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Opening 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.

We engage our students in complicated discussions using theater and writing exercises specifically designed to help them amplify their voices so they can express their perspectives and create original theater pieces that directly address the contemporary social issues they face on a daily basis. The program culminates in an original production created, written, and performed by the students in a professional theater.

Currently offered at 51 schools in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and the Bronx, our After School Program provides a safe, inclusive, and supportive environment so that our students feel empowered to share their stories.

Results from our evaluations show that we are succeeding in our goals:

* 93% of students said they were more motivated to come to school since joining Opening Act 
          * 98% of students said that Opening Act improved their ability to work as a team
          * 97% reported that their participation in Opening Act increased their self-confidence

But perhaps the impact Opening Act has on youth is best reflected in the words of our students and teachers themselves. A student from Samuel Gompers High School in the South Bronx said, “I didn’t get a lot out of school. Opening Act offered me a place to belong. It taught me if you want something you have to put yourself out there. Opening Act is the best thing that happened to me.” An English teacher at one of our partnering schools said, “My greatest joy is seeing how these skills translate into success in the classroom. In a school with a 44% graduation rate, there has only been one Opening Act participant who did not graduate on time. Opening Act has improved the lives of my students, the culture of my school, and my practice as a teacher.”

For more information about Opening Act's after school and extracurricular programs, visit our website!

A special thanks to our #POWEROF10 sponsor IHS Markit and our incredible partners and supporters!