You Are Here: Home EDUCATION Adopt A School

Adopt A School

Adopt A School

Paper Mill Playhouse founded the Adopt-A-School Project in 1989. The program was designed to introduce New Jersey high school students to the performing arts, to stimulate partnerships between educators, artists, and businesses and to encourage the permanent inclusion of arts programming as an integral part of New Jersey's educational system. In 1992, the Adopt-A-School Project was selected by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as a model arts-in-education program. Students at each “adopted” school work through a four year program that includes on site participation and in school residencies with extraordinary industry professionals.

Year One – "OurStage" (Observation Phase)

“OurStage” introduces the joys of live theater from an audience perspective by treating "adopted" students as Paper Mill "subscribers" for one full season.   Students attend four (4) matinee performances at Paper Mill Playhouse, experiencing a wide array of productions in varying theatrical styles.  An orientation session takes place in the school prior to the first trip to Paper Mill to prepare the students.  Comprehensive Audience Guides, prepared by the Paper Mill staff support each production. Pre-performance seminars focus on the process of creation.

Year Two – "SkillStage" (Participation Phase)

“SkillStage” provides a sequential experience in the arts and gives students the opportunity to put what they have observed in year one into practice.   Fall ArtsFest - A full day of up to three (3) workshops led by leading teaching artists in the performing arts are arranged at Paper Mill. Spring ArtsFest – Three (3) ‘master class’ level workshops led by prominent artists in the performing arts are held at Paper Mill Playhouse.

 Year Three – "YourStage" (Creation Phase)

The primary goals are to challenge imaginations and aesthetic understandings and develop decision making and collaborative skills. A student theater company is formed in each school to create an original theater work, guided by professional artists in residence. The final production is performed by the students on the Paper Mill Playhouse stage during Spring ArtsFest. 

Year Four – “NextStage” (Analysis Phase)

Students return to the Paper Mill’s mainstage – this time for evening performances – and watch shows with a critical eye. Students receive tickets to evening performances for up to four (4) mainstage productions.  Roundtrip coach transportation is provided. Pre-show seminars with leading theatre professionals guide the students in writing their own ‘review’ or critical analysis of their artistic experiences

Carrie Rubino
Senior Manager of Education Programs
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Paper Mill Playhouse Education Department
22 Brookside Drive, Millburn, NJ  07041

Adopt-A-School Project Lead Support by JPMorgan Chase Foundation, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, Fred J. Brotherton Charitable Foundation and Victoria Foundation. Additional generous support is provided by C.R. Bard Foundation, The Mall at Short Hills, New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Nordstrom, PNC Foundation, The Provident Bank Foundation, PSEG Foundation, Verizon Foundation, and Wells Fargo Foundation. Major funding for Paper Mill Playhouse Education Outreach is provided by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and MetLife Foundation. This program is made possible, in part, by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, A Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.