Project 4: Artists in the Schools

Since 1995, the Project 4 has been using theatre as an educational tool by bringing teaching artists into fourth grade classrooms across Tompkins County. Hangar’s teaching artists collaborate with classroom teachers to select a topic based on curriculum as the focus of the residency. The students are then given the opportunity to become playwrights and songwriters. Working with theatre and music professionals, they create their own plays and music inspired by the selected topic.

These original works cover the range of the fourth grade experience with such titles as “Fraction Action”, “So Psyched About Science”, “Don’t Sleep Through the Revolution”, and “How To Create a Compliment”. The plays are rehearsed and performed at the schools and on the Hangar stage.

“My students became a better team. We learned to communicate with each other and rely on one another to complete a task (play and song). My students gained an enormous amount of confidence in their abilities and in themselves in general. They have become more willing to take chances and make mistakes.”
~ Huldah Ilgen, 4th grade teacher

“Project 4…gives certain kids access to learning in a new way that may work better for them than traditional reading & writing lessons. It allows all kids to be involved, including students who read below grade level or who are new English language learners. “
~ Terri Stoff, 4th grade teacher

“It helps me cover many different styles of learning and get to know the children on a non-academic level. It did impact how I saw and related to the students post- residency…you get to know them better and see different strengths”
~ Erin Hammes, 4th grade teacher.

For more information call 607-273-8588 ext. 19 or email

This program made possible in part by New York State Council on the Arts, the Howland Foundation as administered by the Community Foundation, and the Fine Arts Booster Group.

Hangar Theatre Educational Programs aim to:

  • Inspire a lifelong love and appreciation of the arts through meaningful interaction with performance, creation, and artistic expression.
  • Nurture empathetic, thoughtful relationships and interactions between young people by making space for collaboration and communication.
  • Help individuals of all ages express their most authentic and joyful selves through theatre, music, and movement.
  • Support artistic choices that embrace a diversity of perspectives and promote attitudes and actions that encourage more equitable power, access, and treatment for all individuals.