Opening Act aims to provide every New York City public school student a space where he or she can develop commitment, community, and leadership through artistic achievement. The organization offers free programs to schools that have no theater programming and where graduation rates are below 50%. Each program serves approximately 25 students, 14 to 18 years old.
Students receive a strong foundation in acting techniques, the opportunity to create and perform ensemble pieces, and exposure to the performing arts community. The structured curriculum, modeled on professional artistic training programs, uses improvisation, acting games and exercises to unleash students’ creativity. As the year progresses, students develop skills to create and perform original scenes and plays. Once a year, students come together in a professional rehearsal space to share experiences, showcase improvisation skills and be part of a larger acting community. In May, they perform original productions at a professional theatre venue in Manhattan.