Lunchbox Theatre

group performance
grad student leads lunchbox classroom
theatre student preparing CAPEs art supplies
lunchbox participants making most of classroom activities
post show conversation with lunchbox participants in costume
performers at senior center
lunchbox dance for seniors
senior participants spotlight
classroom brainstorm for all ages
active classroom warmup
big lunchbox group

Lunchbox Theatre, an essential component of Theatre and Civic Engagement, offers a free process-centered theatre curriculum on Saturdays for members of the local community. Program offerings extend to senior citizens, high school students, and early childhood development work.

Program Development

Lunchbox Theatre began in 1997 as a special workshop for the children of Sarah Lawrence faculty and staff, and has grown to include 80 participants from Yonkers and the surrounding area. Graduate and undergraduate students lead the workshops and participants bring their lunch, facilitating the bond that occurs when people make art together and share food. Many Lunchbox Theatre participants stay with the program for years, honing theatre skills and developing personal expression.

In the Community

From the Wartburg Senior Center to SLC's Cannon Theatre, students and seniors of the community enjoy a variety of workshops, performances, and more. Lunchbox programming includes our "Senior Writer" program. We proudly highlight the seniors' final work through performance. For spring 2021, we proudly present their culminating hard work via zoom video performance. 


Lil Pea, an original musical for children performed at the Hudson River Museum. Star of the show? A colorful peacock whose castmates include a blue jay lost in the museum and a robin who works as a museum security guard. Directed by Shirley Kaplan and written by Allen Lang, Little Pea complemented the museum's exhibition, Strut: The Peacock and Beauty in Art. Lil Pea also toured schools and youth centers throughout both Westchester County and rural Wisconsin.

Lunchbox Theatre proceeded to share theatre skills on Zoom throughout the pandemic. Instead of weekly workshops, the Sarah Lawrence teams met with participant groups every other week for shorter periods, bringing continuity and normalcy to an unprecedented situation. We all did our best to make this adjustment. Lunchbox always culminates at the end of the spring semester with all the groups coming together to share work and this year was no exception. The following is the 2021 Zoom version of our celebration.

Twice yearly, in the fall and the spring, the SLC Child Development Institute presents a Community Adventure Play Experience (CAPE) to the participants of Lunchbox Theatre. The Lunchbox participants eagerly take their creative skills out of the theatre and onto the lawn to learn new ways to create, collaborate, and problem-solve using recycled materials.