LEAP Onstage is one of LEAP's Signature theater programs. Each year, more than 600 students in 10 schools participate in the year-long playwriting, play production, and performance program. LEAP Onstage is an acclaimed, unique, layered Playwriting Residency that immerses young people in the immediacy of storytelling, linear thinking and creative expression. Through this residency, students improve their literacy, communication and collaboration skills, gain an immersion in all aspects of theater, and hone their artistic talents on multiple levels. Some students even discover a career path. Simply put, we help students find their voice.
Students are also introduced to the impact of theater as an art form and the thrill of live performance. This school-year-long Artist Residency provides a safe and structured platform for students to creatively express themselves, enhance their literacy and writing skills, work collaboratively, and celebrate one another’s accomplishments. What makes the program unique nationally is that the residency is filled with working, skilled New York theater professionals and publishers interacting with the students, engaging them in workshops and discussions, and culminating in students’ work being published and then performed in an Off-Broadway theater in Manhattan.
- Working with theater teachers and professional directors, students learn dramatic structure and write their own 10-minute plays.
- Each school has three to five plays selected as finalists by a team of high-level theater professionals. The schools celebrate the finalists’ work with an In-School Performance of these plays.
- A winner from each school is chosen by the theater professionals, and the students who wrote and perform the plays visit a Manhattan location for an intensive and exciting Broadway Day (engaging them in performance workshops and receiving feedback on the plays from a panel of experts).
- The finalists’ plays are published in an anthology by the most-recognized name in theater publishing—Samuel French, Inc.—which also sponsors a Publishing Roundtable for the student playwrights in its corporate headquarters.
- Furthermore, Broadway luminaries and working professionals visit the schools, offering compelling meetings that provide an inside view of career opportunities, and emphasize goal-setting, collaboration and determination, as well as the art of honing a craft.
- At the end of the school year, each school’s winning play is performed in an
Off Broadway theater over the course of two nights, where students,
teachers, families and the general public are in attendance.