Programs for Students


Every year we select the Geva Wilson and Fielding stage productions with strong curricular tie-ins to share with student audiences through our P.L.A.Y. (Performance=Literature+Art+You) Student Matinee Series. We produce work that celebrates the human experience. The purpose and power of the theatrical event has always been to come together in the theatre and discover a new understanding of ourselves and, in turn, others. In the theatre, making such connections is the work we do every single day; Geva’s Education department is here to share the inquiry and discovery with your students.

You bring your students to an exciting, professional school-day performance: we’ll make it easy, enriching, and fun! When you make a student matinee reservation, you’re buying more than just a ticket; you’re choosing a complete educational journey for your students. Be sure to maximize your experience by taking advantage of all the surrounding P.L.A.Y. program components listed below that are included in your ticket price!

Student Matinees

Our P.L.A.Y. Student Matinee Series transports students through time and culture. These plays, a selection of productions from our current Geva season, visit a diverse spectrum of emotions, extraordinary characters, and powerful events as seen through the eyes of exceptional playwrights. Each Student Matinee ticket entitles you and your students to not only see the production, but also to enjoy all of the surrounding programming (such as Discovery Workshops and Actor Visits) that accompanies each P.L.A.Y. production to enrich your students experience at Geva and to deepen their connection to the play and curriculum. Click here to download the 2019-2020 P.L.A.Y. Student Matinee Brochure.

The 2019-2020 season P.L.A.Y. Student Matinee Series includes:

La Cage aux Folles
September 26 at 10:30am
For middle school and up
Tickets: $20

La Cage aux Folles Discovery Guide

The Niceties
October 31, November 5 and 14 at 10:30am
For high school audiences
Tickets: $20

The Niceties Discovery Guide

The Niceties Additional Content: Discussion Questions, Feminism, The American Revolution, and Trigger Warnings.

College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for The Niceties

Resources used in The Niceties

Geva Theatre Center Theatre Etiquette

Geva Theatre Center Student Matinee Policies

A Christmas Carol
December 3, 5, 10, 11, 17, and 18 at 10:30am
For ages 5 and up
Tickets: $20

A Christmas Carol Discovery Guide

Creating the Marley Mask

Designing a Ghost

Then & Now

Winter Holidays Around the World

Write a Monologue

A Christmas Carol List of Resources

A Christmas Carol Curriculum Standards

Geva Theatre Center Student Matinee Policies

Geva Theatre Center Student Matinee Etiquette 

Looks Like Pretty
April 14, 16 and 21 at 10:30am
For middle school and up
Tickets: $20

Where Did We Sit on the Bus?
April 28, 30, May 5 and 7 at 10:30am
For middle school and up
Tickets: $20

Teacher Workshops

Teachers are invited to Geva during the weeks prior to every student matinee to join company members and the education staff in discussion of the play, its historical and literary context, theatrical craft and artistic process. Bring your questions to be answered first-hand by those who are hard at work on the production you will see, and share curriculum connections and ideas with other educators.

Teacher Previews

Teachers who would like to attend a preview performance of any production in the P.L.A.Y. Series prior to bringing a group to a student matinee may call to request a complimentary preview ticket.

Discovery Guides

Packed with information about the play and its origins, relevant context, suggested discussion questions, and related activities, the Discovery Guide unlocks every production’s essential issues and avenues for exploration.

For Discovery Guides of past productions, please contact Lara Rhyner, Associate Director of Education, at (585) 420-2058 or email

Discovery Workshops

Easy to schedule, in classroom, interactive Discovery Workshops make a personal connection with every student who will attend designated performances in our P.L.A.Y. series. An artist-educator will explore the play’s themes, onstage artistry, and the conceptual approach for each production through engaging activities and thought-provoking discussion questions. These free workshops are limited to 30 participants; larger groups will be accommodated in multiple sessions. Please note that Discovery Workshops are not offered for A Christmas Carol.


All P.L.A.Y. performances are immediately followed by a dialogue with cast members, providing students and teachers with the opportunity to respond to the performance and ask questions of the cast and crew about the process that went into its creation. 

Actor Visits

Invite an actor to walk off the stage and into your classroom after a P.L.A.Y. performance. We know that direct contact with our theatre artists will extend and enhance the dialogue that begins with each performance. How do performers channel their personal passion, intellectual curiosity, rigorous professionalism, and brave creativity in the creation of a role? Call to discuss scheduling options so that you and your students can find out! Actor Visits are subject to cast availability. 

Page to Stage

An intensive program intended for small groups of mature high school students, Page to Stage invites students to attend the initial reading of a P.L.A.Y. production, as well as a blocking rehearsal, run-through, technical rehearsal, preview, and performance. Students enjoy the opportunity to engage the director, actors, Geva’s crafts artisans, and designers in a dialogue regarding the show’s progress, and share a report with us diagramming their insights.

Please note: The scheduling and transportation requirements for participation in this program are significant, and opportunities are limited. Geva will gladly evaluate any school’s request to participate to ensure that we provide an outstanding experience for your students while protecting the integrity of our professional artists’ process. Please call Skip Greer, Director of Education, at (585) 420-2073 or email to discuss your interest.

How to Arrange for a Student Matinee and P.L.A.Y Programming

To reserve your seats for a Student Matinee production or to schedule any component of our P.L.A.Y. programming, please call Lara Rhyner, Associate Director of Education, at (585) 420-2058 or email Tickets are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis, and many performances sell out; don’t wait! Receive one complimentary chaperone ticket for every 15 student tickets ordered.

Can’t come during the school day but want to bring students to a public performance in the evening or on a weekend? You’re still entitled to all of the benefits of our educational programming! Learn how to bring a group to a public performance here.

All the programs above are designed to work in tandem with each of our individual Student Matinee productions. For alternatives, which are not specific to particular productions, you may also want to supplement your theatre visit with a Touchstone Workshop, a visit on Career Day, or a Theatre Tour. You can learn more about these opportunities by clicking on the tabs above.

RCSD Passport Program

Are you an educator with the Rochester City School District? To learn more about Geva’s Passport Program, which provides educators within the RCSD with free tickets to bring their students to select performances in the P.L.A.Y. student matinee series, please click here.


Can’t come to Geva? Touchstone Workshops for elementary, middle, and high school students, as well as adults, will travel to you! Bring the art of theatre into your classroom, organization, or community center.

Download our Touchstone Workshops brochure here.

Storytelling through Theatre, Grades 4-6

What are the ingredients of a story? Where do stories come from? What is the audience’s role in the creation of a story? Using Chris Van Allsburg’s The Mysteries of Harris Burdick as a springboard, this workshop introduces the actor’s tools for creative and expressive communication. Students will investigate character through movement, voice, and action, and imagine a story with a beginning, middle, and end. As they express ideas on their feet, both visually and verbally, students discover the joy of reading, writing, and performance. (60 minutes)

Shakespeare’s Words are Action, Grades 7-12

This workshop is designed to help teachers and students “Speak the Speech,” breathing life into some of the greatest words ever written. This workshop explores Shakespeare’s language and gives students new approaches to interpreting and delivering text, as well as uncovering textual clues to discover more about Shakespeare’s fascinating characters. (45 minutes) 

Behind the Scenes with Geva, Grades 7-12

Ever wonder what goes into producing a play? This workshop takes a peek at the magic behind the scenes, revealing many of the elements that go into the full production of a play. Participants follow the creation of a performance, from the initial selection of a script through the conception and realization of the scenic, costume, lighting, and sound design that ultimately enhance the performances of actors bringing a play to life on the stage. (45 minutes) 

Improvisation, Grades 7-12

“…but how am I supposed to know what to say?”
Improvisation improves focus, cooperation, trust, spontaneity, and attentiveness. These tools can be used to invent and explore characters and stories, enhance communication skills, build teamwork, and deepen a performance. This workshop aims to build confidence for individuals and groups by introducing simple guidelines for improvising effectively. (45 minutes) 

How to Arrange for a Touchstone Workshop

Select a couple of dates and times that suit your schedule. Due to our large number of educational programs continuously on offer, proposing more than one available date will help us to accommodate your request. Workshops will be scheduled subject to availability, and we recommend requesting a workshop at least three weeks in advance.

The cost per workshop is $175. Workshops are limited to 30 participants. If you have a larger group, please be prepared to divide into smaller groups. It is possible to add additional workshops on the same day for $125 per workshop.

For more information, or to request a workshop, please call Lara Rhyner, Associate Director of Education, at (585) 420-2058 or email


Every spring we provide 10th-12th grade students from schools around the Greater Rochester area with an extensive backstage tour of the theatre, and then a question and answer session with a panel of employees from Geva’s various departments. This event gives students insights into the daily routine at Geva and possible career avenues in the theatre. Career Day provides a wonderful “first step through the door” for young theatre artists and administrators. It sparks their imaginations, and they leave with a greater understanding of all that is required to create art on stage.

Join us for Career Day 2020!

To register for Career Day: Career Day 2020 is full. Thank you for your interest! To be added to the mailing list fr next year, please contact Lara Rhyner at

Who: Participation is open to students in grades 10-12

What: Career Day includes an extensive, behind-the-scenes tour of the Geva building, followed by a question & answer session with a panel of Geva staff members representing a variety of department including production, literary, marketing, advancement, education, front of house, and many more! Students may ask questions, speak one-on-one with theatre professionals, and learn about the wide range of careers and opportunities available to them in the theatre industry, as well as the training and education recommended for students considering a career in theatre.

When: Friday, February 7, 2020 from 9:45am-noon

Where: Geva Theatre Center, 75 Woodbury Blvd., Rochester, NY 14607

Additional details:

  • Registration must be received by Friday, January 31, 2020.
  • Please limit your group to a maximum of 25 participants.
  • Please plan to arrive at 9:30am. We will begin promptly at 9:45am. Due to the nature of the event, which takes us on a tour all around in the building in different groups, it’s difficult to match latecomers with their group.
  • Parking for cars and vans is available in the Washington Square Parking Garage, located directly across Clinton Avenue from Geva. The parking garage accepts cash and credit cards. We do not recommend using the metered parking spaces around the park in front of Geva since there is a 2-hour maximum time limit, and leaving to feed the meter may be disruptive to the experience for both students and chaperones. If you plan to arrive in a school bus, please let us know and we can arrange for bus parking.
  • A Geva representative will contact you to confirm your registration. Please reach out to Lara Rhyner, Associate Director of Education, at or 585-420-2058 if you have any questions or need to adjust your registration in any way prior to Career Day.


A 1.5 hour guided behind-the-scenes tour of our facility illuminates the process of bringing plays to life, so come visit our rehearsal hall, the workshops where props and costumes are constructed, dressing rooms, backstage areas, and – oh yes! – come stand on our stage!

How to Schedule a Theatre Tour

Due to the large number of events which take place in our building, tours will be scheduled subject to availability, and we recommend requesting a tour at least two weeks before the date you wish to visit the theatre. There is a suggested donation of $25 per tour; this fee is waived for groups with limited resources.

To arrange a tour, please call Lara Rhyner, Associate Director of Education, at (585) 420-2058 or email

The Stage Door Project: Once

Join us on Monday, March 9th at 7:30pm in the Geva Theatre Center Wilson Stage for a special one-night-only production of The Stage Door Project: Once.

Continuing Geva Theatre Center’s mission of placing our work at the crossroads of artistic excellence and community engagement, we invited Bishop Kearney High School to collaborate with us on the award-winning musical, Once.

The Bishop Kearney production of Once, directed by Paula Steffen, includes a young company of high school actors, Bishop Kearney alumni performing as the musicians, and students who have been learning about production, stage management, publicity, dramaturgy, and more from the Geva’s staff and creative team of Once. Each onstage and offstage student participant shared the process of exploring Once alongside their professional counterpart from within the Geva company.

The student cast connected with their professional actor counterparts from the Geva cast through character insight sharing sessions, a cast-to-cast dinner, and visits to multiple rehearsals at Geva including the first rehearsal, several working rehearsals, tech, and opening night. The student creative team also met with, shadowed, and shared discoveries alongside the Geva departments they were reflecting. In turn, the Geva company of Once attended a student cast rehearsal at Bishop Kearney High School, and will be in the audience to cheer on their student counterparts at their performance on Geva’s Wilson Stage on Monday, March 9th (incorporating the existing lighting, sound, and scenic elements created for our own production of Once, into their production, and with Geva’s full crew and technical support).

The Stage Door Project is the only program of its kind in the country. For students and educators, it is an incredibly thrilling and extremely rare opportunity to connect with a nationally-recognized regional theatre and to explore the birth and growth of a production from the inside out alongside professionals in the theatre industry. By embracing this young company from our community, we at Geva have the wonderful privilege of learning with and from their energy and insights into youth, life, love, humor, and the artistic process.

Tickets to the March 9th Stage Door Project performance of Once are $20 and may be purchased online at, over the phone at 585-232-4382, or in person at the Geva Box Office. The Stage Door Project is made possible in part by the Guido and Ellen Palma Foundation.

How To Get Involved

If your high school would like to partner with us on a Stage Door Project in a future season, please contact Lara Rhyner, Associate Director of Education, at 585-420-2058 or