On Stage

Adventure Stage Chicago creates productions that respect the identity, intellect, and imagination of our student audiences, and we strive to serve and inspire our educators, as well. For every ASC mainstage production, we prepare a free, online Learning Guide, including themes and inquiry questions, classroom activities, context for the play, and additional resources. Aside from our subsidized student field trip tickets, educators also have access to $10 tickets to all public, weekend performances. If you can’t make it with your class, contact our box office for your special rates.

Current Season  Field Trips

In the Classroom

ASC supports classroom teachers and students through our in-school residency program. Neighborhood Bridges (developed by The Children’s Theatre of Minneapolis) turns classrooms into storytelling spaces where teachers can use stories to rejuvenate their practice, and where young people are empowered to become the storytellers of their own lives.

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In the Community

ASC is part of a larger social service organization. For over 120 years, Northwestern Settlement has nurtured, educated, and inspired families in the West Town community. With over 70 programs and services, the Settlement changes lives and aims to disrupt generational poverty through education, social services, and the arts. Adventure Stage Chicago is honored to be part of an organization with such deep and meaningful ties to the people of its community. We are also dedicated to serving our neighbors through a number of programs that aim to engage the entire Settlement and West Town community in the artistic process.

Trailblazers  Community Crossings

Neighborhood Bridges

This nationally-recognized literacy program uses storytelling and creative drama to help students develop their critical literacy skills and to transform into the storytellers of their own lives. Our skilled teaching artists animate learning and transform classrooms into communities where students think independently and work collectively. The emphasis of Neighborhood Bridges is on social and individual transformation. Our program helps young people explore conflicts and questions found in today’s diverse, changing society. It challenges young people to identify the roots of social problems, examine their own feelings, and propose solutions.

"The Neighborhood Bridges experience pushed me to participate more and share my ideas. Now I think I am more confident in participating in class and sharing my views.”- Student Participant

During the residency, students see an ASC production at the Vittum Theater. At the conclusion of the program, they will return to the Vittum Theater and take the stage themselves to perform their own original work for other residency classrooms. Our program also provides in-classroom professional development for teachers. This hands-on experience in creative drama & critical literacy discussion directly supports the work done in the classroom. This co-teaching model is an innovative way to rethink PD for teachers. With each partnership, schools receive Common Core-aligned residency hours with a professional teaching artist. Supporting materials such as learning guides, prompt books, lesson plans, and supplies are also provided.

Neighborhood Bridges was developed by The Children’s Theatre of Minneapolis.

For more information, email our Education Manager Anne McNamee Keels.


Adventure Stage Chicago’s Trailblazers ensemble is a FREE and unique mentoring program that places young people (10-16) with mentors who are professional theater artists. Student participants guide the program’s content with thoughtful assistance from their mentors. In addition to creating original performances throughout the year, Trailblazers go on field trips, stretch their creative muscles with exposure to different forms of theater, and learn to work collaboratively in a supportive environment. If you are interested in joining Trailblazers as a student participant or a teaching artist, please contact us via

Thanks to a grant from the Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS), 25 Chicago youth ages 10-16 can take part in a free, 8-week summer camp with Adventure Stage. Summer Trailblazers will learn to work as an ensemble to develop and perform an original piece created by our Vittum Trailblazers program, premiering August 16 with performances at the Vittum Theater.

Trailblazers Summer Camp

June 24 - August 16
Every summer, 25 Chicago youth (ages 10-16) will take part in Trailblazers Summer Camp.  They’ll learn to work as an ensemble with professional artist mentors to create an original theatre piece inspired by issues young people face every day.  Campers will premiere their original work with a performance at the Vittum Theater.

Community Crossings

Previously known as Story Circles, ASC relaunched its new works process as “Community Crossings,” which take 12-18 months over four stages from commission to production. The first stage is comprised of discovery sessions, with school, youth, and community groups working with the playwright to inform the writing process. The drafting stage comes next, wherein the playwright synthesizes the community’s input with his or her own ideas to create an original story. The designing stage sees members of the creative and production team incorporate community stories into the world of the play. The sharing process presents this original work to public audiences and other stakeholders. Community partners will have the opportunity to revisit the plays at different stages of the process before attending a performance at the Vittum Theater.

The premise of Community Crossings draws on the history of oral storytelling and its timeless qualities: a group of people gathered together to share personal stories of hardship and triumph, to caution against danger and impart the wisdom of lived experience.  For us, it is an opportunity to listen and learn something about the community.  What is important to those who are gathered there?  What are their fears, concerns, hopes, and dreams?  For the audience, our aim is to provide them an opportunity to feel like artistic stakeholders in the final production of the play.