Our Mission

This award winning, internationally recognized education program fuses the fundamentals of theatre with the understanding that the body and brain are connected throughout the learning process. This fusion of art and science informs Project REAL’s unique, theatre-based pedagogy as it seeks to engage the whole student.


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Ryan Henderson, Director of Project REAL

Project REAL with Students

Students of every grade level and every ability benefit from Project REAL’s adaptive and inclusive pedagogy. Project REAL strategies specialize in implicit learning to connect students personally to the topic being taught. Whether that topic is social, emotional, or curricular in nature, the power of this proven connection has shown to increase student learning, yield improved test scores, and foster student growth in the form communication skills necessary for school, the workforce and beyond.

“This is another one of those programs that helps me keep those kids—that sometimes that don’t stay engaged—engaged and ultimately we graduate more kids prepared and ready to move on to the next level.”

Chad WallaceFormer Principal, Abingdon High School

Project REAL with Teachers

One of Project REAL’s primary goals is to provide practical and sustainable professional development to our partner schools. The program’s teaching artists work alongside school administrators to build customized professional development initiatives that best serve a school’s objectives. These initiatives may include, but are not limited to:

  • Professional Development Workshop: Educators will learn an array of engaging activities—rooted in Project REAL pedagogy—that are easily adaptable to any classroom setting. This interactive workshop is meant to expand the teacher toolbox in a short amount of time.
  • Embedded Professional Development: Administrators choose specific teachers (new teachers or teachers who may need more support) with whom Project REAL Teaching Artists will collaborate. This focused development not only allows for collaborating teachers to grow as an educator, but it presents to opportunity for them to take a leadership role among their peers.
  • Cohort Development: Administrators select a small group of teachers with whom Project REAL Teaching Artists will work for a determined amount of time. The goal is to create a leadership cohort that can not only create and facilitate Project REAL strategies in their classroom, but can sustain such strategies in their school when a teaching artist is not present.

“Project REAL is a great resource for teachers. These are excellent learning activities, engaging learning activities[…]and when you get that engagement and that participation and [the students] are having fun, sometimes they don’t even realize that they are learning what they’re learning, but they learn it.”

Mr. KuhnTeacher at Mount View Middle/High School