Theatre Outreach

Contact

Director, Theatre Outreach

E-mail Allen

914.395.2439

Media Inquiries

Sarah Lawrence College's Theatre Outreach Program, founded in 1974 by faculty member emerita Shirley Kaplan and presently led by program director Allen Lang, offers undergraduate and graduate Theatre students the opportunity to connect with underserved communities in Westchester County and New York City and to help children, teens, and seniors “find their voices” and discover new creative outlets for their drives and passions. 

Theatre Outreach students participate in team-based performance and teaching placements in schools, community and senior centers, community colleges, museums, and shelters. Specific projects have included improvisation, music and movement, playwriting, oral histories, puppetry, and basics of performance and production. Students also take courses—Methods of Theatre Outreach, Theatre Outreach Community Projects, and, on the graduate level, Teaching Artist Pedagogy Conference—that present them with the structures needed for community extension of the theatre and helps them develop original, issue-oriented, dramatic material using music and theatre media. 

Lunchbox Theatre, the signature program of Theatre Outreach, offers a free process-centered theatre curriculum on Saturdays for members of the local community at different age levels, including senior citizens. Lunchbox Theatre began 20 years ago 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. Workshops are led by graduate and undergraduate students, and participants bring their lunch, facilitating the wonderful bond that occurs when people share food. Many Lunchbox Theatre participants stay with the program for years.

Theatre Outreach frequently brings guest artists and performers to the program for special events, including an annual performance by inner city youth for Black History Month led by Kwame Johnson ’74’s Youth Theatre Interactions. Others guests have included poet and performance artist Annie Lanzilotto, theatre educator and director Martin Balmaceda, theatre maker, visual artist, and director Nephri Armenii, and Aretha Sills, master teacher of the VIola Spolin Technique.

Examples of Theatre Outreach Placement Sites

  • Center Lane LGBTQ Youth & Community Education Center (Yonkers & White Plains)
  • Greenburgh-Graham Schools (Hastings-on-Hudson)
  • Lehman College (Bronx)
  • Mary J. Blige Center for Women (Yonkers)
  • PS 14 (Bronx)
  • School 30 (Yonkers)
  • Wartburg Senior Living Center (Mount Vernon)

“Experiencing Yonkers Video Project”

“Experiencing Yonkers” is a site-specific video exploration created by the Sarah Lawrence College Theatre Outreach program, which connects the energy and creativity of Sarah Lawrence students to the aliveness and vibrancy of Yonkers.

In 2018, the performers visited Untermyer Park and Gardens:

The spectacular natural and architectural beauty of Van der Donck Park (2017), the surrounding historic Yonkers downtown, and the waterfront district serve as central counterpoints to the simple, repetitive pedestrian movements of the performers: