"The Story Pirates Residency Program broke barriers of students' inhibitions to express themselves through oral and written language in a creative manner."


  • -3rd grade teacher
  • Nora Sterry Elementary, West Los Angeles

"Struggling students began to use writing as a means to express their thoughts and feelings for perhaps the first time in their lives."

  • -Dennis Hagen-Smith, 5th grade teacher
  • Toluca Lake Elementary, North Hollywood

"Just as significant as increasing my students' love and excitement for writing, I feel like the Story Pirates taught me how to teach writing. I learned how to stir up my students' creativity, structure their writing, and make writing fun. I will take what I learned about writing from the Story Pirates for the rest of my teaching career."

  • -3rd grade teacher
  • 20th Street Elementary, East Los Angeles

The Geffen Playhouse began its partnership with the New York-based Story Pirates in 2009 as a way to expand the resources of the theater's current in-school initiatives. Story Pirates, which was originally founded in New York in 2003, is a nationally recognized arts and literacy organization working to engage students in under-resourced public schools by showing them that their ideas, their words and their stories are important. As a partner of the Geffen Playhouse, the Story Pirates worked closely with the Geffen Playhouse last year to deepen classroom curriculum and expand to a year-long residency model that would have long-term impact on students and teachers.

The Geffen Playhouse Story Pirates Residency Program brings highly-trained actors and teaching artists to six low-income, underserved elementary schools in Los Angeles County to work specifically with third and fifth grade students who are struggling with English Language Arts proficiency. Through our year-long residency model, the Story Pirates bring proven, highly-engaging programming into the classroom, centered around the art of storytelling and creative writing, to celebrate the ideas and potential of all young people with lasting results on their skills, creativity, confidence and learning.

  • Improve the writing skills of 3rd and 5th graders who are attending the most under-resourced, underserved public schools in Los Angeles County.
  • Build self-confidence and hope in young people and inspire their enthusiasm for expressing their unique ideas through writing, theater and the arts.
  • Help create confident, literate students equipped with a variety of tools for written, verbal and artistic self-expression.

A formal evaluation conducted by Vital Research, a consulting firm specializing in research and evaluation, measured student and teacher outcomes in 2012-2013. Evaluation Report