Developing Youth Leadership & Cultural Empowerment

Rooted in our value of creativity, our arts-integrated pedagogy of ensemble-based theatre fuses the body, voice, heart, and mind to equip our students with the skills to build more equitable, brave, and collaborative spaces. 

Through the lens of our value of equity and a culturally-sustaining pedagogy, we view participants as experts of their own cultures. Classroom conversation revolves around the language, food, music, dance, and media that is already part of participants’ lives. Many classes (and the theatre pieces our participants make) are bilingual or multilingual. 

Based on our value of collaboration and using the critical pedagogy described in Paolo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1968), we deconstruct power structures in educational and administrative spaces by “circling up.” In classrooms, our teaching artists (TAs)—most of whom are immigrant artists themselves—are part of the circle, modeling vulnerability and sharing their own stories. 

Knitting these three pedagogies together, PTP endeavors to holistically serve our immigrant communities, resulting in a joyful approach to social justice and brave artist-activists determined to create a more just and equitable world.

PTP Academy Core (Grades 6-12)
People_s project_53

The PTP Academy is a rigorous, multi-year theatre and social justice leadership program in Upper Manhattan dedicated to the holistic development of immigrant youth and youth of color. We envision the PTP Academy as an artistic laboratory that fosters a deep sense of belonging, a brave space where participants can come as they are and grow in their social-emotional learning as young artists and leaders.

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Pre-Academy (Grades K-5)
PTP Academy students perform, Photo by Emmanuel Abreu, courtesy of People_s Theatre Project

In the Pre-Academy, students in grades K - 5 develop foundational theatre skills, as they devise an ensemble-based theatre piece that celebrates their identities and communities. Classes take place on Saturdays and students may enroll in the fall or spring semester.

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PTP Partnerships (Grades K-12)

In the PTP Partnerships, our team of experienced teaching artists collaborate with 16–18 elementary, middle and high schools, primarily in Upper Manhattan, to provide student-centered, culturally-sustaining, and experiential theatre curricula to approximately 900 K–12 students, many of whom are Multilingual Learners.

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Workshops & Trainings

We believe in sharing our creative process with the community. Our workshops open doors for youth and adults of all backgrounds and abilities to experience the transformative power of theatre. These workshops culminate in sharings, allowing participants to showcase their newfound talents and engage with friends, family, and the public. Our goal is to empower more individuals to use theatre as a tool for self-expression and social change.

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