Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati

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Our flagship arts residency program fulfills Common Core Standards using the dynamic, collaborative, and fun process of theatre.

Introducing students to creative expression.

The Prelude Program is our principal residency and has been supporting educators and students with curriculum-supplementing arts experiences throughout the region for more than a decade.

An in-school residency during which students write, design, rehearse, and perform their own play, Prelude is a fun and interactive hands-on introduction to theatre. The program engages students to be active arts participants and work collectively, encouraging creative problem-solving and critical thinking skills.

Each residency typically spans 10–12 weeks, with more than 30 hours of instruction with our teaching artists. Since these plays are written with the class, each student has a speaking part. Likewise, students design and learn about props, costumes, and scenery and witness how their ideas come to life.

Our teaching artists customize each residency to fit every school’s academic priorities, aligning lesson plans with Common Core Standards such as reading and writing skills, vocabulary, mathematics, science, and social studies.

By using the memorable process of creating theatre, this program bolsters knowledge retention and synthesis while promoting 21st Century skills such as teamwork, literacy, confidence, and self-expression. Finally, Prelude equips educators with theatrical techniques to use as effective, long-term teaching tools to make lessons more dynamic and accessible.


“Ensemble staff work well with students who have diverse learning and behavioral needs. It’s a great opportunity to expose our kids to the arts and allow them to think creatively. When they…think and act or respond differently in certain situations, they are learning more appropriate social skills.”

Principal, The Children’s Home of Cincinnati

A diverse group of students smiling towards something off camera

Contact us

Email our Education Department or call (513) 421-3555 x3207.

Teaching artists on a zoom call smiling excitedly with their hands up
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Virtual classes

With social distancing in effect, we know students and instructors alike are seeking dynamic distance learning opportunities. We have digitally adapted Prelude as well as other education programs to meet curricular objectives—not to mention combat screen fatigue! Please contact us to discuss how we can work with your classes from afar.


Scheduling is available year-round but is subject to teaching artists’ availability. Please email Victoria Aslanides, Director of Education, to discuss scheduling for your school or group.


A student in a Sonic costume waving surrounded by other students in costumes


The Prelude Program primarily serves children in under-resourced schools and most residencies are provided based on the school’s free- and reduced-meals percentage. We work to make Prelude accessible for all schools, and also some community centers, groups, and other organizations. The cost of the program is on a sliding scale based upon need and can be discussed with our Education Department upon receipt of your registration form. The fee for this program includes all script copies, costumes, backdrops and props, alongside instruction with our teaching artists.

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Your gift makes an immediate impact!

Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati relies on hundreds of donors each season to help create extraordinary and socially-relevant productions of the highest artistic caliber and programs that challenge, excite and engage audiences.

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Photo credit | Virtual Classes, cast of Prelude at a Distance, Robin Hood.