New York City Children’s Theater’s Signature Program

Literature at Play

Literature at Play residencies support the NYS Common Core ELA Standards and meet the NYC DOE Theatre Blueprint Benchmarks


How it Works

Over the course of 4 or more weekly sessions, teaching artists lead PreK-5th grade classes through acting, playwriting and songwriting workshops, resulting in each class’ adaptation of a children’s book. Residencies that run 6 sessions or more culminate in a Sharing Day in which students present their original plays or musicals for a partnering class.

  • Residencies can occur during the school day or as an afterschool program.
  • Must book a minimum of two workshops.

Literature at Play Academic Goals:

  • To reinforce students’ language and literacy skills through theatre and songwriting
  • To expand students’ writing abilities with an emphasis on strengthening literary elements, dialogue, expressive or descriptive language
  • To foster comfort and competence with speaking and listening for our large population of English language learners
  • To increase reading comprehension skills, such as sequencing, making predictions and text-to-self

Literature at Play Artistic Goals:

  • To write a play with a clear beginning, middle and end
  • To understand the elements of a well-written play (i.e. inciting incident, conflict, resolution, action, high stakes, low stakes)
  • To understand characters’ motivations and express dialogue with appropriate emotion
  • To speak/sing in front of a group, demonstrated through greater risk-taking, projection and articulation

Literature at Play has a unique program for students with special needs. Learn more here.


Literature At Play is available to schools and community centers in New York City and the tri-state area.

For more information, please contact the New York City Children’s Theater education department at 212-573-8791 x14 or email education@nycchildrenstheater.org or simply use the form below:

Inquire About NYCCT’s Literature at Play Programs: