At Child’s Play NY our mission is to empower the next generation through the theatrical arts. Through our programming, we uplift student voices, ignite curiosity, and center compassion. We seek deep truths about the characters we embody, and the stories we tell. The work is both a mirror for self-reflection and a doorway through which we travel for a deeper understanding of other perspectives.
We strive for an inclusive theater space where young people are seen and create their own stories. We center empathy and practice leading with kindness. Through the exploration of different points of view, we gain a better understanding of the world we live in and the world we envision.
We believe that young people can become more engaged and empathic participants in our world through profound engagement in the creative process.
Child’s Play NY is committed to uplifting underrepresented voices in the arts and envisioning a more equitable future. In theater productions, classes and educational workshops we seek to reach all children and in doing so, support the next generation of compassionate, collaborative change-makers.
About Our Founder
Child’s Play NY was founded in 2009 by Jocelyn Greene. Prior to starting Child’s Play NY, Jocelyn trained with regional theaters and organizations that used theater as a means to transform young people’s lives. Her work as an educator at Will Power to Youth, Oddfellows Playhouse, Shakespeare Festival LA, Epic Theater Ensemble, Harvey Milk High School inspires the engagement and mission of Child’s Play NY. Jocelyn holds an MFA from NYU’s Graduate Acting Program and a BA from Wesleyan University. You can learn more about Jocelyn’s work with Child’s Play in Action here.
Child’s Play NY on Black Lives Matter
Child’s Play NY asserts unequivocally that Black Lives Matter.
We stand in solidarity – and in action – with the movement to dismantle white-supremacy. We condemn the devastating virus of racism and recognize our insidious complicity in systems that prop up inequities.
We acknowledge our role in creating culture and we vow to do the challenging and imperfect work of unpacking unearned privileges and disassemble systems of oppression.
The work involves self-reflection, education, assessment, the centering of historically marginalized voices.
We are striving to actively use an anti-racist and an anti-oppressive lens at every level of the company.
The Work We’re Doing
- Senior staff members have completed training sessions focused on dismantling white supremacy with the following organizations:
- Nicole Brewer
- Center for Racial Justice in Education
- BIPOC TYA
- Starting in Summer 2021, yearly anti-racist training will be provided for teaching artists, who will be compensated for their time to participate.
Community Outreach and Partnerships
- Responsive residencies with Title I schools in Brooklyn and the Bronx bring out student voices through theater in connection with ELA curriculum.
- We are aiming to expand these partnerships to double the amount of residencies and partner schools by 2022.
- We will equip our BIPOC teaching artists with the resources to lead classes of their own design, develop and implement innovative curriculum that matters to them, and give their voices a platform.
- To ensure that the stories on our stages are reflective of the experiences of diverse performers and audiences, starting in Fall 2021, 50% of shows produced by Child’s Play NY each semester will be created by BIPOC artists, with an eye toward new commissions of this type of work.
- When hiring, we will seek to recruit teaching artists from backgrounds that have been historically underrepresented in theater arts.
- Starting in Fall 2021, our programming will include tuition-free spots for BIPOC students and those from historically underrepresented backgrounds from the community.
Donations & Community Engagement
- We acknowledge that while we don’t own theater spaces, we work on the unceded land of the Lenape and Canarsie people, on whose ancestral homeland we teach our classes. Beginning in Fall 2021, 100% ticket revenue from our productions will be donated to Manhatta Fund.
- We commit to collaborations with and recurring donations to The Drama Club, a 501(c)3 non-profit that provides theater instruction to incarcerated or court-involved young people.
- Proceeds from both Election Day and spring break camps will be donated to a community organization every year. Past organizations include:
- We contribute to local public schools by donating gift certificates for fundraisers and events.
We welcome feedback and conversation around all of these pieces.
Our doors are always open – we’d love to hear from you.