All people are artists.
We all have a voice to share.
People's Theatre Project cultivates ongoing artistic dialogue in NYC’s neighborhoods of color to amplify youth voices and grow local action.
Established in 2009, PTP is deeply invested in the Washington Heights and Inwood neighborhoods of northern Manhattan, and strives to be a consistent, dynamic and impactful presence in the lives of the young people it serves there.
Why We Exist
Young people of color lack accessible opportunities to support their engagement in the social justice movement. People’s Theatre Project works to address this problem by helping students build a critical understanding of the social forces that affect their daily lives, fine-tune their own creative voices to describe their realities and discover the power of collaboration in reimagining a just society.
How We Work
Through student-centered and culturally relevant arts-based programming, youth participants in grades K-12 in Northern Manhattan are immersed in experiential learning projects that deepen their sense of power, strengthen their connection to their communities and support the development of 21st century leaders who are creative, collaborative and compassionate.
Collaborative Theatre Making
Rather than give our community actors an existing script, or teach them a set of dance steps, we pose a challenge:
Design and create your own work of art about something important to you.
Our teaching artists engage in this process oriented work with children as young as six, up through middle and high school students, many of whom are new to this country. Each group is asked to conceptualize, create and perform an original theatrical work that explore themes important to them and their community.
A lot happens during this progression. Bodies get silly. Outside voices are used inside. Comfort zones are expanded. We reflect on ourselves. We hear each others stories. We learn about our rights. We unpack injustice. We play games. We dance. We write. We share. We fail. We play more games! We laugh. We give up. We get mad, sad, overwhelmed. Leaders emerge. Friendships deepen. Ideas become scenes, songs, characters, images. We are a team. We speak our truth. We impact our audience. We find confidence. We find our voice.