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Our residencies are designed with our partners and customized for each classroom teacher and classroom. We provide ongoing classes that focus on arts integration, theater as a tool for social change, and residencies include tickets to A.C.T. student matinee performances. Our instructors are skilled arts educators who support students' social-emotional learning and growth, while collaborating with classroom teachers and creating student-centered creative environments.

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. 

In 2015, A.C.T. launched a bilingual arts program at Hilltop Special Services Center, a continuation high school serving pregnant and parenting teens.  A.C.T. provides weekly creative writing instruction in partnership with a Hilltop High School teacher. 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.

Pairing professional theater designers and technicians with groups of Lowell technical theater students, we coordinate classes and work sessions that support the students' creative design and technical roles for the school's productions. From a professional costume designer teaching a student designer how to measure and coordinate costume fittings to a professional lighting designer teaching Lowell crew members how to hang and focus lights, this residency builds a bridge between the professional theater world to this public school's theater productions, integrating artistry, best practices & safety, alongside workforce development and an introduction to career possibilities.

Each week an A.C.T. teaching artist who specialized in integrated learning and accessibility leads classes with Mission students who have developmental disabilities. Working closely with the students' classroom teacher, theater curriculum is adapted for this setting, promoting community & social engagement, self-understanding, and creative expression. A.C.T. is delighted to join a wide range of partners and community-based organizations who support the rich cultural life in the Mission district and bring high-quality arts education to Mission High School.

In this year-long arts integration initiative, classroom teachers collaborate and meet regularly with their A.C.T. Teaching Artist to envision how existing academic curriculum can be taught through physical, verbal and other creative activities, using theater as a tool for academic learning. Together, teachers co-create arts integrated curricula that leads to dynamic classes animating subject matter and guiding K-5 students through fun, engaging, interdisciplinary & experiential learning.

The program also offers professional development, designed to equip classroom teachers with the skills and confidence needed to design and lead arts integrated curricula with and without A.C.T. Teaching Artists. 

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.  

Check out a short film created with A.C.T. and school partner, AccessSFUSD: The Arc during the Spring 2022 semester!

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