School Connections

Through in-school workshops, we provide teachers and students the tools to go beyond what they see on stage by releasing their imagination to new perspectives with curriculum that explores each Steppenwolf for Young Adults production deeply and gives opportunities for students to think like an artist.


Our Bridge Residency Program is composed of three parts: 1) Preparation - two pre-show workshops, 2) Experience - attending a student matinee, and 3) Reflection or Interpretation - two post-show workshops.

The Pre-Show Workshops are intended to peak student inquiry and give opportunities to students to think like an artist when attending the student matinee. Students craft a “lens” through which to view the production by asking in-depth questions, contextualizing the play in the past and present, and cultivating inquiry for the Steppenwolf for Young Adults production, thereby making their experience at the theatre active, engaging and personal.

The Experience of seeing a play at Steppenwolf Theatre is always followed by a post-show discussion. At student matinee performances, the discussion moderator fosters an in-depth conversation between the students themselves. The actors and creative team members of the show participate in the conversation and offer an opportunity for the students to ask questions directly to the professionals. Steppenwolf also has a counselor onsite for all student matinee performances to ensure we are taking care of our students while we are challenging them.

The Post-Show Workshops offer an opportunity for students to create personal meaning from the play with performance-based exercises and in-depth reflective discussions. Students are encouraged to make connections that are personal and societal, to be able to reflect on and synthesize their personal connections to the play, and make artistic choices to bring these ideas to life.


Our Immersion Residency Program was created to address the need for longer, more in-depth partnerships with our schools and for a rigorous curriculum with Steppenwolf for Young Adults’ productions as the central focus. The Immersion Residency Program integrates professional development with a year-long, in-classroom residency. We accomplish this by immersing Steppenwolf Teaching Artists in Chicago Public Schools, targeting both classroom teachers and students through a combination of:

  • curriculum development that is inquiry based and uses Steppenwolf for Young Adults’ productions as the centerpiece
  • professional development that brings classroom teachers and our teaching artists together for intensive work sessions throughout the year
  • classroom support through extended classroom residencies that are co-taught by a Steppenwolf teaching artist and the classroom teacher
  • student engagement in exploring the play as a work of art and cultural expression; guiding students though an artistic process in how theatre artists approach the creation of work for the stage.


Facilitated by a team of expert Teaching Artists, students begin with the question “What If?” as a jumping off point to create their own work of art in response to a Steppenwolf for Young Adults’ production or season theme. This original work of art is showcased at the school and on one of Steppenwolf’s professional stages.

For more information on our In-School Residency Programs, please contact Interim Senior Manager of Education Programs Amanda Dunne Acevedo at

See Residency Program in Action

Watch residency video

View photos from the Residency program

SYA Teaching Training