The Penasco Theatre Collective

Work in the Schools of Northern New Mexico

School Events and Teaching

list of past school projects

PAST PROJECTS (Partial list) La Jicarita Community School– 2014/15/16 Peñasco NM Theatre, stilts, aerial arts, giant puppets, shadow puppets and culinary arts with K-6 graders ending in Celebration of learning. Themes related to common core studies; family history,...

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Dixon Elementary School spring 2017

We started our show with a great stilt dance from youth from the after school program at the Embudo Public library IMG_0536 IMG_0537 PTC artists worked with the K-2 to create a giant puppet play, IMG_0543 and worked with the 3/4 to create shadow puppets...

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JHR elementary school spring 2017

PTC artists worked with the 6th grade doing circus and the 5th grade making giant puppet stories. The 3 6th grade classes learned acrobatics, stilts, and juggling and presented a fun and exciting show. The 3 5th grade classes adapted folk tales to create their own...

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The Peñasco Theatre Collective collaborates with Northern New Mexico school districts to provide in school and after school visual and performance based art classes. Participants learn invaluable life lessons such as calculated risk-taking, collaboration/negotiation, trust-building, hands-on mathematics, literacy and positive self-expression. Performance and visual art projects utilize many of the same basic skills currently taught in elementary and secondary education. The skills are applied and experiential. Our workshops encourage different types of learning incorporating various modalities. Young people gain self-efficacy, self-awareness, and self-confidence.

PTC Artist/Educators are experienced working with diverse youth in a variety of community settings, nationally and internationally and are accomplished professional working artists committed to their disciplines and are eager to pass on the traditions and skills of visual and performance arts.

PTC Artist/Educators collaborate with students and school teachers to bring the disciplines of puppet making, stilt walking, mask making, acrobatics, poetry, theatre and more to enthusiastic young people providing unique opportunities for self-discovery, physical development, personal and collective empowerment, youth visibility and inter-generational connection.

We teach in all over Northern New Mexico including Peñasco, Taos, Española, Dixon, Chimayo, Santa Fe, Aztec, Las Vegas and beyond. Each year we work with hundreds of public and charter school students to create inspiring and educational productions infusing the curricular experience with imagination, beauty and humor.

PTC Artist/Educators are committed to providing challenging and empowering creative experiences that enhance verbal and non-verbal communication skills, cross cultural collaboration, negotiation and trust utilizing the disciplines of circus, performance and visual arts.




This is a list of potential performance and visual arts workshops for school aged youth. They can be done individually or combined to create an innovative youth performance.


Giant Puppet Construction

Giant Puppet Construction – Participants will be engaged for 8 to 10, 1- hour sessions. Students will use recycled materials to learn basic paper-maché, sculpting, painting, costume design and wood construction with hand tools. While creating magical, larger than life puppets they will be working together in groups of three or four, conceiving, designing and building images to tell an original story, adapted folktale or to support a school event i.e., cultural program, Earth Day, Spring Festival etc.

Students will learn about story lines, plots, characters, scripts and stage directions. Each child will have the opportunity to give input, provide leadership and assist peers while gaining skills in cooperation, communication and basic construction. As a “puppet team” the members of each group will also learn to work together to bring their giant image to life. Classroom curriculum is incorporated in a variety of ways, specifically through the disciplines of literacy and math.

Suggested Grades: K – 12

Required student to teacher ratio: 10/1

Empowerment Through Stilts

Empowerment Through Stilts -This program is specifically designed to promote self-confidence, efficacy and trust through calculated risk taking. Stilt walking illustrates the concept of inter-dependence. Success requires trust, negotiation, and communication. It gives students an opportunity to challenge fears and the process of learning to walk builds trust within the group. In a culture where so many young people go unseen the experience of being “larger than life” permanently alters self-perception.

Participants will work in groups of 3 to support each other physically and verbally in learning to walk on a pair of wooden stilts. Children learn basic physics, body mechanics, balancing and collaborative choreography. PTC Artist/Educators work with students to create a rousing stilt dance performance, including costumes and/or headpieces. For maximum effectiveness and safety we recommend 10 – 12, 1-hour sessions.

Suggested Grades: 2 – 12

Required student to teacher ratio: 7/1

Mask Making

Mask Making – Using paper maché, clay base, cardboard or plaster bandage construction students will create masks for characters from a story or concept being studied in the current curriculum. Participants will learn the art of characterization and storytelling by bringing their creations to life. Some basic movement and performance skills will also be imparted. This project requires 6 – 8, 1-hour sessions.

Suggested Grades: 3 – 12

Required student to teacher ratio: 10/1

Shadow Puppets

Shadow Puppets – Global cultures have used shadow puppets for story telling since the beginning of time. Students will learn the delicate techniques for creating stunning images using cardboard and light. Beginning with the basics of shadow puppetry and moving into storyboarding and creation of puppets specific to each story, poem or theme currently studied. Youth will work in small groups to illustrate and bring each story to life – developing visual art techniques as well as theatrical, vocal and cooperation skills. Students can present their finished plays as part of a school assembly or in a smaller setting. Length of performance will depend greatly on number of students and stories developed. This project requires 6 – 8, 1-hour sessions.

Suggested Grades: 4 – 12

Required student to teacher ratio: 10/1


Drama – PTC Artist/Educators utilize theatre games, movement, character development, storyboarding, clowning and oration in collaboration with students to create a dynamic final performance. We recommend 10 – 12, 1-hour sessions possibly as part of an ongoing after school program.

Suggested Grades: Any

Required student to teacher ratio: 10/1


Acrobatics/Tumbling – Participants learn physical agility, body awareness and inter-dependence. Success requires individual agility and the ability to physically support each other. It requires focus and promotes trust while providing opportunities for individual and group success. We recommend 5 – 10, 1-hour sessions possibly as part of an ongoing after school program.

Suggested Grades: Any

Required student to teacher ratio: 10/1