Committed to bringing the performing arts to all middle schoolers
Open Stage is a performing arts education program for middle school students and teachers in the Pasadena Unified School District. Artists-in-residence and classroom teachers collaborate to integrate theatre with the history/social studies and English language arts curricula through attendance at live performances and a sequence of classroom-based lessons and activities that incorporate reading, writing, interpreting, and performing theatre texts.
Open Stage was initially planned and implemented by PUSD and several local theatre organizations with a two-year Arts Education Collective Impact grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. After careful assessment of the pilot program by the district’s Arts & Enrichment Office and an independent evaluator, the program has been refined to focus on curriculum content as well as social-emotional learning, an important aspect of personal developmental for this age group.
Currently, the program serves all 2,400 7th & 8th grade students at PUSD’s seven middle schools. Kellen Law, an experienced theatre artist and educator, is the current artist-in-residence.
Strong partnership with the Pasadena Playhouse, A Noise Within, and The Sierra Madre Playhouse ensures that in this theatre-rich community, theatre experiences are an integral part of the middle school education of PUSD’s diverse student body.
- Teachers will build confidence in their ability to deliver theatre integrated learning experiences across subject areas.
- Teachers will be able to determine the relevance of theatre in the development of collaborative, interpretive, and productive language.
- Students will be able to identify, experience, and interpret the elements of theatre by observing, performing, reading, and writing theatre texts.
- Students will be able to connect to their own social and emotional experiences (memory and identity) by devising theatrical texts for performance.
- Students will be able to empathize with characters (real and imagined) through analysis of a variety of texts as well as historical events.