19/20 Season


Studio 180 IN CLASS

Studio 180 runs an innovative workshop specifically for youth.

During Studio 180 IN CLASS workshops, our artist educators work with students in the classroom to generate discussion, encourage critical thinking, explore multiple viewpoints, promote empathy and inspire creativity using engaging techniques like sociometrics (value proposition) exercises, hot seating and improvisation. Studio 180 IN CLASS is a flexible model, easily tailored to the diverse needs of your students. We offer one-, two- or three-session workshops to accommodate all timetables and budgets.

Production-based workshops

Our 2019/20 season features masterworks by extraordinary women. Both plays examine communities in crisis. Abandoned and betrayed by their leaders, people are pitted against one another, making enemies out of neighbours, co-workers, families and friends. These essential stories examine the forces of xenophobia and discrimination, revealing how our humanity is threatened when cultures are erased, languages forgotten, and communities divided. Choose a workshop around Sweat by Lynne Nottage, co-produced with Canadian Stage, about the interconnected forces of classism and racism. Or select a workshop around our Spring 2020 off-Mirvish production of Indecent which examines culture, art, genocide, and the importance of telling our stories. Show study guides will be available in the Fall.

See Past Study Guides

Our Fall 2019 workshops will centre around our unique Studio 180 IN DEVELOPMENT program which provides students with a rare opportunity to go behind the scenes and experience a work-in-progress by a local Canadian playwright. During Studio 180 IN CLASS, in addition to participating in three immersive workshop sessions, students will glimpse the development process, meet the artists and provide feedback. Our Fall IN DEVELOPMENT program will include readings of Conviction by Emil Sher and A Public Display of Affection by Jonathan Wilson – back by popular demand after highly praised, sold-out student readings last season. Visit our Studio 180 IN DEVELOPMENT page for details.

Students at Alexander Mackenzie High School participate in an IN CLASS WorkshopTopic-based workshops

Want to enjoy a Studio 180 workshop when we’re not in production? This option provides an excellent opportunity to examine the current issues that impact students’ lives using theatrical techniques. Provocative essays, articles or videos become the inspiration for critical thinking exercises and dramatic explorations of the questions that matter most to your students.

Contact Jessica to plan a tailor made workshop for your class.

Meet Our Artist Educators

Workshop goals

  • To use theatre to humanize social and political issues, explore multiple viewpoints and foster empathy
  • To inspire the next generation of theatre-goers by illuminating the unique ways in which theatre impacts our lives
  • To encourage students to ask Big Questions about their world and find new ways to look for answers

To book

To learn more about our workshops, contact Jessica Greenberg at 416-962-1800 or jessica@studio180theatre.com. Or, apply now for a subsidized Studio 180 IN CLASS experience.

With the help of our sponsors we offer a limited number of three-session workshops with a 70% subsidy for each successful applicant. Spots fill up quickly. Apply now!

Submit your application

Studio 180 IN CLASS supporters

In 2009/10, we began this education initiative with the generous support of the George Cedric Metcalf Charitable Foundation. We piloted the workshop model over three years, with the help of an advisory committee of teachers, administrators and arts educators and the active participation of two schools (learn more about Studio 180’s team of artist educators and our Education Advisory Committee here). Since its inception, Studio 180 IN CLASS has continued to grow thanks to the generous support of private foundations, businesses and individual donors.

Sponsored by BridgeWater Family Wealth Services, Gwen and Richard Harvey, Patrick and Barbara Keenan Foundation, and Diane and Jim King

Feedback from teachers

Have you recently participated in a Studio 180 IN CLASS workshop? If so, please do share your own feedback about the experience with us!

“I think that the high level of enthusiasm and energy you put out, combined with your ability to engage whatever the students throw at you really draws them out of their comfort zone and for this I am very grateful. It is rare for our students to experience theatre and the chance to both attend a play and discuss it with real actors, before and after the performance, adds a level of excitement and memorability to the experience that we can build on during the year. It is also a treat to hear the students discussing the themes of the play with real insight and personal experience; there is something about your direct connection to the work that seems to bring this out in them.”

Julianne Hodgins teaches across disciplines at Contact Alternative School in the Toronto District School Board

“I was happy that the Studio 180 workshop we participated in focused largely on student voice and student expression. Jessica was a fantastic facilitator who was very attentive to my students and supported and praised their ideas. She tackled the very challenging play content, language and material adeptly and presented the often taboo concepts in an accessible way for all of my students. The workshop complimented this with simple yet effective activities that provoked the students imagination, sparked friendly debate, and posited many interesting questions.”

Tanya Neub teaches drama at Danforth Collegiate and Technical Institute in the Toronto District School Board

“I love the risks you take and the openness you have in working with and engaging some of the most challenging students… I think one of the many things I appreciate about Studio 180 is how within reach it can feel for students. I like the feeling that students can see Jessica and Mark, the actors, the playwright, and think to themselves, Huh…maybe I can do that…maybe.” ”

Cristal Laberee teaches Drama at Fletcher’s Meadow Secondary School in the Peel District School Board 

“My favourite part was that the Artist Educators were able to reinforce ideas with the students’ own language. I think this was effective because the students felt as if they were being heard and validated. Studio 180 did an amazing job of accommodating our students, which was so appreciated! Communication was easy and the workshop presenters were reliable and open. Thank you!!!”

Tali Douglas teaches Drama at Central Technical School in the Toronto District School Board 

“Studio 180 creates a safe space for each and every student so they can explore, discover and challenge the status quo. Seeing Apple by RBC’s Emerging Playwright, Cynthia Hicks, was a rare opportunity for students to connect with industry professionals and emerging artists. Theatre can be a platform for positive social change inside of a modern classroom. The IN DEVELOPMENT workshops series lead by Studio 180 shifts the spotlight on to the next generation of dreamers and leaders. At the core of “socially relevant theatre” is student voice. Studio 180 makes this possible.”

Logan St. Clair teaches drama at Louise Arbour Secondary School in the Peel District School Board

“I think it is important to help bridge the gap between school and the ‘real world.’ For students this is an incredible opportunity to be actively engaged in what they love doing with other artists who love what they do. For teachers, it is important to model lifelong learning by taking part in workshops. The program is engaging and challenging. The Artist Educators created an environment of trust and respect. Students felt empowered to discuss the issues raised in the play and they felt that their voices would be heard and valued. Studio 180’s artists incorporate dramatic techniques in a way that helps students examine their ideas and then express their views.

From the teacher’s perspective, I found the workshops to be a great complement to the everyday teaching of the curriculum. There were opportunities during the workshops for me to draw connections to previous learning and to prepare students for what was to come later in the course.

I think, however, that the part of the workshops that will mean the most to the students is the way the Artist Educators deliver them. They are positive role models – demonstrating how adults can share leadership and engage with others in a mature, mutually respectful way. The students loved the workshops and already they are talking about next year. This has become a very important part of the drama program here at Streetsville and a tradition that I hope continues for many years to come.”

Marsha Legault is Former Curriculum Head of the Arts and Geography and full-time Drama teacher at Streetsville Secondary School in the Peel District School Board 

“The workshops were a great extension to the Charter Law Unit in that the curriculum strives to show students that the law is not necessarily black and white when dealing with Charter Rights… The Artist Educators were very engaging and respectful of what the students were able to do. They effectively managed the class and the discussion was very productive. I honestly enjoyed the whole experience.”

Kelly Stevenson teaches Law at Streetsville Secondary School in the Peel District School Board

“I was looking for ways to engage my students in the excitement of live theatre, while also challenging them to confront important social issues and apply the lessons learned to their daily lives. Teachers in the Toronto District School Board are encouraged to educate today’s youth about equity and gender-based violence, and it can be difficult to know where to begin and how to actively engage students in this discussion.

Our class field trip to see The Normal Heart and the associated educational workshops that Studio 180 provided were outstanding, and exceeded my expectations and hopes in terms of the students’ success with this initiative. The professionalism and creativity of the Studio 180 artist educators provided an opportunity for my students to discuss and confront significant values-based ideas, and to participate in hands-on, exciting and innovative classroom activities. My students were also ultimately successful in creating their own written and visual work, inspired by their experience seeing the play and working with Studio 180.

The field trip and the workshops were memorable educational opportunities for these young students, and the experience of seeing The Normal Heart and Studio 180’s educational workshops showed me different ways to communicate and engage with my students, through the variety of thinking skills and activities that were showcased in the classroom. Seeing and participating in Studio 180’s production and workshops pushed me as a teacher to try new things and to be more fearless. I realized that teachers must be willing to take on new challenges if we expect our students to do the same. I believe that the artistic and educational work that Studio 180 provides is an invaluable resource for a wide range of audiences in Toronto. I intend to continue supporting Studio 180 and their initiatives both inside and outside the classroom, as both a supporter of the arts and as a member of the educational community.”

Emma Munro teaches English and Leadership at Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute in the Toronto District School Board

“I found our instructor to be incredibly attentive to my students and she seemed genuinely interested in what they had to say. Being a high school teacher (one who happens to love her job) and working with these incredible students every day, I know that they have fantastic ideas, talents and spirits and to see someone work with them (who wasn’t me!) who seemed to care about them and what they had to say as much as I do was incredibly refreshing. My favourite part was definitely seeing my students advocate for themselves and their thoughts, ideas and opinions when we stood in the line. It was wonderful to see them think, adapt and rethink their opinions while still staying true to themselves. Also, many of my students received a merit toward their SHSM (Specialist High Skills Major) accreditation. Thank you for an incredible workshop. I know my students had an amazing time and that they really appreciated the time you took to work with them all. They left using many of the brainstormed words to describe characters, themes and plot points in Les Misérables and it was very nice to see them using their own language to critically think about a piece of theatre.”

Meaghan Lugsdin is a Dramatic Arts Teacher at Centre Wellington District High School in the Upper Grand District School Board. Her Grade 11 Drama class participated in an IN CLASS workshop before seeing Mirvish Productions’ presentation of Les Misérables.

Photo: Visual Art students at Martingrove Collegiate Institute in a 180 IN CLASS workshop, photographed by Dahlia Katz.

Feedback from students

Have you recently participated in a Studio 180 IN CLASS workshop? If so, please do share your own feedback about the experience with us!


“I think that a lot of the time we get caught up in our own opinions, and sometimes forget that others’ opinions not only exist, but matter just as much as our own. So doing this workshop and learning about other peoples’ perspectives and why they thought a certain way brought a new depth to the experience. It showed me that people can have a lot of different opinions on things.”

Grade 11 drama student

“My favourite part of the workshop is the strongly agree and strongly disagree because we get to talk about our perspective and it felt like we have a voice.”

Grade 11 Drama Student

“My favourite part of the workshop were the activities and being able to move around the class. This not only helped me socially but was overall fun. I got to speak and complete the given activity with classmates that I have normally never spoken to, I got to know the people in my class more.”

Grade 11 Visual Art Student

“What has stuck with me the most is the notion that the main goal of conversations, or even debates, about ‘big issues’ is not to achieve consensus; rather, it’s simply to try to see the world from someone else’s point of view. We don’t all have to agree, but when we take the time to really listen to those around us we not only get a better understanding of their world but of the world in general.”

Grade 12 Drama Student

“The best part about working with Studio 180 Theatre is not only that they will touch on topics that are avoided in your day-to-day life, but that the actors are just as excited to work with you as you are with them. They interact with you on a personal and equal level and are extremely interested in your thoughts and discussing those thoughts.”

Grade 12 Drama Student

“I found the Artist Educators to be very inspiring and engaging – they allowed us to speak, gave us things to think about and share, and encouraged a dynamic of respect within the group.”

Grade 12 Leadership Student

“This experience was AWESOME!!!! It helped me look at the world differently.”

Grade 12 Drama Student

“My favourite part of the workshop was being able to talk about serious world issues and problems without any judgment.”

Grade 12 World Issues Student

“My favourite part of the workshop was making a list of what we thought of when we heard certain words like ‘Identity’ or “Straight.’ I like to see how other people think and what comes to mind. It was interesting to see the list our class had made. During the last few minutes of the last workshop, we added more words. As a class and as individuals we saw how much we had learned.”

Grade 12 Drama Student

“I really enjoyed the group discussions because I felt free and could say whatever came to mind without having to worry about my responses being wrong.”

Grade 12 Leadership Student

“I liked having the Studio 180 people come right into our classroom. It was different from a regular English class. We got to talk about the issues and then write about them ourselves later. I created a character who had HIV and wrote diary entries in her voice.”

Grade 9 English Student

“I had never done anything like this before. I liked doing the ‘Hot Seat’ activities and getting to try some acting in class. I liked playing different characters.”

Grade 9 English Student

“I found the exploration of why we can’t or can accept other people useful. It taught me that I can judge people without even knowing it. This activity opened my eyes out to the world.”

Grade 11 Leadership Student

“I never knew it was that big of a deal, but now I think it’s very important for everyone to look at one another the same.”

Grade 11 Leadership Student

Photo: Visual Art students at Martingrove Collegiate Institute in a 180 IN CLASS workshop, photographed by Dahlia Katz.