Welcoming District Schools, One Classroom at a Time
STC Education continues to forge ahead with the ambitious District Shakespeare initiative. The ultimate goal is in sight: to provide a free, live, classical theatre experience to every D.C. Public School (DCPS) and D.C. Public Charter School (DCPCS) student. The Shakespeare Theatre Company believes that the provision of arts integrated programming, for D.C.’s overwhelmingly underserved student populace, will help these students succeed both in and out of the classroom. In order to reach as many District students as possible, STC Education created District Shakespeare, designing a grassroots approach to engage D.C. schools and students.
During the initiative’s first year in the 2011-2012 season, STC Education staff focused on building relationships with each DCPS school serving grades 8-12, bringing a dynamic, one-hour workshop to one classroom free of charge. The next school year, 2012-2013, STC welcomed these schools to the theatres, providing 50 free tickets and free transportation to a SHAKESPEARIENCE Student Matinee. 42 of the 53 public schools participated, bringing roughly 2,000 D.C. students through our doors – many, for the very first time. The students had the opportunity to participate in a pre-performance classroom workshop, enjoy performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Coriolanus and The Winter’s Tale and engage in a post-show discussion with the actors in each production. Last year, STC Education also launched the initial phase of free workshops with D.C. Public Charter Schools serving grades 8-12, reaching 45 schools across the District.
This season, Shakespeare Theatre Company has multiplied its number of SHAKESPEARIENCE Student Matinees in order to welcome a full grade from each D.C. public high school. More than 1,200 students from 8 high schools already attended Measure for Measure and 8 more high schools are scheduled to bring a full grade to a SHAKESPEARIENCE Student Matinees this year. Each public charter school has also been offered 50 free tickets and free transportation, with the goal of having a full grade from their school attend a matinee next season.
Given the proven benefits of exposure to the arts as an integral component of curriculum, STC believes that providing access to classical theatre for 100% of D.C.’s Public and Public Charter Schools is critical to the well-rounded education of the city’s students. We envision a future where every DCPS and DCPCS student has the opportunity to experience the timeless themes and language of Shakespeare by attending a classical theatre production. STC Education continues to make crucial strides toward achieving this goal.
Want to get your school involved?
Contact Vanessa Hope, School Programs Manager, at 202.547.3230 ext. 2105 or by email.