Ensemble Arts Philly offers new free theater program for middle schoolers

The new program was launched as part of the re-branding from the Kimmel Cultural Campus

Alicia Vitarelli Image
Monday, January 29, 2024
Ensemble Arts Philly offers free theater program for middle schoolers
There's a brand new program bringing the performing arts to middle school students across the region for free, launched by Ensemble Arts Philly.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- There's a brand new program bringing the performing arts to middle school students across the region for free.

Ensemble Arts Philly launched it as part of its re-branding from the Kimmel Cultural Campus. It's one of many new offerings that come along with the name change.

"We have some new exciting musical theater programs for elementary, middle school and high school students," says Dani Allen, Vice President of Education and Community Engagement at Ensemble Arts Philly.

Set the Stage is a brand new Musical Theater Program for 5th through 7th grade students. It's a three-part program where the kids learn theater basics and engage in workshops.

"It is a wonderful foundational experience with musical theater," Allen says. "We're introducing them to not only the vocabulary, but the artistic disciplines and history of musical theater, so that they can connect and apply it to the things that they are experiencing today."

Ensemble Arts Philly professionals work with teachers in local schools to add this program to the curriculum.

"Our teaching artists go in and work with the students in 45 minutes sessions," Allen says. "The highlight of the program is when the students come to the Kimmel Center, to the Perelman Theater, and they experience the Set the Stage production."

The program is free, and it happens both inside and outside of Ensemble Arts Philly venues, but schools do need to sign up.

Ensemble Arts Philly also explains that their new name better represents all of their arts offerings.

"We felt like the word ensemble sung about what we did as as a company and as an organization," says Crystal Brewe, the Chief Marketing and Audience Experience Officer for The Philadelphia Orchestra and Ensemble Arts. "It really speaks to the people that are on the stage and the people behind the scenes."

With the new branding comes the announcement of two shows being added to their blockbuster Broadway lineup.

"When we launched the brand, we actually did announce that 'Hamilton' will be returning, as well as 'MJ: The Musical.' which is just a phenomenon," Brewe says. "We're excited about that!"

For more information on Set the Stage, visit EnsembleArtsPhilly.org.