School Partnership Program

Sacramento Theatre Company’s School Partnership Program (SPP) provides schools across the greater Sacramento area immersive after school theatre programming, theatre arts integration classroom residencies as well as professional development for teachers on theatre arts integration. Originally created by STC School of the Arts Director, Michele Hillen in 2011 with the goal of providing outreach to culturally, linguistically, and economically diverse students with limited access to the arts, SPP has reached thousands of children in elementary, middle and high schools across the region. SPP delivers an experience unlike any other, giving students the access to high quality theatre instruction from professional theatre artists. Drama education offerings include, but are not limited to, college and career readiness, 21st century skills, Common Core ELA curricula, STEAM, parent-community involvement, youth development, social-emotional learning, healthy living, community advisories, and mentoring.

Each program is individually tailored to the educational needs of the school site. Each school is assessed and a specific program is developed led by Sacramento Theatre Company’s School Partnership Program Manager, Franchesca Sonoyama, M Ed. Franchesca joined STC in the fall of 2015 and continues to develop the program and strengthen relationships with school sites.

 SPP Program Brochure

The cast of 'Romeo and Juliet' at Albert Einstein Middle School (December 2017)
The cast of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ at Albert Einstein Middle School (December 2017)
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory at William Land Elementary School

“STC’s partnership with Einstein Middle School has been nothing short of a miracle. Over the last three years, students’ understanding of Gogol, Dickens, and Shakespeare has been deepened by studying these authors not just in class, but on the stage. This year’s productions of A Christmas Carol and Much Ado About Nothing gave fifty-plus students a spot on the stage and an extended school day, but it made these works living texts for the whole school as students saw their peers perform. The partnership also brought favorable publicity for the school when Fox 40 did a feature on our Much Ado About Nothing on their nightly newscast. The dedication of STC, providing a director in residence with additional support for costumes and lighting plots, makes them the very best of partners after school service providers.” -Michael Holt, Assistant Principal

“Working with STC has changed our program for the better. We now have more students engaged after school. Everyone wants to audition next year.” – Pauline Posada, ASES Program Manager, California Middle School


Franchesca Sonoyama M.Ed

Franchesca is STC’s School Partnership Program Manager and has also taught acting for STC’s Pre-Professional Ensemble classes and STC Camps. She has worked as an after-school educator teaching ELA through Theatre, a Theatre teaching artist doing arts integration residencies with Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission’s Any Given Child program developed by the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, and as a substitute teacher at various schools in the Sacramento City Unified School District. She has a BA in Dramatic Art and Communications from UC Davis and a Masters in Education in Integrated Teaching Through the Arts through Lesley University. Franchesca is an advocate for the arts and interactive learning as well as a musical theatre performer in the Sacramento community.

Thank you to our program sponsors and underwriters!



The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, and its cultural partners – the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services – are proud to recognize 50 outstanding programs all over the country for their work in providing excellent arts and humanities learning opportunities to young people. From big cities to small towns, the 2016 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award Finalists reflect the diversity of disciplines and settings of these exceptional programs that are taking place from coast to coast. A list of the finalists can be viewed here.