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Our year-long intensive residencies provide ongoing instruction in theatrical writing, performance, and production and are tailored to meet the needs of each school partner.  Residencies include tickets to A.C.T. shows and master classes with guest faculty and MFA Program Citizen Artist.

Each week an A.C.T. teaching artist works at AccessSFUSD: The Arc, a unique special education program within the San Francisco Unified School District that serves students with disabilities ages 18-22 to learn functional skills within the community, discover their passions, unlock their potential and become involved members of the community. Through this partnership, AccessSFUSD: The Arc invites participants from other Access classrooms and adult agencies to be a part of these yearlong classes, allowing a greater portion of the disability community to benefit from this experience. Specializing in applied theater and inclusion, an A.C.T. Teaching Artist spends the first half of the residency supporting the development of theatrical skills and building a solid improv foundation. The second half of the year is spent devising an original theatre piece that stems entirely from the interests and imaginations of the students, and culminates in a public performance. 

Galing Bata is a bilingual/bicultural after school program & summer program providing quality guidance, care, and protection (gabay, lingap, bantay) to students at Bessie Carmichael Filipino Education Center. Through this program, an A.C.T. Teaching Artist brings theater education to elementary-aged students, harmonizing children's culturally and linguistically sensitive development by promoting biliteracy in English and Filipino (Tagalog) through animating folk tales, promoting self-expression within community, and more. To culminate the yearlong creative experience, students collaborate on the development of an original piece of theater to be presented to the larger multicultural community. The culminating event welcomes families, teachers and other community members to enjoy food, music & dance, and to celebrate the students’ performance and creative endeavors. 

In fall 2011, A.C.T. launched an intensive year-long pilot residency program with Downtown High School (DHS), a project-based-learning continuation school that serves youth from all over San Francisco who have not experienced success in conventional public schools. As part of the school's Acting for Critical Transformation (ACT) project, students attend weekly acting classes in A.C.T.’s studios, are encouraged to attend all A.C.T. mainstage and conservatory productions, learn about backstage careers such as theater production and marketing, and write their own original monologues and essays on issues of social relevance, which they perform for their school community and families in A.C.T. venues each semester. The 826 Valencia literacy initiative provides tutors to help students with their writing and has published their dramatic work in an annual anthology. 

Launched in January 2015, A.C.T. partners with Hilltop Special Services Center, a continuation high school serving pregnant and parenting teens.  An A.C.T. teaching artist provides weekly theatrical instruction in basic theater exercises to build trust, ensemble, and relationships. Exercises build throughout the school year, leading to a culminating performance for which the class works together to rehearse, prepare, and perform a culminating exhibition before an audience at an ACT performance venue, with students involved in all aspects of writing, performing, marketing, and producing. The A.C.T. teaching artist leads theater exercises that build student confidence, address specific issues, and empower the students to feel more connected to themselves and others. Students are guided in writing poetry, monologues, and scenes exploring issues of particular relevance to their lives.  The entire school community attends the culminating exhibition, which is followed by a celebratory meal for the entire school community. Families, including the students' own children, and caregivers are also encouraged to attend the performance and celebration to experience their children's culminating performance and hear from them in post-show Q&As about the program and what they have learned.

In 2012–13, A.C.T. also established an intensive residency at Ida B. Wells High School, another San Francisco continuation school. Starting in the 2013–14 season, a generous grant from San Francisco’s Department of Youth and Family Services (DCYF) made it possible for A.C.T. to feature a Theater Arts as a Tool for Change class as part of the school curriculum. Students work to explore the link between theater and the social issues most relevant to them and visit A.C.T. for mainstage and MFA Program performances and workshops led by first-rate teaching artists from A.C.T.’s community of arts professionals.

826 Valencia is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting under-resourced students with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. A.C.T. collaborates with 826 Valencia’s in-person podcasting field trips which provide individualized support to foster students’ ability to connect to writing and feel confident in their creative voices. During the morning session, 826 Valencia tutors support students as they learn about podcasts, brainstorm, and write their own podcast. In the afternoon session, students do a voice lesson with an A.C.T. Teaching Artist before practicing, recording, and completing online audio and publishing activities. You can listen to student poetry, narrative, and opinion podcasts on SoundCloud: Message in a Bottle.  

Working with A.C.T has surpassed my expectations. Remembering the very first meeting with A.C.T, I was impressed with the level of attention, focus, professionalism and willingness to expand the experience for our students. The transformations that have occurred from this partnership is a true testament to what can happen when education and the arts meet.

Teacher, Downtown High School

I appreciate meeting teachers and students that care about me. I also appreciate teachers that won’t give up on me. Being in ACT made me notice that I have a voice.

Student, Downtown High School