<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="65001"%> Premiere Stages
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Play Factory
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Play Factory Residencies
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Kean Stage
Kean University

"During an economic climate in which schools are laying off teachers, and the arts are seemingly the first classes to go, Premiere Stages at Kean University has an answer to help develop emerging artists and encourage teens to continue their arts education through the summer."
                                                                                   –Susan Myrill Dougherty, Westfield Leader


"It was an incredible experience to see the pride students felt for each other and for themselves during the performances… Students, parents, administrators, supervisors, and staff reached out to tell me how much they enjoyed watching the performances. I wish that every teacher could have an opportunity for this invaluable experience…" – Jennifer Cirillo, Roosevelt Elementary

Premiere Stages is dedicated to supporting playwrights of all ages. Created in 2006, the Premiere Stages Play Factory Residencies introduce the craft of playwriting to a diverse group of fledgling writers. Premiere's teaching artists engage classrooms, after-school programs, senior centers, and community groups to teach the fundamentals of theatrical writing in an active, creative, and fun way. The goal of the residency program is to inspire students to actively engage in the creative process. Teaching artists use performance games and writing exercises to help students express themselves both individually and within a group, and provide a sense of learning through play. Students learn the different facets of theatrical writing, including the terminology and structure for crafting a play, and work in groups to write short scenes that are performed at the residency's end. Premiere brings in professional actors and Kean University students to work with the budding writers in rehearsing and, finally, performing their work in script-in-hand readings.

In-School & After-School Residencies (Grades K - 12)

Premiere's in-school and after-school residencies were created to assist teachers with meeting the Core Curriculum Content Standards in literacy while introducing the arts to children who have had little or no experience with live theatre or creative expression. Every residency is designed with the specific needs of each school's students in mind. Through initial meetings with school teaching and administrative staff, residencies are developed collaboratively to maximize the impact of the residency's augmentation of the classroom or after-school curriculum.

A residency typically consists of 6-8 sessions, each focusing on a different aspect of playwriting and the process and specifics of creating a play. For example, students in 5th Grade at School No. 2 in Linden were studying the early colonization of the Americas. Premiere Stages worked with the classroom teacher to structure a playwriting residency in which the students wrote about the journey to the New World, which in many cases paralleled their own families' immigration experience. The students wrote character monologues from the point of view of Native Americans, explorers, and colonists, and then collaborated in small groups to author short scenes that were then performed by professional actors during a morning assembly for the entire grade level. Other residencies have explored topics as far-ranging as Ancient Egypt, bullying, career development, the Civil War, the Stone Age, and the works of Agatha Christie.

Community Residencies & One-Day Workshops (Any age)

Premiere Stages has also designed a number of one-day workshops and longer residencies (6-8 sessions) for a variety of community organizations, such as Bridgeway Rehabilitation Services, Mothers at Heart, Prevention Links, and the YWCA. These workshops introduce participants to the fundamentals of playwriting and acting, and can be tailored to the specific needs of the community served. Community workshops and residencies reinforce literacy and collaboration skills, bolster self-esteem, and encourage participants to utilize writing as a creative outlet for stress and emotion.

Senior Residencies (Ages 65 +)

Modeled after our successful in-school residencies for K-12 students, Premiere's senior residencies (also known as "legacy residencies") incorporate professional teaching artists and actors to create original works for the stage. Senior residencies not only provide artistic engagement and stimulation to seniors, but also document and preserve family histories and memories through dramatic storytelling and narratives. Our residencies offer structured theatre exercises, bolster self-esteem, improve vital creative thinking, and encourage and celebrate the accomplishments of participating seniors.

Each residency is designed with the specific needs of the senior community in mind. Through initial meetings with the participating community's administrative staff, residencies are developed collaboratively to maximize impact and adhere to schedule restrictions. Seniors are given mini-recorders to tape favorite memories, family historical information, biographical information, and information about events and/or people that had a major influence in their lives. Premiere's acclaimed teaching artists then help seniors to shape this narrative into dramatic works for the stage. Finally, actors are brought in to perform book-in-hand presentations of these scenes at the participating senior center (or at Premiere Stages if this is prohibitive) for family members, staff, friends and fellow seniors. Residencies typically consist of 6-8 sessions, each focusing on a different aspect of playwriting and the process of creating an original play.


Premiere Stages residencies are funded through a variety of partnerships. If you are interested in bringing a Play Factory residency or workshop to your school, senior center, or community organization, please call 908-737-4092 or email premiere@kean.edu for further details.

Please click here to download a brochure about Premiere's Play Factory Residencies.

For more information, or to enroll your school or organization in a residency, please call 908-737-4092 or email premiere@kean.edu.