America's Oldest · Founded 1808

Adopt-A-School Program

Walnut Street Theatre's Adopt-A-School program creates a special three-year partnership with a K-8 Philadelphia Center City public school. It creates long term, meaningful partnerships with individual schools to nurture the direct links between Walnut Street Theatre and its surrounding community. During our three-year stay at the host school, students and faculty members receive many unique opportunities to use Walnut Street Theatre's resources, including in-school performances and workshops. The Adopt-A-School program is individually designed to meet the Arts Education needs of the host school in creating theatre curriculum, improving students' dramatic skills and guiding teachers through every aspect of producing a theatre performance. We seek to support education reform by improving the school environment through enriching the school community.

Our Current Adoptions
Walnut Teaching Artist Hasani Allen with students from Edwin Forrest

Edwin Forrest Elementary School

We are in our fourth year with Edwin Forest Elementary. We now see every student in the for a 6-week theatre unit. All outreach shows travel to the school at no cost, and every student attends one of our Kid Series performances. Staff receives professional development and attends mainstage dress rehearsals. We also include scholarships to our Theatre School as well as Camp Walnut as part of the adoption.

Walnut Teaching Artist Hasani Allen with students from Edwin Forest

We are excited to welcome Horatio B Hackett (year one), Frances Willard Elementary (year one), William Ziegler Elementary (year two) and Henry C Lea (year two) as our newest Adopt-A-School partners!

Comments from Past Adoptions

Teachers report that WST "exceeded their expectations" and are "thrilled" and "grateful for the adoption." One teacher wrote, "The only two questions my kids consistently ask are: "is it pretzel day" or "is there drama club today?" At the final drama club performance a teacher commented, "In the ten years I have been here, I have never seen this many parents in our school!", and another teacher remarked, "I've never heard children sing at school before."

Alumni Schools

Alumni Schools of the Adopt-A-School program include: Samuel S. Fels High School, Girard Academic Music Program, General George A. McCall School, William M. Meredith School, Chester A. Arthur School, Belmont Charter School, and Southwark School. Mini-adoptions have occurred at G.W. Pepper Middle School and A.M.Y. at James Martin.

For more information about these programs, contact the Walnut Street Theatre Education Department at 215.574.3550 ext. 566 or email us at

The Hearst Foundations Neag Foundation WSFS CARES Foundation Justamere Foundation
William M King Charitable Foundation
Syde Hurdus Foundation
TD Charitable Foundation