A major part of REV Theatre Company’s mission is to make classic texts and company-created pieces entertaining and immediate for children and family audiences, with a special emphasis on underserved communities ( i.e. low and middle income families) - REV’s Theatre Education Outreach Program is an essential element of our work. We bring free, professional productions geared to family audiences and accompanying children’s workshops to diverse communities.
REV is committed to making live arts accessible to a widely diverse audience that includes children, young people and families. We do this through our Outreach Program which combines children’s theatre workshops and rehearsal process with free performances in the cities of Philadelphia, New York and Stamford.
Our Theatre Education Outreach Program gives children from lower-income families the opportunity to participate in both workshops and productions. The philosophy of our workshop program centers around the process of using the arts to learn important life skills such as self-confidence and self-esteem, collaboration and imagination as well as being part of a production with a professional theatre company.
These workshops attract children from ethnically and culturally diverse backgrounds; many of these children have never seen a live performance or participated in creative workshops.
For the past 13 years our Outreach Program has provided free theater workshops in inner-city neighborhoods in New York, Philadelphia, Scranton, throughout Connecticut and upstate New York - attracting children from ethnically and culturally diverse backgrounds.
In the summer of 2003, REV inaugurated its Summer Outreach Program focusing exclusively on children’s programming. REV”s new adaptation of "Hansel and Gretel", which we titled Handsome and Petal was presented in Fairmount Park, Philadelphia and Mill River Park in Stamford. In both cities, REV partnered with established non-profit, community organizations: the Christian Street YMCA and PHYSED in South Philadelphia and the Boys & Girls Club in Stamford.REV’S Artistic Directors and teaching artists led workshops for one hundred children ages 8-12 and then thirty five children in each city were cast in the production, working with REV’s professional actors and director. The response from the community of parents and families was overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic, and as a result, both organizations invited REV to return in the summer of 2004 to lead workshops and present free performances of another original piece – The Lil’ Red Show based on "Little Red Riding Hood". Our 2004 Summer Outreach Program increased the length of the workshops to five weeks, and we added more performances, thus giving more children the opportunity to participate in the Program.
REV’s educational programs continued to grow and develop, with our “Revv’d Up Shakespeare” Program of performance and workshops going to two schools in Shelton, Connecticut and a semester-long program of Shakespeare in a Philadelphia charter school in the fall and winter of 2004. REV also led after-school drama workshops at PHYSED in Philadelphia during those same months.
In 2005, we expanded our Summer Outreach Program to upstate New York, partnering for the first time with the Boys & Girls Club of Binghamton. The Program involved 5 weeks of workshops and rehearsals for 30 children ages 7 -12, and culminated in a free outdoor performance in the grounds of Roberson Museum in Binghamton.We continued our programming in the Southern Tier of New York in 2006, with a new partnership between REV and the Goodwill Theatre in Johnson City. This theatre is in the throes of renovation and will be the centerpiece of revitalization of the surrounding community through an arts center and educational facilities. Through the Goodwill, we taught 7 weeks of workshops for Johnson City Community Action Team’s summer camp program, and then presented free performances of The Lil’ Red Show to hundreds of people.We also continued our association with the Boys & Girls Club of Binghamton through a fall and winter after-school program for which we created an original piece called Playdoh Playdoh (or A Little Musical South Sea Island Exotic Extravaganza) that was presented at the TriCities Opera Theatre in Binghamton.
REV Theatre Company returned to the Southern Tier in the summer of 2007 with two programs: an outdoor production of Midsummer Night’s Dream, which featured local actors alongside professionals from New York, and produced by the Goodwill Theatre; and once again a children’s program with the Goodwill and JCCAT – several weeks of theatre workshops and rehearsals which culminated in a production of Handsome and Petal that was then offered free to the community of the Triple Cities. Pandora – Out of the Box, was co-created and co-written with the Boys & Girls Club of Binghamton in a 6 week partnership in the fall of 2009.
The Happy Show in the spring of 2012 was presented after a 4 week partnership between REV and the Binghamton Boys & Girls Club participants who, once again, co-created and co-wrote the piece.
In the summers of 2012 and 2013 REV teaching artists let Outreach Programs with Scranton’s United Neighborhood Centers, introduced 60 children ages 7 – 14 to Shakespeare and the worlds of Midsummer Night’s Dream and Comedy of Errors.
An 8 session, once-a-week Acting Shakespeare intensive throughout the fall of 2012 and a 3- week winter residency with Scranton UNC teens, yielded a production of (Teen) Macbeth in January of 2013 and (Teen) Romeo and Juliet in the winter of 2014. Both productions played to standing-room-only audiences.
Children and young adults being our future, must be reached and excited by live theatre. REV’s productions are infused with energy, passion and theatricality, creating exciting theatre for audiences today and tomorrow.