Arts in Schools

Our arts integration programs teach academic subjects through experiential activities, supporting the curriculum and engaging students on a new level.  By integrating drama into the core curriculum, students are able to reach material in new and exciting ways. By making academic material appealing and accessible to students, theatre becomes a relevant and integral part of students’ lives.

•Our Programs

•How does it work?

•Why is arts education important?



•Contact ___________________________________________________________________________

We offer the following residency programs:


Stages residencies implement hands-on, experiential activities to help teachers enhance any curriculum-based subject. NC Stage has taught residencies on the Harlem Renaissance, the Civil War, famous women—anything a teacher wants to explore through experiential learning.  This completely interactive residency is a great way to engage both traditional and non-traditional learners in the curriculum unit.


Page to Stage brings Shakespeare to life in elementary, middle and high school classrooms! Through high-energy workshops with trained teaching artists, every residency includes hands-on activities to help students become comfortable with Shakespeare’s language and themes.  A Page to Stage residency can be tailored to cover any Shakespeare play for any grade level.


Theater Arts meets NC Standard Course of Study requirements for Theatre.  Beginning with basic exercises and works through rehearsal toward performance, students build skills in acting, directing, and design.  Students might work with storytelling, improvisation, masks, pantomime, and staging short selections from various plays.


Our Professional Development program was developed to support educators in their efforts to use theatre arts to teach an academic curriculum. Teachers will become comfortable using theatre techniques to engage students in experiential learning.  NC Stage has used this method to teach language arts, social studies, civics, and even science classes, as well as a host of intangible skills: teamwork, cooperation, listening, concentration, attention to detail, and respect.


Here's how it works:

• First, call our staff to discuss your goals for the residency, and schedule a one-on-one meeting to plan the details of your residency.

•Next, meet with one of our professional teaching artists to create the curriculum of the residency.  The teacher is the expert on his/her students, their strengths and weaknesses, and needs.  The teaching artist uses his/her skills to tailor the residency to achieve the teacher's goals for the class.  The teacher and teaching artist must collaborate to plan an effective residency.

• Then, the teaching artist will visit your classroom to lead a series of workshops.  Depending on your needs, these workshops may focus strictly on academic content or may include team-building, cooperation, and focus activities.

• Residencies may also be structured to culminate in a presentation of scenes acted, directed, and designed by your students!


Why is arts education important?

Arts NC reports:

A 2001 study of high school students in Guilford County, NC found the graduation rate for students participating in performing arts was 99.72 percent, compared to the state average of 62%

In Southern Pines, NC, only three students involved in drama programs have dropped out of school in the last 20 years, according to Theatre Educator Judy Osborne.

In 2008 the Florida Department of Education conducted research found that the more arts credits a student takes in high school, the greater results on SAT and FCAT and a stronger likelihood of high school graduation.

Students involved in extended arts education for at least one year are:

•4 times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement

•3 times more likely to be elected to class office

•4 times more likely to participate in a math or science fair

•4 times more likely to win an award for writing an essay or poem

•3 times more likely to win an award for school attendance


Information from the Arts NC website



A 5-visit residency is just  $375*

Includes a planning session with the teaching artist before the residency, five class visits, and a post-residency evaluation. 


*We recommend a 5-visit residency, though teachers have effectively used residencies of 3 to 15 visits. Contact us if you would like to customize your residency.  Discounts are available for lengthy residencies.


Grants are available for area teachers through the following organizations:

Asheville City Schools Foundation

Buncombe County Schools Foundation

Community Foundation of Western North Carolina   (Avery, Graham, Jackson, Madison, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, and Swain counties only)


NCSC staff is happy to work with local educators to secure funding for programs.  Please contact Kelly Walker at for more information.




What is a residency?

A residency is a series of workshops that explore an aspect of the academic curriculum through hands-on theatre exercises.  Trained teaching artists lead all of our residencies.  We base most of our philosophy on Viola Spolin’s work, which is all about experiential learning.


How do I know what you will be teaching my students?

Our residencies are custom-tailored to the needs and interests of the class, as defined by the classroom teacher.  Before beginning any residency, we consult with the participating classroom teacher to learn about his or her class and his or her goals for the residency.  You will only get good surprises during the residency!


I’m worried about losing classroom time to this activity.  Will it help my students when it’s time for them to take their big state-mandated tests?

Many studies show that students who are given additional ways of learning information actually do better on standardized tests than students who are taught only traditionally.  We do our best in planning the residency to be sure we are covering exactly what the teacher needs us to cover, given the demands on classroom time.




For more information or to book a residency, please contact:


Kelly Walker

(828) 239-0263