MissionOpening Act’s theater programs provide students attending New York City’s most under-served public schools the opportunity to gain confidence, pride, and the knowledge that they can succeed at anything in life.
We specifically reach out to schools with low graduation rates (as few as 33% of students graduating in four years) and a severe lack of theater opportunities for their students.
What We DoOpening Act’s free, year-long, after-school theater program is based on a highly-structured, goal-oriented curriculum that teaches improvisation, acting technique, and writing exercises to help students unleash their creativity, foster collaboration, and develop leadership and problem-solving skills.
The culmination of each school-year program is an original production, created, written, and performed by the students in a professional theater.
Students from all our programs gather for our Annual Winter Gathering to share their experiences, show off their improvisation skills, collaborate on stage with professional actors, and become part of a larger acting community.
Our Saturday Master Classes with industry professionals help students learn more about: auditioning for college theater programs, applying to college and for financial aid, and career options in the creative arts
Every spring, students have the opportunity to attend a Broadway or Off-Broadway play.
Throughout the year, creative professionals – including cast members from Broadway shows, playwrights, hip-hop and spoken word artists, and designers – teach a workshop or talk with our students about their personal journeys.
We select motivated Opening Act students from each of our school programs and invite them to join the Student Leadership Council. The Council meets monthly to deepen their leadership training and devise original theater.
We encourage all of our students to apply to the Opening Act Scholarship Program to use toward college tuition or for professional artistic classes.
The Opening Act Theater Arts and Leadership Conservatory is an intensive, two-week summer program that includes courses in Shakespeare, Voice, Scene Study, and Leadership at no cost to its participants. The conservatory culminates in a showcase performance. An audition is required for admission.