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Hanna Theatre

Playhouse Square
2067 E. 14th St.
Cleveland, OH 44115

Mimi Ohio Theatre

Playhouse Square
1511 Euclid Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44115

Great Lakes Theatre Offices

1501 Euclid Ave.
Suite 300
Cleveland, OH 44115
(216) 241-5490

Tickets (216) 241-6000  •  Subscriptions (216) 453-4458 

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Make classic theater come alive for your students!

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Donors like you enable our world-class mainstage productions & vital educational programming…while enjoying great benefits!


Launched in 1981, Great Lakes Theater's in-school residency program is now one of the most successful artist-in-residence programs in the country. Each year over 15,000 students in nearly 100 schools experience the pleasure, power, and relevance of classic literature brought to life right in their own classrooms.

Two students holding sticks

Using an interactive, hands-on approach, specially trained actor-teachers visit your school for five consecutive days, teaching five classes per day; the same five classes for the entire week. The actors bring scripts, props, costumes - and for the high schools, swords, daggers, and stage blood – to explore classic literature from an actor's point of view.

Designed to meet the common core education standards, the residency program is hands on, creative, and interactive. Each day of each lesson plan, regardless of age level, involves three components: acting, discussion, theater exercises. There are days when your students do all of the acting and our actor-teachers serve as their directors. There are days when our actors perform for your students and they are our audience. There are other days when the actor-teachers and students rehearse then perform side by side, with one another.

Make a Reservation!

Classic Literature For Elementary + Middle Schools

Explore a new story every day!

Grades 1 - 3

  • The Snowy Day
  • Where the Wild Things Are
  • Anansi the Spider
  • The Sneetches
  • The Giving Tree

Grades 4 - 5

  • Pandora's Box
  • Damon and Pythias
  • The Turtle Who Wanted to Fly
  • The Princess and the Beggar
  • The Giving Tree

New! Shakespeare Sampler Workshops for elementary students. For more information contact Lisa at 216.453.4446.

Explore a new theme every day!

Grades 6 – 8

Classic Drama Residency for Middle School includes a combination of several of the following titles:

  • The Diary of Anne Frank
  • A Raisin in the Sun
  • Romeo and Juliet
  • And any of the titles below

Week-long Shakespeare and other titles also offered for Middle School:

  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • Romeo & Juliet
  • Macbeth
  • Julius Caesar
  • Shakespeare Sampler
  • The Diary of Anne Frank

Make a Reservation!

Two people fencing

Classic Literature For High Schools

For the high school grades, one play is explored in depth for the week (all titles pending availability).

  • Romeo and Juliet
  • Macbeth
  • Julius Caesar
  • Hamlet
  • The Crucible
  • A Raisin in the Sun
  • Othello 
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream 
  • Fences

Drama Workshops, Shakespeare Samplers, Alternate Shakespeare Titles and Custom-designed five-day lesson plans are available upon request and subject to availability. An extra fee may apply. For more information contact Lisa at 216.453.4446.

Make a Reservation!

What is the Cost?

$2,000: Includes one team of 2 actor-teachers, up to five classes per day for five consecutive days. 

$200: Mileage charge for schools beyond a 25-mile radius of downtown Cleveland.

$200: For an additional sixth class each day. 

$200: Per diem charge for schools over 50-mile radius. Additionally, housing/hotel must be provided to actors by host school if beyond a 50-mile radius of downtown Cleveland.

Free: Teacher Resource Guides and teacher meetings provided upon request.
Combining of students into other classrooms is not permitted.

The School Residency Program averages just $16 per student for an entire week of hands-on learning!  

Make a Reservation!

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See What Teachers Are Saying

"Some concepts in Romeo and Juliet are just explained better when they are performed personally, not just from observing the scenes. This experience gives students a better understanding of character motivation, word choice, and intentionality. The best innovators are the ones who can escape the confines of their own minds and lived experiences and step into the world of someone else to gain a better understanding of their needs, desires, and motivations to create something that will change our world."
- Ashley Ventura, St. Edward High School
"I personally saw many wonderful things during the week that the actors worked their magic. I saw a student who rarely reads the assignment reach for a book to read the scene while they acted it out. I saw a student who usually has great difficulty sitting quietly in class and following instructions jump right into the sword fighting, and follow the instructions with total engagement. And - perhaps most satisfying - I saw a student with learning disabilities have an opportunity to shine as the ghost of Banquo, a perfect part for him because he did not have to read or recite lines in public, yet he was integral to the action. I so glad we had the benefit of this enriching activity for so many of our students this year."
- Sue Maier, Shaw High School

"The actors did an outstanding job with our students... I was truly impressed with the performances, professionalism, and patience of the actors. It was amazing to see the student performances they were able to elicit as well! Thank you for your time, energy and efforts!"
- Ellen Burchell, Mentor High School

"What a pleasure it was to have the actors at our school. They were true professionals. I was especially pleased when they applied terms from the district's Scope and Sequence into the activities (ex. Theme and personification.) The students now use many of the acting skills we learned with the stories we are reading together in class such as improvisation and pantomime."
- Kathleen Merk, Luis Munoz Marin Elementary School (CMSD)

"What a wonderful opportunity for my current sixth graders to be challenged in a way that was different from the usual textbook or computer screen. Using their bodies and voices in a dramatic way was such a fun and challenging experience for them - enriching and building upon content that is already stressed in the general curriculum. My students were literally rushing up the stairs to get to class on time in anticipation of the daily activities."
- Charlene Muth, South Amherst Middle School

"Your actor-teachers are marvelously trained as artists and educators. They are very talented, well-prepared, imaginative, thoughtful and have a wonderful rapport with the students. The quality of their work, and really more to the point, the quality of the students' learning during the residency, is extremely high. Thank you again for allowing us the privilege of hosting this program in our school."
- Dr. Scott Miller, Cleveland School of the Arts (CMSD)

"GLT IS AWESOME!!! Shakespeare is alive and well... My students not only loved old Bill, but they lived it!"
- Joe Rock, Cleveland Central Catholic

"The students always enjoy the program and I feel it makes them more comfortable and builds community within the classroom. The kids are always willing to take more risks after the program and I truly enjoy and appreciate it."
- Sandy Bean, Mayfield Middle School


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The National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest presents Shakespeare in American Communities. Great Lakes Theater is one of 40 professional theater companies across the nation selected to perform a Shakespeare play with a professional team of actors for middle- and high-schools and conduct related educational activities for students.

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