Community Partnership Program

The Community Partnership Program began in 2004 thanks to the generosity of Richard S.
Burke and continued support of the Burke Foundation. 

The Community Partnership Program (CPP) provides families with low-incomes, City of Milwaukee schools, and community organizations with increased access to our professional theater productions, Theater Academy classes and in-school Theater in Education programs. With a goal of furthering the social, academic, and emotional growth of students from diverse backgrounds, CPP serves over 7,000 young people each year. 

First Stage programs available through the support of the Community Partnership Program include:

First Stage for Five

First Stage provides over 500 tickets at $5 a person each season for families and community organizations serving those who are not otherwise able to attend First Stage performances due to financial limitations. 

Family Partnership Program:

First Stage has never turned away a student from Academy classes due to the inability to pay! Each year, the Family Partnership Program (FPP) provides over 600 need-based Academy scholarships and other support to young people from low-income families.

Connections Program:

The highly subsidized Connections Program provides students and classroom teachers in over 28 City of Milwaukee schools with access to theater performances, in-school drama workshops, and professional development opportunities in arts integration.

Literacy Residency:

Elementary students in Milwaukee are struggling to meet proficient literacy levels. First Stage’s Literacy Residency strives to address this critical shortfall by utilizing arts integrated methods to enhance Milwaukee students’ literacy development.

  • Theater Academy

    Our Academy is the nation's largest high impact theater training program, serving students ages 3 through 18, teaching life skills through stage skills.

  • First Stage in your school

    Serving over 20,000 students each year, our Theater in Education programs help classroom teachers explore their curriculum in interactive, imaginative and integrated methods.