In-School Residencies

“I think this program was the highlight of the school year for many of our children. I hope we get a chance to be a part of this fantastic program again next year” -Laura Ward Elementary teacher

92% of school partners are yearly partners ♦ Over 70% of students REPORT that a CCT Residency had a positive effect on their community ♦ CCT works with over 1,000 students in Pre-K through 12th grade annually

Chicago Children’s Theatre is a national leader in theatre education programming, offering educators the tools they need to address some of the most pressing issues young people face today. Our Residencies provide meaningful education opportunities that, through teaching theatre, uniquely inspire community, teach problem-solving and collaboration, develop open minds and confident voices, and ignite a powerful authorship of ideas.

We are for all learners. Theatre education is effective across learning styles and can strongly benefit students with emotional needs, attention needs, learning disabilities, or language needs. We look forward to learning more about your school community and  partnering with you!

R.O.A.R. Residencies
Runs Jan 1 - Jun 14, 2024
Recommended ForGrades 1-5

Submit A R.O.A.R. Residency Inquiry Form

R.O.A.R. (Residencies of Arts and Resilience) will provide an opportunity for students to authentically reflect on challenging or stressful situations, gaining the tools for sharing with others, self care and self agency in those moments. The curriculum (developed in partnership with the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Center for Childhood Resilience) uses children’s literature, theatre and other multi-disciplinary art forms as the source material for trauma-informed activities and conversations that promote coping mechanisms, social-emotional expression, and resilience. Our goal is for 100% of our students to "ROAR" with confidence, “I am a brave person.”

“I just wanted to let you know how much the students and teachers love the program. A fellow teacher told me yesterday that one of the students that never speaks in her class participated and shared for the first time with your teachers. This also happened in my class with a student – she has never spoken out loud before. She speaks little English and is self-conscious, but this program has helped her overcome it. I just wanted to say thank you for all of the great work that you are doing.” - Alison, Hamline Elementary

Red Kite Residencies
Runs Jan 1 - Jun 14, 2024
Recommended ForYoung People on the Autism Spectrum and Other Neurodiverse Learners

Submit A Red Kite Residency Inquiry Form

Red Kite Drama Time is an adaptive theater program for young people on the autism spectrum and other neurodiverse learners. The primary pillars of our curriculum are social-emotional learning (SEL), creative drama, and English Language Arts speaking and listening skills. Guided by highly trained theatre artists, students use existing stories as the basis for creating their own monologues and scenes, while exploring their emotional expressivity and understanding through the hands-on practice of theatre. Our classes engage in creative play and sensory experiences to encourage students to connect with their unique body, voice, imagination, and with the community around them.

“This clearly was a beautiful experience, one that more children, autistic or not, should have.” -H. Schubert, Professor and University Scholar, Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Illinois at Chicago

More information About Our In-School Residencies

CCT Residency Information Packet (Spring 2023)

Each year, Chicago Children’s Theatre provides a limited number of schools with tuition free residencies. If you would like to apply for the tuition free residencies or if you would like to learn more about our Residency Program, please fill out our inquiry form and the Education Department will be in touch shortly.

Why Theatre Education?

Children exposed to theatre education show a heightened ability to imagine the lives of others, fostering a deeper sense of compassion and tolerance.

Children demonstrate a range of intrinsic impacts after participating in theatre, including personal relevance, social bridging, aesthetic growth, and motivation to action.

Children with performing arts experience show improved engagement and behavior in social environments.

Live theatre programming increases student success on standardized tests, improves writing skills, and leads to stronger command of narrative ideas.

Theatre enhances the ability of students to imagine attending a college and envision success.

From: “Envisioning the Future of Theater for Young Audiences,” a landmark study compiled by the NEA in partnership with TYA/USA and TCG detailing the academic, social, and emotional benefits of theatre for children.

Common Core Standards


LITERACY: As students encounter stories and characters, they explore, dissect and expand narratives imaginatively. Our programming reinforces literacy skills such as narrative analysis, plot structure, character development, dialogue, symbolism and engagement with diverse genres such as folktales, myths, fables, fairy tales, poetry, plays.


COMMUNICATION: As students work in peer groups to refine their opinions, approaches, and styles of storytelling, they develop civic communication skills. Our programming encourages students to communicate their perspectives and listen to others while working together to convey an idea to an audience. While honing their performance skills, students also develop their public speaking ability and confidence.

Illinois Learning Standards


WRITING: As students adapt existing narratives into original theater pieces, they strengthen writing skills such as sequencing, narrative retelling and summarizing, editing, and revising.


SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL: As students explore characters and physicalize personal and Imagined experiences, they build empathy and social emotional awareness. Theatre provides an opportunity for students to investigate their feelings and the feelings of characters that have different experiences than they do.


ARTISTIC: As students develop storytelling techniques as performers, directors and designers, they progress in their theater skills and aesthetic sense. Our programming equips students to pursue theater with concrete theater-making skills and acting training.

Learn more about Professional Development opportunities, our Education Policies & FAQs, and our current roster of Teaching Artists.

If you have questions about CCT’s education programming please contact our
Education and School Partnerships Manager, Anthony Whitson-Martini, at, or by calling (312) 374-8828.