Cleveland Public Theatre – Youth Education Programs


6Z8A9833Cleveland Act Now (CAN) is a year-round theatre program for young artists ages 5-14. CMHA CAN takes place in partnership with Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) at community centers for children and families who live in public housing. Under the guidance of CPT Teaching Artists, young artists learn how to create and perform their own plays, dance, poetry, music, and visual art. These multidisciplinary performing arts activities improve academic skills, instill empathy and responsibility, build character, and enhance creative thinking. The students regularly perform at CMHA community centers as well as arts festivals throughout Cleveland. CMHA CAN is offered at four CMHA estates: Lakeview Terrace, Woodhill Homes, Outhwaite Homes, and Riverside Park. CPT also offers CAN Academy, a free performing arts program for younger teens and youth from Cleveland and surrounding neighborhoods, held on-site at the theatre. Young artists engage in rigorous (and fun!) theatre training, learning acting fundamentals, script analysis, storytelling techniques, and play creation.

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6Z8A7785Student Theatre Enrichment Program (STEP), a rigorous arts-based program that provides hands-on job training, engages youth from Cleveland families in a powerful learning experience that develops job skills, academic achievement, and interpersonal skills. As part of this eight-week summer program, youth ages 14-19 work together to create, produce, perform, and tour their own play. This program is the longest-running arts-based, workplace development program in Cleveland and is an international model for engaging youth.

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Education is a core aspect of Cleveland Public Theatre’s mission. We believe art can change lives and that everyone is an artist. Throughout our history, we have offered unique education programs that celebrate the artist within all of us.

Based on CPT’s guiding education principles of Empowerment, Equity, Excellence, and Enthusiasm, CPT’s Teaching Artists work to build close, long-term relationships with participants, families, and community partners by facilitating trust and open exchange. Our education programming seeks to create, for participants and teachers alike, a reciprocal collaborative learning environment that supports awareness and fosters powerful and life-affirming art experiences.

Studies consistently find that arts programs are highly effective when they engage students in “Out of School Time,” in small-class settings with long-term experiences, that culminate in completed projects. CPT’s education programs were conceived on these best practices, and the results are impressive. We are proud to be a leader in the arts and education community, offering powerful, meaningful experiences for adults and children.