Lantern Theater Company
Lantern Theater Company's Illumination Education Program
What Students Are Learning in Lantern Residencies
"I learned that performing is a language of its own." –10th grader, The Academy at Palumbo

"What I liked about the residency and final project was that it was different from just sitting in class and reading the book all day. And yet, acting out the scenes made the book easier to understand." –10th Grader, The Academy at Palumbo
What Teachers Appreciate About Lantern Residencies
"I can honestly say that I am a better teacher of Shakespeare and theater in general because of my work with the Lantern." –Anissa Weinraub, English teacher, The Academy at Palumbo

"I have heard from many students that they have never had so much fun in an English class, and that they understand Romeo and Juliet more than they've ever understood a book that they were reading. They're reprising their roles for me today, and several have approached me to see about the possibility of creating a theater club at school. One student said, 'I want to do this for the rest of my life.'" –Beatrix Steiner-Rose, English teacher, W.B. Saul High School
Illumination Education Program

Classroom Connections: Curricular Residencies in Local Schools

Illumination residencies use the tools and techniques unique to theater arts to enrich the educational experience of local students, deepening their understanding of the world and helping them to tap their creative potential. Our in-school residency program, Classroom Connections, is designed to provide theatrical skills for students to use in a wide range of courses, including English, History, and Drama, complementing and expanding on the work of classroom teachers to bring a dynamic, artistic lens to curricular material.

We train teams of teaching artists to partner with local teachers, and we create customized lesson plans designed to improve students' critical thinking skills while providing opportunities for creative expression. Our teaching artists show students how to use the tools of actors and playwrights to connect with a story and to learn ways to tell their own stories to an audience. By the end of each residency, students present their own staged adaptations of curricular works. In this more profound exploration of classroom materials, students not only deepen their understanding, but have forged their own personal connection to classic texts.

We provide multi-visit residencies on plays in the Philadelphia School District curriculum, including Fences by August Wilson, Othello by William Shakespeare, our annual production of Romeo and Juliet for middle school and high school audiences, and select Lantern mainstage productions.

Lantern classroom residencies encourage participating students to:

  • Develop confident performance and self-expression skills
  • Engage more deeply with assigned material and make connections to their contemporary lives
  • Focus on positive group work, developing beneficial collaborative habits
  • Develop key long-term life skills, particularly critical thinking
How to Get Involved

If you are interested in becoming a partner school or meeting with us to develop a residency for your classroom, please contact Matt Tallman, Education Director, at or 215.829.9002 x104.

Pictured: Students participating in the Lantern's Illumination program.
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Header Photo: Lawrence Stallings in the world premiere of Me and the Devil (2021); Anthony Lawton and Dave Johnson in Travesties (2022); Melissa Rakiro and Joanna Liao in Twelfth Night (2023); and Paul L. Nolan, Sally Mercer, and Charles McMahon in Copenhagen (2018). Photos by Mark Garvin.

Lantern Theater Company acknowledges that it is situated on Lenapehoking, the ancestral and spiritual homeland of the Unami Lenape, and we pay respect to them as this region's original storytellers.

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