“The arts are fundamental to our humanity. They ennoble and inspire us, fostering creativity, goodness and beauty. They help us express our values, build bridges between cultures, and bring us together regardless of ethnicity, religion or age.”
– Randy Cohen, Ethics Writer for the New York Times
Bring An Arts Program To Your School…
ARTS EDUCATION/LEARNING is the center of Pushcart Players’ mission, goals, programs and operation. Rooted in the belief that the arts are an inseparable part of the human journey and an essential component of the educational process, Pushcart Players continues to develop new material and remains on the cutting edge of intriguing, enriching and enlightening young audiences with meaningful arts experiences.
With Pushcart Players’ quality productions and insightful workshops/residencies, there is ample evidence of the 21st Century Life Skills that young people acquire with participation in theater: Creativity, Confidence, Problem Solving, Perseverance, Focus, Non-Verbal Communication, Collaboration, Commitment and Accountability. Pushcart Players’ programming offers students the opportunity to participate in live theater, to gain literacy in the arts and to use the arts as an additional or alternate pathway to learning. Pushcart programs also prepare students for arts proficiency testing in grades 4, 8 & 12.
Kids Do Broadway
On-school-time or after: Kids learn all about theater by doing it! Over a period of 12 to 16 weeks, familiar Broadway favorites are designed, costumed, rehearsed and presented by students under the direction of Pushcart Players teaching artists. With the involvement of teachers, parents, and camp counselors, this collaborative effort culminates in a dazzling performance!
Scripts originally produced by Pushcart and in our repertoire are adapted for schools and other groups to be performed by youth ensembles of as many as 50 students (or more). Directed by Pushcart faculty, or licensed to organizations for self-production.
Creative Drama Workshops
On-school-time or after: Students develop self-awareness and confidence in dramatic play and self-expression through Theater Exercises, Games, Storytelling and Improvisation Technique. These activities create an exceptional pathway to learning. Workshops are designed to relate to any curriculum, theme or topic in the school or classroom and prepare students for creative skills essential to their success in the 21st Century.
Development Through Drama Residency
On-school-time: Over a period of 4-12 weeks, students experience a more in-depth Creative Drama program that fosters an understanding of theater and creates a proficiency in expression. Comprised of Theater Games, Story Telling, Improvisation Technique and Creative Writing, this “process” rather than “product” oriented program provides an excellent foundation for sequential learning in the arts. Curriculum inclusion in early grades sets the stage for the ability to act and interact in any life situation.
Pre or post performance: Workshops/Demo-Discussions with small groups or the entire school that offer a hands-on exploration of all elements of musical theater including the Artists (playwright, composer, lyricist, designer, director, choreographer, actor, stage manager), the Medium (scenery, costumes, light, sound) and the Career (training, auditioning, rehearsal, talent, focus, commitment). Audience participation makes the Informance an interactive and engaging exposure to theater arts. Pushcart’s staff and teaching artists work with clients to find the best programs to suit their specific needs.
Arts-in-Education Curriculum Development
Pushcart’s Education Staff assists schools in developing strategies to incorporate arts programming as a vital component in the curriculum of Kindergarten through 8th grade.Pushcart Players has been a pioneer in the development of theater for young audiences and arts education programming in NJ and beyond for more than 41 years, providing strong leadership in creating the concept and language that drives literacy in the arts. Pushcart continues to advocate for the centrality of arts education in schools through active participation in the New Jersey Arts Education Partnership (NJAEP), Newark Arts Education Roundtable (Newark Arts Council) and New Jersey Theatre Alliance.
Pushcart Players offers a variety of on-school-time programs for special needs populations to make theater education and participation accessible to everyone. Teaching artists work closely with educators and care-givers to tailor a project that meets the talents and interests of students in an inclusive environment. In a series of classes and rehearsals, young people on the Autism spectrum and with other cognitive disabilities create a theater piece to be performed for their classmates and peers. Similarly, acting / writing workshops are conducted with at-risk youth in the juvenile correction system. With sensitivity and skill, Pushcart opens the door for students to experience the benefits and joy of participating in theater.
As requested and with presenter collaboration, Pushcart provides ADA accessibility through sign-interpretation, audio description, sensory seminars, open captioning and large-print materials.
Pushcart Players has developed programs with the following
schools & community organizations:
Wayne YMCA – Wayne, NJ
Rockaway Valley School/Boonton Township Education Foundation – Boonton, NJ
Gould School – North Caldwell, NJ
Breezy Point Cooperative Theatre Summer Program – Breezy Point, NY
John F. Kennedy School – Newark, NJ (Program designed for students on the Autism Spectrum)
Del E Webb Center’s Camp Imagination – Wickenburg, AZ
Passaic County Youth Correctional Department – Passaic, NJ (Program designed for at risk youth and youth offenders)
The Learning Center – Clifton, NJ (Program is designed for students on the Autism spectrum and with other cognitive disabilities in preschool through high school)