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Educational Programs

The State Street Project

Passage’s educational programming, known as the State Street Project, invites youth and adults of all ages and backgrounds to explore, fully realize, and share their greatest creative potential and the potential of community through the power of expression – onstage, in the classroom, in their neighborhoods, and across the nation.

Founded in 1995 by June Ballinger, and managed by David Lee White from 2003-2016, Passage’s education program is an outreach effort aimed at Trenton’s youth, ages 8 to 22. The program matches Trenton young people with professional artist-mentors in playwriting, performance, spoken-word, and technical theatre classes.

Throughout the years, Passage has brought artistic residencies to a number of local partner organizations, including (in recent years) Trenton Central High School, the Christina Seix Academy, the Emily Fisher Charter School, the Boys & Girls Club, the Ellarslie Museum, and the River City Community School.

A critical element of many State Street Project programs is “Playmaking,” a writing process which can be adapted to teen and pre-teen students, based on the program created by Willie Reale and Daniel Judah Sklar for New York’s 52nd Street Project. The Playmaking technique pairs youth with adult, theatre professionals for the creation and performance of some unique one-act plays. The kids write ‘em, the adults act ‘em.

SHOWS FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES

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This November, Passage will be producing a staged reading (with puppets!) of Ricardo Gamboa’s play The Real Life Adventures of Jimmy de las Rosas at the Mill Hill Playhouse at 11 AM on Friday, November 2, 2018 and at 6:30 PM on Saturday, November 3, 2018.

Thirteen-year-old Jimmy longs to use his secret telekinetic powers. He just didn’t want his mother’s life to be in danger. As disappearances haunt his neighborhood, Jimmy joins forces with two other superpowered kids to save his mother and unmask a criminal hiding in plain sight.

This play is suitable for ALL AGES, but particularly for ages 8 and up.

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased beginning July 1st, 2018.
Ticket rates for groups of ten or more are $7. Contact elizabeth@passagetheatre.org for more information.

PRE-TEEN PROGRAMS

Elementary School Storytelling Residencies

Taken during Playmaking by Passage Theatre at the Mill Hill Playhouse in Trenton, N.J. Sat., June 14, 2008. (Photo by Cie Stroud)

Passage Theatre offers both in-school and after-school residencies for elementary schools in Mercer County that teach students about storytelling through the art of theatre. In collaboration with the classroom teacher of the partner school, the specific goals of each residency are customized for each group of students and follow the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards for Visual and Performing Arts. The residencies teach students how to write their own plays and tell their stories through a variety of theatrical mediums, thus encouraging self-expression and self-esteem and improving literacy and communication skills. Students will tell their stories through writing, puppetry, acting, and/or design, depending on the planned nature of the residency. Stories may then be shared with their peers and teachers in the classroom, or on the stage of the Mill Hill Playhouse, depending on the goals agreed on by Passage and the partner school. All residencies are taught by professional theatre artists with a background in education and new plays. For more information, please contact Artistic Director Ryanne Domingues at ryanne@passagetheatre.org.

TEEN PROGRAMS

Youth Turn Summer Program

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Passage Theatre and Youth Turn Musical Performing Arts Company will co-produce a summer arts training program that will run from July 9 – August 25, 2018. The program is free of charge and open to all high-school-aged students, who identify as performers and/or non-performers. Audition and interview information can be found here.

Participating students will spend three days each week at the Historic Mill Hill Playhouse, where they will receive professional training in acting, writing, vocal performance, piano and music theory, and stage production and design. By using the skills taught in these classes, the students will be able to analyze the impact of art on culture, employ various methods used in acting, dance, and vocal training, safely implement theatrical design, and use basic playwriting techniques to develop their own scenes. The remaining two days each week will be spent preparing professional resumes, putting together their portfolios, and receiving training in personal financial management. They will also be volunteering to work with seniors at Trenton’s Westward Community Center. This experience will allow the students to prepare for success in the real world while participating in fun activities and an exciting production!

The program will culminate in a public performance of Motown Meets Trenton, an original musical review. There will be two performances of the show on Friday, August 24th at 7:30 PM and Saturday, August 25th at 3 PM. Tickets are free of charge, and reservations can be made starting July 1st, 2019.

Middle and High School Playwrighting and Devised Work Residencies

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Passage Theatre offers both in-school and after-school residencies for middle schools and high schools in Mercer County that teach students the fundamentals of playwriting and devised work. In collaboration with the classroom teacher of the partner school, the specific goals of each residency are customized for each group of students and follow the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards for Visual and Performing Arts. The residencies teach students how to write their own plays or devise their own work through a variety of professional techniques. Plays can be developed individually or as a group and be linked to a personal experience or a shared event. The goal of the program is to encourage self-expression and self-esteem, while improving literacy and communication skills. Through their writing, students will also have the opportunity to explore the fundamentals of puppetry, acting, and/or design, depending on the planned nature of the residency. The work will culminate with a sharing onstage at the Mill Hill Playhouse attended by school faculty, Passage Staff, peers, and invited friends and family. All residencies are taught by professional theatre artists with a background in education and new work. For more information, please contact Artistic Director Ryanne Domingues at ryanne@passagetheatre.org.

ADULT PROGRAMS

Adult Acting Classes Taught by June Ballinger

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In a famous quote, Sanford Meisner defined good acting as being able “to live truthfully in the imaginary circumstances of the play.” To begin, however, the actors must first know the truth of themselves. Join former Passage Artistic Director June Ballinger as she leads a series of adult acting classes that guide students toward the authenticity of themselves and away from premature ideas of “character.” Using a combination of scene work and monologues, June’s classes reveal a unique blend of the actor’s personal truth and the circumstances provided by the text.

Class are small (no more than 8) with no audition needed. Former theatre training is not required, although there will be a short phone interview to determine your experience and interests. These validating classes are fun and encourage compassion and understanding of yourself and those you will be working with. Students of varying levels are encouraged to sign up. You can be a curious beginner or a more experienced performer. For more information, or to be notified when future classes are available, please contact our Producing and Administrative Associate, Elizabeth Zuckerman at elizabeth@passagetheatre.org.

TEACHING ARTIST OPPORTUNITIES

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Passage’s educational programming invites youth and adults of all ages and backgrounds to explore, fully realize, and share their greatest creative potential and the potential of community through the power of expression – onstage, in the classroom, in their neighborhoods, and across the nation. If you are interested in helping to teach the future playwrights and theatre makers of tomorrow, please see contact Artistic Director Ryanne Domingues at ryanne@passagetheatre.org for more information on how to get involved.

HELP SUPPORT ARTS EDUCATION

Passage Theatre is dedicated to the promotion and implementation of arts education in Mercer County. However, a large amount of time and resources are necessary to support this type of programming, and to ensure that our students and teaching artists receive the best training possible. If you or someone you know may be interested in helping to fund a State Street Project program, please contact our Managing Director, Damion Parran, at damion@passagetheatre.org for more information.

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