CPS Vendor Approved School Residency Programs

Dream Big offers three distinct opportunities to incorporate theater into the lives of your students.  We can tailor fit our programs and specifically meet the unique needs of your school.  We enjoy being a part of a school’s community and enthusiastically partner with staff and administration to ensure the process is a fun and educational experience for everyone!


In-School Residencies

    Strengthen your existing theater program OR work with Dream Big to design and create a brand new one. Our residency programs are highly customizable, with options including:
  • Single workshop, multi-week or year-long options
  • Integrate drama into your existing classroom curriculum to enhance student learning in subject areas such as science, social studies, math, language arts, creative writing and more.
  • Productions that coincide with curricular themes.
  • Stand-alone drama classes that build theater skills, such as:
    –  Creative Drama and Movement classes for early childhood
    –  Musical Theater or Story Dramatization for elementary age classes
    –  Improv and Devised Theater for middle school students
  • Program curriculum designed to meet social-emotional goals include:
    –  Icebreakers
    –  Teamwork
    –  Confidence building
    –  Collaborative learning opportunities
    –  Exploring tools for healthy self-expression
    –  Community-building


At Dream Big, the sky’s the limit! If you have an idea to integrate drama into your school day, please let us know.


Past Residency Partnerships (Get a taste of Dream Big residencies by clicking on the videos below)

  • Barry
  • Northside Catholic Academy
  • Wildwood
  • St. Stanislaus
  • Peirce
  • Audubon
  • Peck
  • Richardson
  • Bernard Zell
  • By The Hand
  • JCC Apachi Day Camp
  • Suder
  • St. Mary of the Angels
  • Solomon Schechter



Sample Residencies
Early Childhood and Kindergarten
  • Social-Emotional Skill Building through Story Dramatization: As students act out stories, they journey through obstacles, resolve conflicts and learn valuable lessons right along side their favorite characters.
  • Creative Drama and Movement: An age appropriate approach to exploring themselves and the world around them using movement, music, stories, games and more!
  • Feelings Unit: Students explore their own feelings and recognizing emotional signals of their peers. They “try on” different feelings and learn healthy ways of expressing themselves.


1st Grade
  • Collaborative Performance: What better way to celebrate a successful year then with a show highlighting their growth and accomplishments? Students reflect on the units they explored throughout the year and develop a show sharing what they have learned.
  • The First Grade Play: Start a new tradition at your school that will knock everyone’s socks off! You won't believe the talent and the confidence that comes out during the rehearsal process of these age-appropriate 30-minute musicals. Involve your parent community too!
2nd Grade
  • An Earth Day Carol: This is a simple play that highlights the importance of “being green”. A great addition to your Earth Day Celebration!
  • Fractured Fairy Tales and Fairy Tale News: Now that your students are familiar with Fairy Tales as a genre, lets mix it up and find creative ways to play with the stories.
3rd Grade


  • Team-building Exercises: Put a positive spin on your “anti-bullying” program by replacing it with a “community building” program. Encourage students to take part in building a classroom and school environment they can be proud of.
  • Planets Play: In this interactive rhyming play, students play planets who are trying to win the “best planet” award. Students learn facts about the planet while having fun on stage!
4-5th Grade
  • Creative Writing Dramatization Celebration: Let's act out students’ original stories!
  • Self-Empowerment Programming: Using formats such as “I am” poems and “I believe” statements as a jumping off point, we encourage students to explore their individuality and together we create an original performance piece celebrating our value and self-worth.
6-8th Grade
  • Improvisation as an Elective: Middle school students love Improv because it is fun and funny. It is also a positive way for students to push their boundaries in a safe and supportive environment at this delicate stage in their adolescent lives.
  • Devised Theater: Students collaborate to devise or create their own performance piece based on a chosen theme.
  • Creative Newscasts: This is a great way to engage students in current events where they themselves get to be the reporters and people “at the scene”. Commercials are a great compliment to this unit. Students invent “new” products and market them “on air”!
Professional Development
  • Let Dream Big’s master teaching artists work with your staff and coach them in ways they themselves can incorporate acting skills and creative drama activities or cross-curricular extensions into everyday lessons.
  • Give our teachers your benchmarks and goals that you would like us to address and we will build a meaningful curriculum that your teachers can implement in their classrooms right away.
  • Go even deeper and invite our professional development team into your school for an ongoing teacher training program that builds upon itself throughout the school year.


Our Classes Provide:

  • Project-Based Learning Opportunities that foster creativity, self-expression and teamwork
  • A diversified Curriculum
  • Student-Centered Learning Projects that allow us to focus on students’ passion and interests which help to ensure your students’ buy-in, autonomy, ownership and overall engagement, leading to growth as a learner
  • An environment in which everyone can contribute and be successful, no matter what type of learner they are. This can be life-changing for some students who may need alternative outlets and access points to their educational repertoire
  • Cooperative Learning Environments
  • Programs that address Howard Gardner’s research on Multiple Intelligences. We naturally gear our programming to the various learning styles of students including: Visual-Spatial, Bodily-kinesthetic, Musical, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, Linguistic, and Logical-Mathematical



Our School Partnerships are now being Delivered through Design Dance

Contact: Sam Witthuhn, Director of Partnerships