THE ATLANTIC THEATER PROGRAM
About Atlantic Theater Company
Atlantic Theater Company and Staging Success: Atlantic Theater Company is an award-winning Off-Broadway theater that produces great plays simply and truthfully utilizing an artistic ensemble. Founded in 1985 by David Mamet and William H. Macy, Atlantic believes that the story of a play and the intent of its playwright are at the core of the creative process. The Atlantic Acting School trains young actors through an undergraduate program taught in conjunction with New York University, a professional Conservatory program, and children’s programs. Atlantic also serves about 3,500 students in 35 New York City public schools through its student matinee series and in-school residency program Staging Success. For more information about Atlantic, please visit atlantictheater.org and atlanticactingschool.org.
How The Staging Success Program Developed at Park Slope Collegiate
Prior to Staging Success, Park Slope Collegiate had participated in Atlantic’s student matinee program for six years. PSC students had always shown enthusiasm for this program, and several of them have gone on to receive scholarships to the Atlantic Acting School. When developing the idea for Staging Success, Atlantic met with several potential partner schools, but PSC stood out as the ideal partner - from their immediate understanding of the program to their enthusiasm for jumping into the planning process.
About Staging Success
Atlantic launched the Staging Success program at Park Slope Collegiate in 2011. In Staging Success, Atlantic teaching artists provide each of PSC’s 400 students with several weeks of in-depth theater classes at each grade level. These classes take place 2-4 times per week during regularly scheduled English periods and directly reinforce what students study in English and History. During 9th and 10th grades, Atlantic works with students over 6-8 weeks during the fall semester. Freshman classes give an introduction to theater and help students work as an ensemble. Then in 10th grade, students begin to learn the acting technique taught at the Atlantic Acting School and use it to analyze and act out dramatic material that is linked to academic curriculum. 11th grade is the most comprehensive year of the program, occurring over 10 weeks in the spring semester. Students continue study of Atlantic’s acting technique and write their own scenes and monologues inspired by personal experiences and source material from English and History class. Junior year culminates in a public performance that combines students’ own writing with material studied in class.
In the students’ final year, Atlantic invites interested seniors to take their training to the next level in a 10-week afterschool mentorship program at Atlantic. Here, students work side-by-side with theater professionals to form their own theater company and write and perform a new play in our theater for friends, family, and the general public.
Staging Success and Its Impact
Staging Success has had a profound effect on students and Park Slope Collegiate. Overall attendance and academic performance has increased. Students with little to no exposure to theater have grown to become young artists in their own right. They’ve become noticeably more engaged with their teachers and school community and gained a new confidence in themselves. Students have also bonded with each other in new ways that teachers have not previously seen, with about 70% of students saying in surveys that the program improved the classroom environment.