Arden for All

With your support, every child can experience the joy of live theatre.

Arden for All (AFA) is the Arden’s in-school arts education residency program. AFA serves third through fifth grade classrooms in schools across the Philadelphia region, targeting student populations who have little to no arts education and would otherwise not be able to attend a live theatre performance. AFA offers in-classroom lessons taught by Arden Teaching Artists in partner classrooms built around state Core Curriculum and the themes of Arden Children’s Theatre, as well as tickets to two Arden Children’s Theatre productions followed by onsite lessons. 

AFA is based on the belief that arts-inspired education should be equally available to children from all socioeconomic backgrounds, and is designed to encourage literacy, inspire creativity and confidence, and allow students to discover their unique strengths and abilities.

In the 2019/20 season, 2,874 individual students in 15 area schools across 102 classrooms will receive the AFA program. 

Support Arden for All

A gift of $14 will cover the cost of a ticket for a child.

Through Arden for All, each year participating students receive:

  • 10 Literacy-based lessons led by professional teaching artists: 8 in-classroom and 2 onsite at the Arden
  • Tickets to 2 Children’s Theatre productions followed by Q&A sessions with the actors
  • 2 show-related books and lesson workbooks for every students
  • Bus transportation
  • Supplementary curricula connecting the themes of the play to other subjects

Our Lessons 

  • AFA is the only theatre-access program in Philadelphia that directly connects onstage work to classic pieces of Children’s Literature, with lessons developed in conjunction with sate Core Curriculum standards. 
  • We teach literacy concepts such as: setting, character, plot, and dialogue by encouraging students to create their own adaptations of these stories through utilizing the actor’s toolkit: their bodies, voices, and imaginations.
  • Students learn career positions on and off stage that are necessary to create a play, as well as the basics of all theatrical design elements: scenic, costumes, lighting, and sound.   

As a direct result of AFA, after three consecutive years of program participation, students will have:

  •  Received 30 high-quality theatre lessons led by Arden Teaching Artists
  • Seen six Arden Children’s Theatre productions and received six show-related books
  • Displayed growth in literacy skills, theatre knowledge and skills, and teamwork skills

Classroom Teacher Comments from 2018/19

“This was an excellent opportunity for our students to see a live performance and experience a different environment out of their neighborhood.”

“I love that the children get to express themselves creatively and some of the quietest children in the classroom really came alive in the workshop. I love how Miss Abby drew out our shyer children to fully participate. The acting was awesome, the sets were awesome, and the adaptation was perfect!”

“The onsite workshop helped the students understand how the play’s props work and students were able to work closely with performers or stage manager. They were even able to be on the real stage! They loved every moment!”