In the Spotlight

Designed to provide classroom teachers with an inside look into the Steppenwolf for Young Adults productions, teachers receive exclusive access to hear the play aloud, meet the cast and discuss themes in preparation for field trips to the theatre.

In the Spotlight attendees:

  • Get priority access to the creative team behind each production
  • Hear the script come to life during a staged reading of the play
  • Learn how we are bringing stories, classic and new, to the stage

In the Spotlight begins with an exclusive cast reading of the play and is immediately followed by a post-show conversation. The conversation is framed around the questions you, the teachers at the center of our programming, have about the play and how we are bringing it to the stage. Additionally, with teens in attendance, you have an unique opportunity to hear the teen perspective as you build lesson plans around the production.

To register, please contact Education Manager Jared Bellot at (312) 654-5643or

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 lessons plans that explore the themes of Steppenwolf for Young Adults productions.

PRE/POST Residency Program

Our PRE/POST Residency Program is composed of three parts: Preparation (pre-show workshop), Experience (the production), and Reflection or Interpretation (post-show workshop).

The Pre-show workshop is intended to raise student excitement and interest in the play through the use of performance-based exercises based on the play’s themes. By first exploring themes, students are given a “lens” through which to view the production, thereby making their experience at the theatre more active and thoughtful.

The Experience of seeing a play at Steppenwolf Theatre is always followed by a post-show discussion. At school group performances, the discussion moderator fosters dialogue and debate between the students themselves. The actors of the show also participate in the conversation, and answer questions.

The Post-show workshop engages students in reflective dialogue about the play, especially in regards to how the play speaks to their experience in the world. Performance-based exercises and in-depth discussions are used to help students realize, as well as articulate, their personal connections to the play.

Immersion Residency Program

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.

WHAT IF? Residency Program

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

For more information on our In School Residency Programs, please contact Education Manager Jared Bellot, at

See Residency Program in Action

Watch residency video

View photos from the Residency program

SYA Teaching Training