Signature in the Schools

“Signature is like a home for me. I have grown so much as a person and as an actor thanks to this unbelievably wonderful program and the excellent people in it. For most of my high school career, I spent so many months counting down the days until I could audition for Signature again and feel at home once again. SIS is such a unique, effective experience and it’s hard to express all of the positive emotions I have in just one statement. Just know that it is almost overwhelming how much this program has changed my life.” – Brandi Moore, Signature in the Schools 2012-15.

Students: For more information about Signature in the Schools auditions, visit Signature in the Schools – for Students.

What is Signature in the Schools?

Signature in the Schools, Signature Theatre’s flagship education program, is a multifaceted program that encompasses workshops for English, Social Studies and Theatre 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

The centerpiece of the Signature in the Schools program is the production of an original play written by Joe Calarco. The play is specially tailored to the personalities and abilities of the student performers and focuses on themes from Arlington Public Schools social studies’ curriculum.

Students not only make up the cast of the production, but also work as crew, stage managers and occasionally even as co-designers. All students, whether onstage or off, are mentored by professionals and are held to the highest professional standards. Before rehearsals with the completed script begin, all cast and crew go through “Boot Camp,” a process where students engage critically with the historical subject matter of the play and develop strong theatrical and ensemble skills.

A professional actor always joins the student casts onstage as a colleague and mentor. Past actors that have participated in the program include Natascia Diaz, Erin Weaver and Nancy Robinette.

Signature in the Schools: Performances and Auditions

Auditions and interviews for Signature in the Schools 2017 will take place on October 6. Student participation in the production is open to all Arlington high school students, regardless of what high school they attend. For more information on auditions, visit Signature in the Schools – for Students.

“Tell me, O Muse, of that ingenious hero who travelled far and wide…many cities did he visit…moreover he suffered much by sea while trying to save his life and bring his men home…” Thus begins Homer’s The Odyssey. This year’s Signature in the Schools play draws parallels between this classic work and the sufferings by sea that millions of Syrian refugees have made and are making. As these parallels are explored, questions about who the United States has and hasn’t allowed into its borders at different times are inevitably asked. With its newest play, Signature in the Schools continues its tradition of bringing difficult subjects alive by connecting them to history, politics and literature.

Student matinee performances will be at 10:15AM on February 23, 26 and March 1, 2, and 5. Tickets for all performances of Signature in the Schools are completely free. Arlington Public Schools receive free bus transportation for student matinees. Reservations for student matinees will be available beginning September 7, 2017. To reserve seats for your school group, email or call 571 527 1854.

Public performances will be on February 26 and March 5 at 7:30PM. Reservations for public performances will become available in February.

Signature in the Schools: The In-Class Experience

Signature in the Schools performs five student matinees each year. Participating classes receive:

- Individual copies for each student of an in-depth resource guide.

- A free tickets to the performance.

- Free transportation to and from Signature Theatre (Arlington Public Schools only).

Additionally, participating teacher’s 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

To book a workshop with a Signature Education artist, e-mail To establish a residency at your school, visit In School Residences.

SigWorks in the Schools

Continuing Signature’s ongoing commitment to the rising generations of theatre artists, SigWorks in the Schools focuses on burgeoning high school playwrights. Exclusively for Arlington Public Schools high school students, five young writers are chosen to go through a 5-session playwriting course led by a professional playwright, culminating in an evening of staged readings performed by professional actors.

This season’s SigWorks in the Schools will run from February 28 – April 9, 2018. The application process will be announced this fall.