Learning Through the Arts: Baltimore Improv Group at City Neighbors High School

The flowers are here and the weather is getting warm! Our schools have been hard at work this year teaching students to learn through the arts. Arts Every Day’s Schools program is a partnership between Arts Every Day, Baltimore City Public Schools, and over 100 arts organizations, cultural institutions and teaching artists in Baltimore. Through this partnership, over 20,000 students get inspired to tap into their creative voices and talents while learning other subject matters. Kicking off our weekly series “Learning Through the Arts” we will be highlighting some of the art programs that are being completed. First up is City Neighbors High School, who brought in three members from Baltimore Improv Group for a school wide assembly.

Baltimore Improv Group facilitators demonstrating a game.


Baltimore Improv Group is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the art and appreciation of improvisational theatre in the greater-Baltimore community through a dynamic program of performance, instruction, and outreach. They are teaching artists with Young Audiences of Maryland, where they teach students and adults alike how build exciting stories, make fascinating characters, and present them through fun improv scenes and games. Their workshops are all about jumping in, having fun, playing hard, working together and finding your voice. At City Neighbors High School, students took part in various improv games to learn how to collaborate with classmates, actively listen, and create tableaus on the spot.

In one game, students mimicked each other’s movements, but had to slightly make it their own after each try. It was a body movement equivalent to the pass it on game “telephone”, where in the end the original dance move didn’t match at all to what the final participant did. The end result received a lot of laughter, and taught students how to critically observe while thinking on their feet.

Baltimore Improv Group @ City Neighbors

The assembly was a part of an English lesson planning unit where students will be writing their own plays.¬†Elise DeLamatre, the 12th grade English teacher, continues: “The week long residency is the foundation of a school wide tradition: the writing and producing of Our School, a play about the seniors’ experience in high school. They will take the skills acquired through the residency to write the script, rehearse and perform the production in May.” We can’t wait to see the final play!

Students and BIG performers create a tableau scene.

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