The power of the arts goes beyond providing culture, entertainment, and enjoyment. It is also a useful tool for educational purposes. The Rev Theatre Company (formerly Merry-Go-Round Playhouse), or The Rev, found a way to take its arts programming on the road to use the creativity and artistry of theatre to educate youth all over New York State.

The Rev Theatre Company has been producing compelling and engaging theatrical experiences – for both children and adults – for over 60 years. RevEd, The Rev’s arts education division, operates one of the nation’s largest touring education programs of its kind. The Sequential Dramatics Program impacts a total of 18,735 K-12 students from the Madison and Onondaga school districts each year, and nearly 80,000 students across New York State annually. Much of the success of the tour is due to the Rev’s ability to help school districts overcome common barriers when it comes to providing high quality, arts integration in schools.

“Sequential Dramatics began in the mid-1970s. It was born out of discussions with educators and administrators about what they really wanted to see in arts programming,” said Lisa Chase, Director of Education at the Rev Theatre. “Through the Sequential Dramatics Program, we create customized performances for each grade level. We tailor each production to the unique curricular and developmental needs of students at each grade level—this isn’t a one-size-fits-all program.”

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In 2019, The Rev received a $50,000 grant from the CNY Community Foundation to support costs associated with its in-school arts education programming. During 2019-2020, the program had a total of 218 performances and 1,025 workshops for Madison and Onondaga and in response to the COVID19 crisis and school shutdowns, The Rev began offering digital arts programming to ensure this vital piece of students’ education remained intact.

The educational programs have positively impacted students’ ELA proficiency. School districts have seen a consistent increase in its students’ ELA scores over the years. During the 2017-2018 school year, 93% of teachers agreed or strongly agreed that the Sequential Dramatics program is a valuable asset.

The Rev is incredibly grateful for the generosity of the Central New York Community Foundation, as well as its confidence and enthusiasm for our programming. Thank you!

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