TCT Offers a Variety of Educational Programming

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A class led by a Talespinner instructor

Our in-house classes are on a set schedule, but our outreach programs tailor to the needs of the classroom, families, and family services. TCT comes to you, and will work with you on the scheduling and special content that best suits the needs of the children and community it serves.

Why Choose TCT for Theatre Arts Education?

TCT uses professional artist/educators working in their dedicated fields to teach every class, residency, and workshop. Each artist/educator has been trained to carry out TCT's educational offerings to the fullest, and to ensure that every child involved in its programming is noticed, encouraged to participate, and supported. TCT's artist/educators provide children with the tools to grow and bloom not only artistically, but with the confidence and new awareness that involvement in the arts brings.

Special Matinees

TCT provides three Friday, 10am matinees to schools and daycare centers during the run of each show. Group rates are available, and reservations required. These matinees are not open to the general public, and include an educational surround for students which can be taken advantage of either in the theatre immediately following the show, or scheduled separately at the school or daycare facility. For more information, contact TCT at

Per Program Info

Residencies and Workshops

Our multi-day residencies are open to all students from kindergarten to grade 8. They are perfect for sharing with a whole school or group but you may also choose to focus only on certain grade levels or age groups. Residencies can be scheduled back to back, or spread out over two weeks.


Dance class

Workshops are perfect for giving your students a single-class experience and are also open to kids aged kindergarten through grade 8. Students will receive a one-time, fast-paced arts experience that will exhilarate and encourage them to use their imaginations and creativity.

Residencies and Workshops help children learn and use:

  • Teamwork
  • Communication skills
  • Problem solving skills
  • Poise
  • Confidence
  • Creative expression

and can be adapted to incorporate literature or projects that your class or group is working on.

Professional Development Workshops

TCT teaching artists use theatre games and training techniques to help your staff find creative ways to connect and build a team.

Through the same strategies used to build our ensemble performance company, TCT gives your personnel tools to start collaborating and communicating in new, more effective ways.

Show-Oriented Outreach

The Tinderbox outreach

Throughout the year, TCT's professional company does shows that are great for field trip opportunities for your school or group. Our show-oriented outreach works in one of two ways:

  1. After your class or group has seen a matinee of one of our productions, TCT will schedule a visit to you by members of the cast and creative team. Kids interact with puppets, costumes and instruments, learn songs from the show, and participate in a question-and-answer talkback with members of the TCT crew.
  2. If you are unable to attend a matinee of one of our productions, TCT will come to your school or group and present scenes from the show. Afterwards, kids get the same chance to work with puppets, costumes and instruments, learn songs from the show, and take part in the TCT talkback.

Educational Guides are available on our website for each show TCT produces, free to download and share with your teaching staff and/or students.

2018 Outreach Tour

Jan and the Trickster

(A Polish Tale of Magic)
By Krysia Orlowski
Directed by Charles Hargrave
Costume Design by Alison Garrigan & Melanie Boeman
Puppet Design by Alison Garrigan
Outreach Tour Details

Youth Theatre Arts Classes

TCT offers three in-house Youth Theatre Arts courses per year. They take place on location at TCT—a 188 seat, ADA compliant theatre located on the eastern edge of the Detroit-Shoreway area of Cleveland's near west side.

Fall and Spring classes are held on Saturdays for eight-week sessions and are broken down in appropriate age groups and scheduled as follows:
Pre-school (ages 3-5) 10am to 11am
Kids (ages 6-10) 10am to 1pm
Early Teens (ages 11-14) 10am to 1pm

Performer showing a young audience member a puppet

Through puppets, music, movement, improvisation, story-telling and acting, students develop communication skills, teamwork, confidence, and creative expression. Each session culminates with a student-created presentation for family and friends that gives kids a taste of what goes into producing and performing a show.

Summer Puppet and Mask Camp is open to kids (ages 6-10) and early teens (ages 11-14). The camp runs for one week, Monday through Friday. Students build puppets and masks, and write their own stories to perform for parents and friends at week's end. All masks and puppets made are theirs to keep.

2018 Class Session Dates

Spring — March 3rd - April 28th (No classes on March 31)
Pre-school (ages 3-5)
Saturdays 10am-11am
Kids (ages 6-10) and Early Teens (ages 11-14)
Saturdays 10am-noon

Summer Puppet & Mask Camp — June 18th - 22nd
Kids (ages 6-10) and Early Teens (ages 11-14)
Monday - Thursday 8:30am -3:30pm
Friday 8:30am-noon

Fall — September 15th - November 10th (No classes on October 20)
Pre-school (ages 3-5)
Saturdays 10am-11am
Kids (ages 6-10) and Early Teens (ages 11-14)
Saturdays 10am-noon

Register for classes now.