School Residency Programming

Stage 773 Li’l Buds Theatre Company’s mission is to educate and enrich children of all ages and backgrounds in the Theatre and Performing Arts, through original and mainstream productions and educational classes, workshops, and residencies.

In School Theatrical Residency Programs

Li’l Buds Theatre Company offers a high quality Theatrical Residency program, designed to challenge students creatively, instill theatre professionalism, and promote positive artist collaboration.  We create a safe and stimulating environment in which residency students are guided through a professional rehearsal process that culminates with a high caliber, final performance of the plays.  All of our residency programs are aligned in accordance with the Illinois State Standards.  During the residency, students are educated in:  Movement & Dance, Acting, Improvisation, Theatre Etiquette, Playwriting and Theatrical Design.  All of our programming can be adapted to fit your schools specific curricular needs.

Adventures in Imagination class, 2016

Adventures in Imagination class, 2016

“What I most enjoy about having our students, especially in 2nd grade, take drama is that it gives them an opportunity to be in front of an audience. I often see children who normally would shy away from being in front of a large group, make the greatest strides and really shine in this area. I also see students who may struggle with reading feel confident by memorizing lines and being the stars of a play.  It is truly a worthwhile experience I am grateful we can provide for our students.”

-Kate O’Brien, Principal at The Frances Xavier Warde School

  • Preschool and Kindergarten Adventures in Imagination Residency-   An introduction to dramatic arts focusing on the child’s imagination.  We will use our acting instruments Body, Voice, And Imagination to explore our own original adventures and classic children’s literature brought to life. 

  • First Grade Play Residency- We will take books that the students are familiar with and adapt them into simple plays.  We will then cast the play and put the young actors through the rehearsal process.  They will be introduced to the skills of movement, acting, theatre etiquette.  This is a great way of engaging the whole child while helping bringing literature to life for the students.

  • Second or Third Grade Play Residency-  We take original stories, written by the students, and work with them to transform the stories into plays.  We create a safe and stimulating environment in which residency students are guided through a professional rehearsal process that culminates with a high caliber, final performance of the plays.

  • Fourth Grade Play writing Residency-  We will build on the curriculum and adapt famous American legends and folktales into short plays.We create a safe and stimulating environment in which residency students are guided through a professional rehearsal process that culminates with a high caliber, final performance of the plays.

  • 6th Grade Ancient Greek Theatre Residency-  We will discuss the impact the Greeks had on theatre.  We will discuss how and why the Greeks presented plays.  We will then work in small groups to adapt Greek Myths into short plays to be presented at the end of the residency.

  • 5th-8th grade musical Residency-  We will come into your school and work with a selected grade level on presenting a full length play or musical presentation.  The students will learn all aspects that go into producing a play/musical.  They will learn audition techniques, theatre vocabulary, staging and choreography, set, costume, and prop design.  They will conclude the residency with a public performance of their play/musical.

Cast of Legally Blond Jr., 2016

Cast of Legally Blond Jr., 2016

“Congratulations on a wonderful 5th grade performance. I am always amazed at how you get the students so prepared in such a short time. When I attended the rehearsals I watched how you worked so tirelessly and patiently with all of them. The students at FXW are lucky to be able to gain these experiences. They’re even luckier to be able to benefit from your expertise. Thank you for all you continue to do for all of our students.”            

 -Dennis Bentley,  Teacher at The Frances Xavier Warde School.


Synopsis of After school Theatre Programs

Adventures in Imagination (Kindergarten-First grade)

A basic introduction to the dramatic arts, concentrating on imagination and collaborative work. We will be using children’s literature as a basis for dramatic creations.

Length – 45 minutes/1 hour

Min/Max students – 5/20

Create-A-Play (Second Grade-fourth Grade)

Through acting games and exercises, students will hone basic acting and theatre skills such as vocal production and character creation, and will master the art of creative collaboration.  They will create a short play from the students imagination and create the plot, characters and conflict, rehearse and present on the last day of class.

Length –1 hour/90mins

Min/Max students – 5/20

Li’l Buds Live Sketch Comedy Group (Sixth Grade-Eighth Grade)

An all children improvisation group. Students will create original sketch comedy pieces using the art of improvisation. They will master group collaboration and learn the facets of playwriting, and have performance opportunities to showcase their work.

Length – 1 hour/90 minutes

Min/Max students – 5/20

Li’l Buds Improv (sixth-High school)

Put your imagination and creativity to use in this fun class where you will learn the fundamentals of the art of improvisation. Through a variety games and activities, you and your improv team learn to work together and challenge each other to create original characters in absurd situations. This class is the perfect place for those new to improv or those who are looking to challenge themselves by creating interesting and fun characters!

It’s Showtime! Performance Ensemble (fifth grade-eighth grade)*

This class is perfect for students who want to learn all aspects of theatre from acting, scenic design, and directing.  The students will work along side Li’l Buds professional teaching artists to produce a full length musical or play.  They will design the sets, lights, costumes, and props.  As well as learn acting techniques, choreography, blocking and theatre vocabulary.  They will gain confidence have fun and learn every aspect of theatre.  The show will be determined by school and Li’l Buds.

*Length- 2 hours a session meets twice a week.

Min/Max- 10/35

All of our after school programs are typically held once a week for 8 weeks (with the exception of It’s Showtime!) But we are flexible and can work around your school’s specific scheduling needs.  All classes end with a family invited presentation.  These classes can be offered any day of the week based on schools needs.


Jeff Predmore & Kristi Parker-Barnhart
773.929.7367 ext. 102