Performing Arts Focus:
Musical Theater
Curriculum Connections:
Language Arts/ Literacy, Social Studies
21st Century Skills Addressed:
Communication, Collaboration, Creativity, Critical Thinking/Problem Solving

In this workshop, educators are introduced to Ping Chong and Company’s in-school arts education program, Secret Histories, a residency focuses on writing and developing an original piece of theater inspired by the significant personal experiences in the lives of participants.  Originally developed for students in New York City public schools, and adapted from Ping Chong and Company’s recurring theatrical project, Undesirable Elements, Secret Histories residencies increase student confidence, empathy, agency, and writing and public speaking skills.   Demonstrating the company’s key facilitation strategies that foster brave spaces for creative exploration, teaching artists lead educators through a process of supported personal storytelling, culminating in theatrical performance. Exercises forge connections between and among participating educators as they identify common ground, and unearth key memories that shaped their sense of self, sense of culture, and sense of belonging in community.

Secret Histories projects in schools often focus on these themes of identity and culture, but can vary in theme depending on the makeup of the students involved and the stories they choose to incorporate into their work, as well as the classroom teacher’s goals for students’ socio-emotional development and curricular objectives. Through this mini-creative process, educators will get a taste of the journey students embark upon in a Secret Histories residency, and will gain some facilitation tools to take back to their classrooms as well.