Signature in the Schools
Photo by Dennis Deloria

Signature in the Schools

What is Signature in the Schools?

Signature in the Schools uses theater to open the minds and broaden the viewpoints of local teens while engaging them in a positive creative experience. A recipient of The Washington Post’s prestigious Community Service Award, Signature in the Schools reaches over 1,400 students annually.

Signature in the Schools is a multifaceted program that encompasses in-school workshops for Arlington Public Schools English, Social Studies and Theater classes, theatrical training for young artists, and the creation of an original play. The play is directed, designed and written by Signature artists and features a cast and crew of Arlington high school students and an Equity actor.

Signature in the Schools: The Play

Once the production has been cast, Joe Calarco, Signature Theatre’s Resident Director/Director of New Works, writes an original play specially tailored to the personalities and abilities of the student performers and focuses on themes from Arlington Public Schools Social Studies’ curriculum.

All students, whether onstage or off, are mentored by professionals and before rehearsals begin go through a three week “Boot Camp,” where they critically engage with the historical subject matter of the play and develop strong theatrical and ensemble skills.

Signature in the Schools: The In-Class Experience

Signature in the Schools performs five student matinees each year. Classes who attend receive:

  • Copies of an in-depth resource guide for each student.
  • Free tickets to the performance.
  • Free transportation to and from Signature Theatre (Arlington Public Schools only.)

Additionally, participating teachers may request free workshops by Signature Theatre’s acclaimed Education Department. Workshops in the past have covered a wide variety of topics, including:

  • Historical subject matter of the play
  • Media literacy
  • Collaboration
  • Basics of theatrical staging

Signature in the Schools: The Performances

Dates for the 2016 Signature in the Schools world premiere production will be announced soon. As in years past, there will be several student matinees. Additionally, there will be two public evening performances.

Tickets for all performances of Signature in the Schools are completely free and may be requested by teachers.
Reservations for student matinees will be available beginning September 8, 2015.
Reservations for public performances will be available beginning February 1, 2016.