful, creative and purposeful ways.

The Conquistadores

Historical Perspective Playwriting

Using the fifth grade Common Core curriculum, we have developed an engaging residency that ignites students’ understanding of history through theater.
In the initial stages of the residency, students work closely with our teaching artists to understand the nature of drama and conflict. We then brief the students on the format of a trial, so they can root their subsequent writing in this genre. They then apply those principles to their own playwriting, as they use their knowledge of “The Age of Discovery” to generate original material.
The students collaborate in teams, becoming either witnesses or lawyers for the prosecution and defense. Finally, these mini-plays are staged in front of a live audience, who determine if the Conquistadores are guilty or not for the crimes for which they have been charged. The final show is a thrilling culmination, where all the students play an active role and they physically embody what they’ve learned.
This work not only activates students’ interest in ancient civilizations, but gives them practice with empathy and perspective-taking: key social emotional-learning tenants.
Participating schools include Main Street School and East Village Community School.
Learn more about the benefits of our residencies and contact us to bring this residency to your school.

Literacy Alive

Watch us go from the page to the stage for an interactive retelling of a classic children’s fairy tale or fable! Our professional teaching artist-actors recreate a piece of dynamic children’s literature for an audience at your school or community. Throughout the performance, kids are actively involved; their voices, movements and especially giggles become part of the exuberant show. We can tailor the piece based on curriculum that you are exploring, or we can bring in one of our tried and true favorites.

Participating schools include My Little School, Brick Church School and Williamsburg Northside.

Learn more about the benefits of our residencies and contact us to bring this residency to your school.


Student Team Building

In our unique workshops we use theater games to explore social dynamics, break down walls and allow all kids to shine. Why wait to intervene in middle school to when problematic social dynamics form as early as pre-K? 

Through our team-building exercises, we work to: 

  • – prevent social behaviors that lead to bullying or exclusion.  
  • – create opportunities – through play – for self-expression that promote confidence and collaboration.
  • – help to hit the reset button on stagnant relationships and bring entire classes together in joyful ensemble games. 
  • – raise up each kid and help them be seen by their peers.
  • – teach emotional literacy so that in the future the class has a linguistic blueprint for communicating with compassion and clarity.

Child’s Play NY workshops are particularly useful at the start of the school year and after vacation when classrooms need to connect, reconnect and bond.

Through the activities, we set a collaborative tone for the semester and enhance the social-emotional well-being of students ahead of the school-year. This, in turn, creates a more harmonious classroom dynamic and serves to prevent peer conflict, exclusion and bullying.


Social-Emotional Shakespeare Residency

A Midsummer Night’s Dream Performance and Workshops

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.

How Shakespeare Teaches Social-Emotional Learning

From rage and betrayal to love and joy, Shakespeare’s got them all. Through storytelling, role-playing, movement and conversations, we help students deep dive into their own emotions and learn how to identify and process them in new ways. This is among the most powerful and cathartic work we do.

Theater helps students get outside of themselves and build connections with one another. During our Shakespeare workshops, students learn how to handle conflict, work cooperatively and communicate thoughtfully in a safe environment.

In order to play Shakespeare’s deeply human characters, students must first understand them. By using Shakespeare’s text and purposeful theater games, students explore the psychology behind complex characters. By working on roles from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, they learn about back-story, labelling, and perspective-taking. By doing so, they build greater compassion, empathy and emotional intelligence.

The process of making theater is filled with milestones for students—from learning their first few lines to pulling off a captivating performance. We help students set individual and collective goals for their workshop experience and then provide a framework for reaching those goals and falling short. In doing so, we help students bolster both their confidence and their resilience.

Research shows that students who engage in social and emotional learning activities have lower rates of anxiety, depression and emotional distress and improved attitudes of themselves, helping abilities and academic performances. We’re thrilled to offer schools this new opportunity to help kids unleash their creativity and imagination while boosting these crucial skills.

Participating schools include Brooklyn School of Inquiry, Packer Collegiate and PS261.

Learn more about the benefits of our work and read the frequently asked questions about our Shakespeare Residency.



Our Press

Benefits of our Work

As schools look for opportunities to integrate social and emotional learning into their in-school and after-school programs, our customized SEL workshops tie research-backed SEL competencies with meaningful Shakespeare theater events.


The characters we explore are conflicted, complex and deeply human. In order to understand them, we have meaningful conversations about what it means to be human.


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.


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.


Theatre allows ALL kinds of kids to get outside themselves and build connections with one another.


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.


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.



There are two parts to our program: 1) a thrilling live performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream done by professional actors that comes directly to your school. 2) classroom visits by our teaching-artists that tie in the Shakespeare text with meaningful SEL work. Depending on your goals with the residency, there is a customizable amount of post-show workshops.


This program is for schools who want to tie in SEL and the Arts in a meaningful way. Adults and children of all ages can enjoy the play, and the post-show workshops were designed for 3rd through 8th graders. We adjust the curriculum, depending on what age of student we are targeting, to be developmentally appropriate and academically rigorous.


Both the show and the workshops are a natural way for students to explore their own emotions, understand conflict, practice perspective taking and empathy…all while exposing kids to Shakespeare at an age where they are excited by it.


Child’s Play NY teaching artists are both the actors and teachers. The ensemble of 12 actors who perform the play are classically trained with MFAs from top theater schools such as Tisch, Juilliard and Brown. They have performed Shakespeare across the country, on Broadway and at the Public Theater. Additionally, they are seasoned teachers, with years of experience bringing their passion for the stage into the classroom.


Jocelyn Greene, Executive Director of Child’s Play NY, devised the curriculum of the residency. She drew from her work as a student (MFA, NYU Graduate Acting, BA, Wesleyan University), an actor (The Public Theater, NYSF), and a teacher (Will Power to Youth, Oddfellows Playhouse, Epic Theater) to develop the programming. The post-show work of research-backed SEL games were created in conjunction with developmental PhDs. Jocelyn Greene is an advisor with Mt Siani Parenting Center, you can learn more about her collaborations in the mental health field here.


The performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream runs 50 minutes. There is a post-show dialogue and workshop for 45 minutes that we do immediately following the show with the assembled audience. We need a large open space for the play such as an auditorium or gym. We require no lights or sound set-up.


There is a flat fee for the performance and then we charge per class per visit. We send in three teaching artists per classroom to work with a group of up to 30 children. The cost goes goes down depending on how many workshops you elect to do with Child’s Play NY. We recommend doing at least three post-show workshops to get the benefit of the work. Read this for a complete break-down of fees.


Funds raised by the PTA or through the DOE’s Arts Partnership Grants. We are happy to advise on the grant-writing process.


The performance features 12 teaching artists. The post-show workshops are run by 3 teaching artists in a classroom of up to 30 students.


The classroom teachers don’t need to prepare anything. The residency is designed to function independently of the school’s curriculum and we will not be adding expectations to t. We will provide a program to prepare the audience to listen to the play, as well as a one-sheet for the teachers to read to the students before they watch the play. If the goal is an end-of-residency performance by the students, we need to plan for 10+ residency visits. In that case we ask that memorization goals be added to the student’s homework responsibilities.


Yes. The Shakespeare Workshop can function as an arts-elective for students and can run the course of a trimester or semester.


Please fill this short form out so we have information about your school and goals. We will then schedule a phone call with Jocelyn Greene. For residencies of more than 3 times, Jocelyn will come to the school and have a preliminary meeting with the Administration, PTO, Arts Committee etc.