Drama in the Schools

The Drama in the Schools program is a partnership between the school (administration, teacher and students) and Victory Gardens. During our flagship program, experienced teaching artists partner with classroom teachers to lead students through sessions that encourage them to find and use their voices.

“I was able to tell a story that needed to be told and get my emotions out.” —Student, Lincoln Park HS

“My classroom would not be the same without the Victory Gardens residency.” —Teacher, Simeon Career Academy

“Not every student in the class will become a writer, but the playwriting unit allows them to reflect on what they want to share with the world.” —Teacher, Kenwood Academy High School

Drama in the Schools offers three focused units:

Storytelling (Spoken Word) — students are taught to access their emotions and use their voices through first person stories. During this writing and performance unit, classmates share their experiences and find a commonality that helps them become more comfortable opening up in front of a group. Each student adapts their personal monologue into a slam poem.

Character (August Wilson) — while immersed in August Wilson’s 10-play century cycle, students learn to connect to and express honest emotions through the words of the playwright. In addition to exploring character in preparation for the annual August Wilson Monologue Competition, the unit includes a research component with students completing dramaturgical investigations to better understand the decade in which their monologue takes place.

Playwriting (Our Flagship) — Victory Gardens is dedicated to the development of playwrights and new plays, making this component a natural extension of our work. Small groups create 5-10 minute plays by relying on their personal experiences and concerns to generate themes and plots for their pieces. The session culminates with either a staged reading by professional actors in the classroom or a shared showcase with other schools participating in the Drama in the Schools program.


All three units can be adapted based on curriculum and time constraints. Years of experience has shown our program is most successful when the residency covers multiple units throughout the school year, creating continuity with the students, and a solid partnership between the teacher and teaching artist.

Participation in Drama in the Schools includes tickets to the Scholarship Subscription Series student matinee performances in the fall and spring.

Partner Schools

  • Alcott College Prep
  • Community Christian Alternative Academy
  • Harlan Community Academy High School
  • Kenwood Academy High School
  • Lincoln Park High School
  • Oscar Mayer Magnet School
  • Prosser Career Academy High School
  • Senn Arts High School
  • Simeon Career Academy High School
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