About this show
In Rajiv Joseph’s Red Folder, a first grader’s elementary school folder is just a folder, until it isn’t. In this short virtual play, a child’s world is turned upside down when he starts to believe his self-worth should be measured by which side of his school folder, left or right, his work belongs in. Inspired by this exceptional piece of storytelling, Joseph’s play will be packaged for teachers to stream for free in classrooms around the world in addition to a suite of virtual fodder encouraging students to consider their own red folders by asking, “How can art act as a tool for reflection, helping us to see something from our past in a new light?”
ABOUT THIS PROJECT
Made by teens, for teens, The Red Folder Project offers an opportunity to peek inside the artistic process for a unique educational experience exploring not only how art gets made, but why. Developed by a team of youth curators working in collaboration with the Steppenwolf Education team, The Red Folder Project will feature a suite of digital programming allowing high school students the chance to engage with the work of art in their classrooms, and create their own works of art alongside playwright and Steppenwolf ensemble member Rajiv Joseph and other artists at the center of the Red Folder animated play.
Inspired by the rigorous and messy work that happens as a part of Steppenwolf’s In School Residency programs, The Red Folder Project will encourage self reflection, conversation, and art-making as students ask “Who am I?”, “What do I want?", “What am I creating?” and “What do I need?”—all while considering how the past versions of ourselves inform our present identities and the future worlds that we might dream up.
What can I expect as a part of The Red Folder Project?
- Digital access to Red Folder, as well as access to Spanish captioned and ASL interpreted versions of the play.
- Never-before-seen conversations with Steppenwolf ensemble members Rajiv Joseph (playwright, director, illustrator) and Carrie Coon (narrator), as well as artists Chris P. Thompson (original music), Christopher Huizar (lead animation artist) and Joel Moorman (editor and animation artist).
- Behind the scenes insight into the artistic and technical process of what it means to bring an illustrated play to life on the virtual stage from the people who made it happen.
- The opportunity for students to participate in and contribute to a global art making project inspired by Red Folder.
- Lesson plans and classroom activities (designed for all learning environments) exploring the question: How do the past versions of ourselves inform our present identities and the future worlds that we might dream up?
- A full study guide consisting of breakdowns of plot, character, and setting, as well as production details, information about the author and the adaptation process and discussions of themes and images in the play.
- The script of Red Folder available for use in the classroom.
Note: The study guide for Red Folder Project is currently password protected. We welcome you to register to bring The Red Folder Project and the accompanying suite of digital content to your students! You can do so by following this link.
Parents and guardians, please be advised, the play speaks about the following:
- Feelings of anger
This play also contains profane language. We recommend this content for grades 8 and up.
This virtual project will be available to stream for FREE for all educators to explore with their students (recommended for grades 8 and above), including classroom teachers, youth mentors, leaders of after-school programs for youth, leaders of unschoolers or homeschoolers groups, etc. College groups also welcome!
Steppenwolf for Young Adults
Steppenwolf is proud to produce the nationally recognized Young Adults series, which focuses on creating world-class theatre specifically for a teen and family audience. Learn more about this season's SYA offerings.
Red Folder Cast & Artists
Playwright Rajiv Joseph†
Director Rajiv Joseph†
Illustrator Rajiv Joseph†
Original Music Chris P. Thompson
Filmed and Edited by Joel Moorman
Lead Animation Artist Christopher Huizar
Animation Artists Joel Moorman and Rudy Schultz
Artistic Producer JC Clementz
Teen Curators: Miles C., Kristen D., Naysa S., Joelle R.
Education Producers: Jared Bellot, Abhi Shrestha
Production Manager Elise Hausken
Casting Director JC Clementz, CSA
Production Stage Manager Laura D. Glenn*
Assistant Production Stage Manager Christine D. Freeburg*
Narrator Carrie Coon†*
Additional Staff: Martha Wegener (Sound Engineer), Patrick Zakem (Captioning)
Special Thanks to Dinesh Joseph.
Steppenwolf Theatre Company is a constituent of Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for nonprofit professional theater.
† denotes a member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company ensemble.
* denotes a member of Actors’ Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers.
Steppenwolf for Young Adults Sponsors
Paul M. Angell Family Foundation
Ralla Klepak Foundation for Education in the Performing Arts
Allstate Insurance Company
Andrew and Amy Bluhm
Ann and Richard Carr
Crown Family Philanthropies
Liz and Eric Lefkofsky
Polk Bros. Foundation
Robert and Louise Sanborn
Archer Daniels Midland Company
ComEd, An Exelon Company
Lloyd A. Fry Foundation
Grosvenor Capital Management
Walter E. Heller Foundation
Lynn Lockwood Murphy and Barrett B. Murphy
Anne and Don Phillips
Cari and Michael J. Sacks
Zell Family Foundation
Accessibility Services sponsored by John Hart and Carol Prins
This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.