PPTCO operates two educational programs that focus on kindling careers in theater.
CAPA High School
We partner with Pittsburgh CAPA (a Creative And Performing Arts magnet school) to produce an annual play by August Wilson. PPTCO meets the students, assesses their acting strengths and character potentials, and then selects a play by August Wilson that meets the strengths of that year’s cohort. We then cast the play and begin rehearsals. We then bring in our team of designers and technicians to source and build the costumes, props and sets. With each step of the process, we use a protégé/mentor model and utilize professional methodology and standards, so that high school students can gain real-life experiences and develop real-life working relationships to the point that we even hire the students. In 2022 we hired 5 students and in 2023 we hired 8. Finally, the show is ready for performance and front-of-house procedures are folded into the experience. Each year over 100 high school students benefit directly as participants and another 500 students and community members benefit as audiences.
Ground Up Theatre Training
In response to the very real need to train and promote people of color into the theatre field, especially in backstage roles, we founded the Ground Up Training program. Here, people of all ages are eligible to work side-by-side with our team to learn costuming, lighting and set design, stage managing and stage striking. Ground Up participants are paid for their work and fostered one by one into entering into and maintaining a presence in the theatre community.