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Stages Theatre Company at Your School

Stages @ Your School

 SET Story (18 Months – Preschool)

 Residencies & Workshops (Preschool – Grade 12)

 Perspectives on Peace

Study Guides

Introducing Sensory Exploratory Theatre (SET) Story from Stages Theatre Company!

SET Story

Turn your classroom into a world of play! Stages Theatre Company wants to bring the fun and learning of interactive theatre to your school or daycare with Sensory Exploratory Theatre (SET) Story!

Sensory Play provides children with an opportunity to explore the world around them, interact with others, and play.  Through sensory activities, children:

  • Develop and improve their gross and fine motor skills,
  • Advance their coordination and concentration,
  • Learn how to work cooperatively and collaboratively,
  • Use all their senses in exploring their environment, and
  • Develop their imagination, creative thinking and problem solving skills.

Using theatrical storytelling and sensory integration activities, our actor educators will guide your students through a dramatic adventure in which  they will use their bodies, voices and imaginations to meet characters, become characters, and work together to solve the problems we encounter within the imaginary world of the play.

This year, we are diving deep into our favorite ocean stories and tales with SET Story: Under the Sea!

To encourage the connection of arts and literacy a few books we love to pair with SET Story: Under the Sea are Swimmy, The Pout Pout Fish, Not Quite Narwhal and The Rainbow Fish. And so many more!

WHAT WE NEED TO COME TO YOU::  An open space without desks, but no gym please. A multipurpose room is perfect!

TIME COMMITMENT: This is a 30-35 minute experience. We have the ability to repeat SET Story up to 6 times within one school day to accommodate a number of classrooms.  The equipment is heavy, so when possible, we prefer to use the same space for multi-performance days.

CAPACITY: With two teaching artists guiding the SET Story experience, we are able to accommodate no more than 25 students per performance. The interactive nature of SET Story is best with at least 10 students. Part of the value of the experience is witnessing others’ participation as well.

WHO is SET for? SET Story is for daycares, preschools, and kindergartens. Additionally, we are able to accommodate for students who have Sensory Processing Disorders but do require notice for appropriate staffing

PRICES: $100 per SET Story experience.

For more information EMAIL  or call Megan at 952-979-1117.

Residencies and Partnerships

Through a variety of options, students in the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota can participate in performing arts workshops or use theatre, improvisation, playwriting, or dance to explore non-theatre curriculum in a dramatic way. Our teaching artists, working professionals from in and around the metro area, collaborate with teachers to “break open” curriculum for students with different styles of learning. They challenge students to reach new levels of curricular understanding through use of arts integrated lessons.Students participating in Stages Theatre Company artist-teacher’s collaborations have shown improved test scores as well as stronger social skills such as leadership and cooperation.

Nikki Swoboda, Education Program Manager
Call (952) 979-1138 or email

Theatre Arts Residency

Our residencies provide opportunities for K – 12 students and teachers to work closely with skilled theatre artists. These high-quality, creative drama programs assist schools in expanding your own arts curriculum. Students are challenged in a positive, supportive and constructive atmosphere that culminates in a final demonstration of skills. Each program is customized to the needs of your particular school and age group. Take a look at some of these past topics designed to ignite imagination and further education.

Past Custom-Tailored Residency Topics Have Included:

  • Introduction to Acting
  • Creative Dramatics
  • Creative Movement
  • Reader’s Theatre
  • Folk Tales & Fairy Tales
  • Play Making

Page to Stage: Building Literacy Through Theatre

Story drama and storytelling are effective tools to help students of all ages with their reading and writingskills. Students learn a language arts curriculum that includes comprehension, interpretation, story structure and evaluation. Story drama and re-telling are making a clear difference in areas such as reading, history and science.

Positive Goal Setting

Students are constantly confronted with challenging choices. It’s critical that students learn how to set realistic and positive goals. Using theatre techniques, students discover how to make healthy choices and how to positively meet the challenges of everyday life.

Playwriting and Introduction to Shakespeare

Designed for students in grades 5 – 12, these residencies are an introduction to Shakespeare and/or the basics of playwriting. By focusing on classic literature or the fundamentals of creating stage dialogue, students engage themselves in topics such as character and story development.

Curriculum Connections:  Introducing Students to Live Theatre

Our Curriculum Connection program offers teachers and their classes the opportunity to experience and participate in the production of a play. Through an artist-in-residence visit and a hands-on curriculum,students follow a Stages Theatre Company production as it develops in the weeks before opening. After watching a live performance of the production, students complete various follow-up activities related to the show. This project is intended to support and enhance an existing language arts, history and/or humanities curriculum while allowing students a look inside the artistry of live theatre production.

Project Components:

  • Free study guides developed by the Stages Theatre Company for use by classroom teachers.
  • Free copy of Make a Scene: K – 6 Theatre Curriculum: a handbook of more than 50 warm-ups and learning activities supporting student work towards theatre standards.
  • Three hours of classroom visits from artists associated with the appropriate production.
  • Up to 30 tickets to a Stages Theatre Company production.

Nikki Swoboda, Education Director
Call (952) 979-1138 or email

Theatre Arts Partnership

Teachers and Students Learning Together

Stages Theatre Company’s teaching artists have more than 20 years experience “breaking open” curriculum in classrooms from kindergarten through high school. Our arts integrated programs apply creative dramatics activities to any curricular topic in a way that allows students to get the lesson “into their bones.” We find these methods especially suited to the non-traditional learner.  Students participating in Stages Theatre Company artist-teacher’s collaborations have shown improved test scores as well as stronger social skills such as leadership and cooperation.

We specialize in custom-tailored programs designed to suit the needs of both you and your students. Our teaching artists work closely with you, the classroom teacher, to create a collaborative partnership that provides an opportunity for you to observe and practice research-based arts strategies at work in your classroom. Design curriculum together with your artist partner and then observe as the teaching artist models lessons with your students. As you implement the lessons, our teaching artists observe and give you immediate feedback – allowing for opportunities to reflect and refine lessons throughout the partnership. Stages Theatre Company has found great success for both teachers and students with this collaborative process that promotes reflective learning as well as provides hands-on experience for you and your students.

Past Custom-Tailored Topics Have Included:


  • Balance and Motion
  • Terrestrial Food Chain
  • Solids and Liquids
  • The Human Body
  • Sound

Social Studies:

  • Multicultural Tales
  • Cultural Dance Styles
  • Egypt, Land of the Pharoahs
  • Asia, Life on the River
  • American History

Language Arts:

  • Literacy Skills: Tableaux
  • Literacy Skills: Reader’s Theatre
  • Playwriting
  • Poetry

Meet Our Teaching Artists

Stages Theatre Company calls upon the richness of the Twin Cities professional theatre community by utilizing some of the finest teaching artists in the Metro area.  As experienced professionals working in their field, our teaching artists bring their artistic excellence as well as their respect for and love of children to our classroom and yours.

Nikki Swoboda, Education Director
Call (952) 979-1138 or email

Free Curriculum


Purpose of the Theatre Curriculum

With Make a Scene: K – 6 Theatre Curriculum, we share our expertise in introducing children to the world of theatre. The over 50 warm-ups and learning activities included, all written in accessible language and format, focus on specific skills of acting, dramatizing stories and making meaning through theatre. Activities may be used with students in a variety of different grade and ability levels and within multiple content areas. Sample units demonstrate how teachers and curriculum leaders may strategically pull activities from the K – 6 Theatre Curriculum to support a specific classroom drama project and/or the Minnesota theatre arts content standards.

Who could use the curriculum?

Make a Scene: K – 6 Theatre Curriculum is designed for multiple uses. Teachers new to using theatre and drama in the classroom will find the activities to be an accessible starting point; teachers with more experience will be able to extend and adapt the activities to support their existing curriculum. Many activities may be used over and over again, with a variety of different age levels and within the context of different curricular areas. Teachers responsible for teaching and assessing the theatre content standards will find concrete and focused learning activities to support student work in the standards.


  • Warm-ups: voice, body, imagination and teamwork
  • Acting: movement, voice, characterization, props and costumes
  • Storydrama: plot and theme, environment, and characters
  • Making Meaning: personal, cultural, historical

How was our curriculum developed?

Make a Scene: K – 6 Theatre Curriculum was written by theatre educators and edited by a Graduation Standards specialist. It was piloted and reviewed by classroom teachers from Hopkins and Minneapolis school districts and pre-service education students from MSU, Mankato. It was reviewed by a team of experienced theatre and classroom educators and developed with the assistance of a grant from the Department of Children, Families and Learning.

In My Own Voice: (click here for PDF)

Responding to Life and Literature Through Playwriting for Grades 6 – 12

Words, gesture, and actions are the tools of daily communication. In My Own Voice is a curriculum guide for Secondary English and Language Arts teachers intended to foster writing that expresses ideas and concepts in a way that can be engaging and fun. The activities range in complexity from simple monologue and dialogue writing to more advanced scenes. Some basic exercises can be accomplished in a single classroom period. Others have numerous extensions that can last for several sessions. All are adaptable to various curricular themes and content, and they have been tested with students in a wide variety of age groups and settings.

Although the main focus on these strategies is to link student writing with literature, they can also be used to develop original written material that can be presented by groups of students in an informal public presentation. It is our hope that teachers will adapt the activities in this guide to best suit the needs of their particular classrooms.

Your School Play

Stages Theatre Company has a full staff of theater arts professionals experience in all areas of production. We can direct your school play using our directors, choreographers, sets, properties, costumes, and your students!

Funding FAQ

Got questions?  We’ve got answers!  Worried about how to pay for your bus transportation for a field trip?  Want to have an artist come to your classroom, but you’re not sure how to make it happen?  Are you part of a homeschool co-op wanting to know more about the costs involved in putting up a play?  We want to help you make your dramatic dreams a reality and our Funding FAQ page is a great start!

Nikki Swoboda, Education Director
Call (952) 979-1138 or email

Perspectives on Peace (PoP) 

Perspectives on Peace (PoP) is a statewide arts residency program developed by Stages Theatre Company for 1,200+ Minnesota middle school students. PoP illuminates current world events and broadens students’ attitudes toward tolerance, respect, understanding, and peace using arts-integrated instruction and performance that ties to social studies, language, and arts curricula. Working with professional teaching artists, students discover what peace means to them and creatively express their viewpoints through a multi-media/multi-genre showcase at the end of each residency.

PoP in the News:

2017 Harold Oaks Award Recipient: Stages Theatre Company

If you are interested in being a Perspectives on Peace school contact Education Director: Nikki Swoboda


Study Guides

Thousands upon thousands of young people receive their first exposure to theatre at Stages Theatre Company. Study guides are a great way to extend student learning beyond their visit. Our free study guides contain tons of information, ideas and activities: author/playwright biographies, notes on historical context, cross-curricular classroom activities, theatre etiquette, and discussion questions for before and after you come to see the show!


2018-19 Season Study Guides

Check back closer to the production opening night!

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