CAT brings a youth-driven, student-centered approach to hundreds of students in dozens of schools each year, through after-school drama programs that support NYS Arts Standards and NYC Blueprint theatre learning standards while fostering social-emotional and academic growth.
In FY13, CAT developed the Theatre Arts Program (TAP), an ongoing after-school theatre-making program for the High School for Construction Trades, Engineering and Architecture, which had no previous theatre programming. Since then, CAT has developed several CASA (Cultural After School Adventures) programs, providing similar theatre-making models in elementary, middle and high schools across the city.
In FY16, CAT’s 17 CASA (Cultural After-School Adventures) programs throughout NYC supported early learners in exploring and developing stories, and middle and high schoolers in identifying and sharing their opinions about the world around them. These ideas were then turned into original theatre. Students developed performance and public speaking skills, negotiated with others in their group to communicate their ideas, and then shared their ideas in an original piece of theatre for family, friends, and school staff.
Additionally, CAT served 6 elementary schools in partnership with Serious Fun Afterschool, Inc. The program created opportunities for the young people to explore and develop different theatrical skills such as voice, movement, creative imagination through games, theatre activities, scene work, process drama, and narrative pantomime, as well as script writing. The first half of the program focused on developing theatre skills, the second half on preparation for performance. Culminating performances were shared with other students, parents, faculty, and staff. CAT has also started a new partnership with DYCD's COMPASS (Comprehensive After School System of NYC) program - providing more after-school drama programming - in FY17.
Theatre Arts Players (TAP) at H.S.C.T.E.A.
High School of Construction Trades, Engineering and Architecture - THEATER ARTS PLAYERS
Since 2011, the Theatre Arts Players (TAP) program has been providing students of HSCTEA with the opportunity to learn the art of theater, develop individual strengths, acquire collaboration skills and create their own production. The group meets once a week to focus on theater arts—acting technique, improvisation, devising, ensemble work, rehearsal—and culminates with an original play created by the students and directed by Keith Johnston.
CTEA-TAP's 2014 cast
CTEA-TAP onstage, 2014
CTEA-TAP Alumni came back to support current students
- 58 After-School Residencies held in 28 Schools
- 161 Middle & High School Students in Literacy Programs
- 695 Elementary, Middle and High School Students in Theatre Programs
- 4,095 Direct Service Hours
99% of after-school participants said they are better at listening to the opinions of others, and 92% said they are more comfortable expressing their own opinion, after participating in CAT’s year-long program.
“It’s been very fun being a part of CUNY CAT and doing all these fun projects. It made me wanna have this class every day!”
- After-School Participant
“I learned that acting out issues can make you feel like they are actually happening in your life, allowing you to sympathize/empathize with others.”
– After-School Student
“It’s a program where you act, write your own stories, and have fun! It was awesome and they should do more of this so other kids could do it.”
- After-School Participant
“The final performance was an example of what happens when dedicated and passionate artists work with dedicated and passionate students. The students produced a variety of poems, songs, scenes, and dialogues that were a prime example of the creativity, passion and hard work that they exemplify in every area of their lives. I was blown away by how professional and heartfelt the performances were.”
- High School Community School Director
CASA Project Director
CASA Program Manager
Director of Resource Development
Manager, CAT Youth Theatre
CUNY-CAT is an approved NYSED CTLE Sponsor.
CUNY-CAT is an approved NYC DOE Vendor.