In-School Residencies

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 with 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.

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.

PreK children in costume playing acting games

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.