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Perfect Pairing

Washington Township High School Theatre Program Adopted by Paper Mill Playhouse


For Immediate Release
May 31, 2024



Washington Township High School students pose in front of the Paper Mill Playhouse in November 2023, when they attended the world premiere of The Great Gatsby: A New Musical.


WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP – The Washington Township High School theatre program has been accepted into the Paper Mill Playhouse Adopt-A-School-Project for 2024-28. Founded in 1989, this four-phase arts-in-education program partners students from a New Jersey public high school with Paper Mill, the state theatre of New Jersey located in Millburn.


“This incredible program will not only provide our students with the opportunity to attend live, professional theatre, but also it will allow our students to interact with some of the greatest professional artists currently working in the business,” Washington Township theatre director John Stephan said. “We are so fortunate to have received this opportunity, and we are all so excited about the prospects of what this will mean for our students and our theatre program here at Washington Township High School.”


The program is broken down into different phases each year. Year One is an observation time, where students are exposed to live theatre during matinee performances at the Paper Mill. Prior to each show, students and staff take part in related workshops or seminars.


Over the following three years, students can put what they have observed in Year One into practice:


- In Year Two, they have the chance to participate in workshops held by the professionals at Paper Mill during Fall ArtsFest and Spring ArtsFest.


- In Year Three, a student-theatre company will be formed for students to create an original theatre work, guided by professional artists in residence at Paper Mill. 


- In Year Four, students will return to the Paper Mill mainstage to watch evening shows with a critical eye. Students take part in a pre-show seminar with leading theatre professionals, guiding the students in writing a critical analysis of their artistic experiences. 


With the launch of the new Visual and Performing Arts Academy at Washington Township, this adoption will offer extraordinary opportunities for students in the inaugural class of the Theatre Academy, along with many other students involved in the theatre program,” Stephan said.


- WTPS -