The PTP Academy

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.

The PTP Academy is comprised of the Pre-Academy (K–5th grade), and the Academy Core (6th–12th grade). All participants receive a full scholarship.

Academy Core

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The Academy Core engages 6th–12th graders in a 6-year track to develop leadership and activism skills through ensemble-based theatre-making. These young artists and their families have signed a middle or high school contract, formalizing their commitment. All Academy Core Young Artists are required to take their core theatre-devising course each year and engage in performance opportunities ranging from in-studio performances to producing the annual We the People festival in May.

Academy Core program features include:
  • Arts & Activism Electives
  • College and Career Readiness Opportunities
  • Excursions to see a Broadway or Off-Broadway show annually
  • Summer Lab, a 2-week summer theatre intensive
  • Wraparound Services: In partnership with NewYork-Presbyterian's Uptown Hub, young artists can receive priority access to mental health services, and referrals to a network of local providers for services including tutoring, SAT prep, and housing support.
Academy Core Admissions Process
Last Chance to Apply! Deadline is August 21
Step 1: Apply

Apply by Friday, August 21, 2020

The application form is brief, can be completed in English or Spanish, and will only take a few minutes to complete. There is no fee to apply. 

Apply Now
Step 2: Watch the Info Session (Mandatory)

Applicants and parents will be provided a recording of an informative online webinar which was live streamed on June 23. PTP Academy staff will provide an overview of this multi-year program's curriculum, our commitment to our Young Artists, and the admissions process.

Step 3: Group Audition

Tuesday, August 25 at 4:00 P.M. on Zoom


After reviewing student applications, PTP staff will reach out to applicants with either an assigned group audition time or a request for more information. Auditions will be held via Zoom video conferencing and will be recorded to ensure PTP staff reviews each applicant.

Step 4: Family Interview

August 26, 27, 28 by appointment


Following the group audition, applicants will either receive an invitation to participate in an informal family interview, or a notification that the applicant will not be moving on to the next step. Family interviews will be held virtually via Zoom and are the final step in the admissions process.

Frequently Asked Admissions Questions

No need to prepare anything in advance for the auditions. The participants will be engaging in group activities that explore ways to collaborate with other young artists and be creative in different ways. Wearing comfortable clothing is advised as movement is involved in the activities.

Each year we invite 36 new participants, 24 middle school students and 12 high school students.

We strongly believe that we are all artists and activists so no need to have prior experience in acting in order to participate in the audition process. We are looking for enthusiasm, commitment, collaboration and creativity. Also, the auditions at PTP work both ways. This is a chance for all participants to get a taste of the work we do at PTP and decide whether they would love to commit to a program like this.

The family interview gives the students, parent/guardians, and PTP staff members an opportunity to find out more about each other, gauge the family’s commitment to the program, and answer any questions that have come up along the way. Interviews are informal, and families are encouraged to prepare by discussing why each family member is interested in being part of the PTP Academy, and what they hope to gain from the experience.


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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 Saturday mornings at the PTP Studio and students may enroll in the fall or spring semester.

Interested in joining the Pre-Academy? Contact us.

Unless otherwise noted, all classes take place at the PTP Studio located at 5030 Broadway, Suite 825 in the Inwood neighborhood of Upper Manhattan.


I have grown so much as a person, an artist and an activist.

Zahira Babson College student & PTP alumna
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