Theatre West's education programs seek to serve the community by presenting quality theater for younger audiences and using theater skills to present positive and stimulating educational programs that meet California Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) standards.
For many years, Theatre West has run a comprehensive set of children's theater and education programs. Storybook Theatre has won numerous awards and recognition by the City, County, State, and US Senate and House of Representatives. Today, Theatre West's educational programs include our Storybook Theatre for the youngest audiences, our Elementary School program, our Middle School Playwrights program, and the High School Theatre programs.
Theatre West reaches out to mostly underserved communities. The education program has been beneficial in helping to empower children and build their self-esteem. And although we are a theater, the program, and the focus are not about acting. Through theater games, children learn the importance of teamwork and working together. Their involvement in the arts helps build confidence, improve classroom skills, and introduce them to a world and perspective they might not have otherwise been exposed to.
Over the years, there have been countless School field trips to Theatre West to watch and engage in the presentation of various Storybook productions. Field trips are beneficial for young children to experience live theater, most of them for the very first time. The experience not only improves children's life skills but for some, the experience can be life-changing.
Called the "Best in the West for the squirmy set" by Los Angeles Magazine, and "simply the best at what they do" by the Los Angeles Times, Theatre West's Storybook Theatre is one of only two professional children's theaters for elementary school children in Los Angeles County. And according to AEA, it is one of the highest-impact children's theaters in the US, serving more than 10,000 students a year. It has been presenting young children with interactive, non-threatening theater and musicals, and with stimulating theater-based education programs for thirty-five years.
Theatre West's education programs include:
- adapt classic stories and fairy tales into non-threatening plays and musicals that contain messages and lessons for young audiences
- present these adaptations as fully staged productions at Theatre West
- bring young audiences to these productions from across Los Angeles, even providing transportation from underserved areas when possible
- partner with schools to bring theatre professionals into the classroom to use theater as vehicles for teaching storytelling, drama, reading, English, and language skills and to teach about theater in accordance with VAPA.