By putting genuine human faces and voices to the stories of those affected by Pennsylvania’s school funding crisis, School Play helps any audience connect to the dire situation in our schools and why it matters.

School Play: sparking a statewide conversation

School Play is a live documentary theatre piece created in 2014/2015 from over 100 interviews with students, teachers, parents and politicians across the state. The resulting funny-sad-authentic play dramatizes the fallout of PA’s school funding crisis from the perspectives of students, teachers, parents and officials.

Crafted from over 200 hours of material, it packs intense emotions and vexing questions about public education and its place in our democracy, into just over one hour.

Theatre artists Arden Kass, Seth Bauer and Edward Sobel created School Play in response to our own experiences – both distressing and inspiring – as the parents of public school students in Pennsylvania. Just in talking to our neighbors, we realized that people who don’t have kids in public school right now may not be tuned into the actual human consequences or long-term social and economic impact of our state’s failure to fund public education fairly and reliably.

By cutting through numbers, graphs and political debates, School Play is intended to spark invaluable conversations about how we can make things better for our children and our communities.

Turning sparks into action

From the get-go, we partnered with a leading advocacy agency for children and families, Public Citizens for Children & Youth (PCCY) who have been our staunch allies and collaborators at every step, from fundraising to supplying the expertise, strategy and advocacy know-how that makes our project so effective. Everyone should have a partner like PCCY: see why here.

We love it when you get dramatic

From our standing room-only premiere at Philadelphia’s National Constitution Center in April 2015, to our statewide tour in October 2015, this has been an incredibly moving and rewarding journey.  And, it’s an impressive work of theatre, if we do say so ourselves. (Read or download School Play and start rehearsing.)

Like any smart advocacy campaign, School Play turns audiences into partners. Share your conviction and passion for education with your community. If a few people in every town use our Play-In-a-Box to stage their own version, and share it online, our movement will be the talk of Twitter.

But more importantly, we’ll be living in a state we can all feel proud about.

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“it’s, like, it’s funny that you ended up asking me to be part of this, because it made me think about things differently in education.”