School Play, a documentary-based live theatre piece, is here to put school funding center stage. Compiled from a series of interviews, the play premiered in Philadelphia in April, 2015 and is now available for free for performances around the Commonwealth.
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: School Play is going on tour! Click below for more information about tour dates in your county. All performances are FREE!
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Ready to put on your own SCHOOL PLAY?
School Play is portable, adaptable, and free! We encourage unlimited performances by any group of people who feel motivated to help spark a conversation about public education and its value to us all.
You can create formal performances in community theatres, schools or at your local church. Or produce School Play as a pop-up event. In a busy parking lot, on the library steps, at the community center or at your Home and School meeting. Or even present it on the playground, on a street corner, or at a house party organized to draw attention to the need for fair and reliable funding for public education. Get creative!
highlights: the universal and invaluable importance of our relationships with teachers; how inequality in school funding limits programs and resources for schools in poorer districts;and how public educators remain devoted to recognizing and nurturing potential in their students who represent the future of our society.
Click below to download:
- Full Script
- School Play in 10 Minutes: This shortened version of the script quickly highlights inequality of school funding.
- School Play in 20 Minutes: Inequality: This shortened version of the script highlights the effects of under-funding programs and resources in poorer school districts.
- School Play in 20 minutes: Me Vs. We: This shortened version of the script highlights the importance of our relationship with teachers and how public educators remain devoted to recognizing and nurturing student potential.
- Production Guidelines
- Sample Press Release
- Online Invitation (coming soon)
- Two-Sided Postcard (coming soon)
- Playbill (coming soon)
Is public education a constitutional right, an ethical obligation, or a line item?
Is money spent on public education “a wasted drop in a cracked bucket?”
If my kids aren’t in a public school, why should I even care?
School Play, a documentary-style theatre piece, draws on verbatim interviews and quotes with a variety of citizens on all sides of the school funding issue.
Since ancient Greece, live theatre has been used to touch hearts and minds, connecting divisive moral or political conflicts to personal stakes and humanizing painful choices.
We have put genuine human faces to this story to further the connection to these issues and why they matter. By cutting through the numbers and political arguments, we will all discover ways to make things better for our children and our communities.
School Play is intended to galvanize Pennsylvanians and spark informed conversation around school funding. We envision School Play to be performed on stages, courthouse steps, church basements – anywhere and everywhere we can create a dialogue with our community about the state of our schools.
Present School Play yourself!
Following the Philadelphia Premiere on April 9, School Play will be available to anyone and everyone to present around the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Our goal is to have performances in each of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties before June’s budget approval in Harrisburg. The piece can be performed in whole or in part, by community groups, professional theatre troupes, friends, neighbors, and anyone in between.
If you would like more information about presenting School Play in your community, please fill out this form. We will provide the script, production guidelines, promotional tools and more! Once these materials become available in late April, we will be in contact with you.
Donate to School Play
School Play will illuminate the issues involved in the public schools crisis in Pennsylvania by using the words of students from struggling schools and other stakeholders in the debate about school funding. The creative team of writers Arden Kass and Seth Bauer, and director Ed Sobel, have developed a compelling new theatrical piece intended to spark a deeper and more meaningful discussion about the necessity of high-quality public education and, most importantly, to activate individuals to advocate for better public education for all children in Pennsylvania. Donate today to help spread School Play across the Commonwealth.
If you would like more information about presenting School Play in your own community, please fill out this form and we will get in contact with you!
Plan on performing School Play locally? Here’s some helpful materials to get you on your way. If you have any questions about these materials, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks and break a leg!
- School Play Media Toolkit Inventory
- School Play Flyer - Word Doc
- School Play - Sample Press Release - Word Doc
- School Play - Sample Letterhead - Word Doc
- School Play Logo - JPEG
- PCCY Logo - JPEG
Arden Kass (writer) is an award-wining playwright, independent producer of her own interdisciplinary theatre pieces and two-time PA Council on the Arts Fellow. She also writes musicals, TV, video and film scripts, has published essays and features, written 3 Biography shows on rock stars for A & E TV and performed her own social commentary monologues on WXPN Radioʼs Morning Show. Arden lives in Center City, Philadelphia. Her daughter graduated from Central High School and her son attends Science Leadership Academy.
Seth Bauer (writer) was named one of the “People of the Year” for making a significant impact on the New York theatre scene. His plays have been performed throughout the US and in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. They are published by Dramatists Play Service, Samuel French, and Smith & Krause. Seth has over 10 years experience running “arts outreach” programs for Theatre for a New Audience, Philly Young Playwrights, Texas Young Playwrights, the Wilma Theatre and Philadelphia Theatre Company. He holds an MFA in Playwriting from University of Texas at Austin where he was a James A. Michener fellow. He is the Assistant Professor of Playwriting and Dramatic Literature at The University of the Arts. Seth’s son attends John Jenks Elementary School in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia.
Edward Sobel (director) is an Assistant Professor and Head of Playwriting at Temple University. Previously, as Director of New Play Development at Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, he oversaw the development of over 40 new plays, including: Pulitzer and Tony Award winner August: Osage County, and Pulitzer finalists Red Light Winter and Man from Nebraska. Recent directing credits include Superior Donuts, Clybourne Park and Endgame (all at Arden Theatre Company) and the world premiere of Cadillac (5 Joseph Jefferson nominations, including best director). Ed holds an MFA in directing from Northwestern.
PCCY is grateful for the extraordinary dedication of the creative team of Arden Kass, Seth Bauer and Ed Sobel and the many contributors who made this play possible:
Barbara & Ted Aronson
The Berwind Foundation
Brian & Soozung Rankin
CHG Charitable Trust
Carolyn & Tim Adams
The Honorable Edward G. Rendell
Ellen & Tim Foster
Samuel S. Fels Fund
Janet & John Haas
Lynne & Peter Berman
Pat West & Tom Vernon
Rosemarie Greco Morrissey
Special thanks to: Brulee Catering & The National Constitution Center
Tell you local legislator to put education center stage. Voices from across the Commonwealth make it clear: we need to address how the state funds its schools. Click here to contact your House and Senate members and urge them to work with their colleagues to implement a fair and adequate funding formula for our schools with this year’s budget.