In our winter series of creative/instructional online workshops, small groups will explore performing and creative arts, fine art, language arts, social justice and science.

Workshops are designed with the belief that when kids are creating, curious, and collaborating, learning is joyful!

More About Our Workshop Approach

Art Community
Art Community
Joy of Puppetry
Snail Mail
Script Club
Song Salon
Envisioning an Equitable Future
Environmental Justice 2
Vocal Club
Two 6-week sessions (EST).
Winter 1 weeks of: 1/4, 1/11, 1/18, 1/25. 2/1, 2/8
Winter 2 weeks of: 2/22, 3/1, 3/8, 3/15, 3/22, 3/29

*Homeschoolers! We do PA end-of-year evaluations! Contact us to learn more about how some of our workshops can be applied towards credit on middle/high school transcripts.

The Joy of Puppetry

Ages 7-11+, Thursdays 1:30-2:30 pm with Linnea deRoche. Tuition $90/6-week session ($60-120 sliding scale)

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Anything is possible in puppet theater! Let’s transform household items and basic art supplies into crafty characters. We’ll use theatrics and voice to explore storytelling and play-acting together. Wide range of reading abilities welcome.

Project: Produce various homemade puppets and a Zoom video recording of our puppetry performance.

Winter 1: Fairy Tales Take 2 In the fall, we had a fabulous time revamping fairy tales to add representation that is rarely seen in those tired tales. Let’s keep going! We will continue to talk about diversity, representation, and consent as we create new fairy tales and refresh old ones.

Winter 2: Puppets and Poems: Shel Silverstein’s poetry invites us into a world of vibrant characters with silly, relatable experiences. We will explore some of these poems and create puppets to go with our favorites. There will also be time for open-ended play-acting with puppets of our own making. 

Skills/Concepts: acting, crafting, language arts (especially literary criticism and poetry)

Add-on tutoring extensions: Elementary reading/writing coaching and/or enrichment using theater as a base. Scheduling and pricing TBD with Linnea or Melissa.

Snail Mail Magic

Ages 9-15, Mondays 4:30-5:30pm, with Linnea deRoche, Tuition $100/6-week session ($60-120 sliding scale)

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Who doesn’t love fun mail delivered right to their house with their very own name on it? Each week we will create a different mail project while honing our creativity, writing and self-expression skills. Students will send mail to each other and to folks in the community who could use a little extra joy! Wide range of writing abilities welcome.

Project: Students will get a care package in the mail from Linnea with some stamps, surprise supplies and a schedule to send mail to others in the workshop.

Winter 1: Mail Creations Let’s shake up the grey skies and short days with loads of colors, shapes, and fun mail that stretches our creativity. If you’ve never tried to send something surprising, now is your chance to create crafty and unusual mail. We can pair our projects with inspirational quotes and clever jokes that are sure to put smiles on faces. 

Winter 2: Mail and Poetry Poetry paints pictures in our minds and stretches our brains. Since poetry is meant to be read aloud, we will listen to poems and use creative techniques to make our own short poems. This class is open to inspired young poets, budding new poets, and those who are afraid of the genre and swear they will never write a poem in their entire life. As always, we will send mail to each other, and you’ll have the option to send your own poems or poems from well known authors, too. No pressure; only fun!

Skills/Concepts: writing, drawing, crafting, language arts

Envisioning an Equitable Future

Ages 13+, Mondays 6-7pm with Daniel Farmer. Sliding Scale $60-$200.  Please choose a tuition amount within the scale range that reflects your ability to pay and the value of the class. 

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Daniel Farmer, anti-racism coach and creator of Down the Alley will be offering this teen anti-racist workshop.   This workshop is for all races. It is for everyone who wonders what it is to be anti-racist.

The objective of this workshop is not only to acknowledge what is true about the state of racism, but to focus on how the future can be shaped differently by the students themselves. 

In a safe, inquisitive, creative space, teens will reflect on the important tenets of anti-racism (i.e. Race, Privilege, Allyship, etc.) and envision what could be true about our future if we manifest change together.  Youth will be invited to free-write, free-draw, and discuss, as they are guided through the exploration of a different theme each week.  

Project: The workshop will culminate with a virtual group-made collage of writings, drawings, and other expressions of what students have learned and wish to see in an anti-racist society.

 Note: If more support is needed than the sliding scale offers, please email Daniel directly.

Art Community *FULL*

Ages 10+, Tuesday & Thursday 11am-12pm with Phil Blank. Tuition $110/6-week session, 2x/wk, ($60-120 sliding scale)

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Art workshops meet twice/week. Tuesday’s class is a more traditional, instruction-rich day and Thursday’s class is a studio day.

Winter 1: Images and Stories

There is nothing like the power of images and words together to tell a story. In this class we’ll use a wide variety of techniques to dream up, organize, write and finish our story. It can be a comic, storybook, illustrated chapter book or even an online animated drawing. Phil will be your friendly colleague, tough-minded publisher and critical editor all in one! All skill levels are welcome, but please be prepared to love your project enough to work on it! 

Winter 2: 2-D Art Community *FULL*

Art requires a lot of solitary time but it also requires connections- to peers, teachers and audiences. In this class, you will pick a goal and we’ll help you realize it by giving you the techniques, discipline and feedback you’ll need to accomplish it. This will take the form of in-class pointers and discussion as well as outside-of-class video tutorials specific to your project. Will it be finishing that book, doing your first oil painting, more sketchbook time, conquering a large watercolor, wheat-pasting woodcuts or just some time to get better at drawing? Whatever it is, let’s try it together.

Project: A sketchbook or art folder full of drawings, writings, emotions, doodles and memories, and a young person connected to their art practice.

Concepts/Skills: drawing, writing, journalling, editing, humor, specific fine art skills

Environmental Justice *FULL*

Ages 11-15, Tuesday 6-7 pm with Daniel Farmer. Tuition $170/12-week session ($120-$220 sliding scale)

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This is a combined Winter 1 and 2 workshop.  The winter course is an extension of the fall course, but it isn’t necessary to have taken Fall EJ.

Environmental Justice 2: Looking to the Future.

In this 12-week workshop, we will look at the current realities of climate change, the actions being taken by major government agencies around the world, and consider the concrete possibilities for the future of our beautiful planet.  Students will gain an understanding of climate projections, current statistics, geopolitical realities, and grasp the change that needs to happen to taper the effects of climate change.

Project: With facilitator and peer support, participants will plan and execute a communication activist project (Medium blog post, TikTok video, letter writing campaign, etc.) that inspires and shares what they have learned with their wider communities.
Concepts/Skills: environmental science, communication, politics, analysis, project creation.

Script Study Club

Ages 9-14, Wednesday 4:30-5:30 pm with Melissa Church. Tuition $100/6-week session ($60-$120 sliding scale)

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If exploring well-written characters through acting sounds like your thing, join the club. Using established works, we’ll learn about monologue & dialogue, character development and story arc. Discuss the historical-cultural context and themes in scripts with fellow play lovers.

Project: Produce a Zoom video recording of script excerpts performed together using props and costumes.

Winter 1: Bedtime Stories (As told by our dad…who messed them up) by Ed Monk.

We’ll giggle through the reading of these silly, bedtime one-acts that take classic fairy tale plots and twist them up comedically.  The focus for this script study will be more on comedic movements and character voices and less on script analysis.

Winter 2: Epic 80’s Movie, The Princess Bride, Screenplay Reading.

It is “INCONCEIVABLE” that there was a funnier family movie from the 80’s (or ever).  Let’s carry the torch into the next generation by reading the screenplay and reveling in those rich one-liners.  Screenplays are written differently than stage scripts, of course!  We’ll learn screenwriting terminology and discuss the way shots and transitions are portrayed on the page. 

*We will look at short clips of the movie together, but the focus of workshop time will be on the screenplay.  Participants should watch the whole movie at home before the first class. 

Skills/Concepts: acting, language arts, communication

Add-on tutoring extensions: Acting coaching, original scene writing, script analysis,  essay writing. Scheduling and pricing TBD with Melissa.

Vocal Study Club

Ages 8-14, Wednesday 5:45-6:45 pm with Melissa Church. Tuition $100/6-week session ($60-$120 sliding scale)

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Singing is food for the soul, especially with friends. Practice basic vocal technique, and learn melodies and simple harmonies in an encouraging space. Discuss the historical-cultural context, musical genre, and thematic focus of songs. All abilities welcome.

Project: Produce an audio file of one song showcasing our wonderful voices together. Audio-recording is done at home using a provided backing track. Editing is done by the teacher.

Winter 1: Cozy Lullabies.  Bring your blankets and stuffed animals or build a cozy fort, and we’ll croon beautiful lullabies from a variety of genres together.  Let’s discuss how soothing music and lyrics can have a calming effect on our bodies.

Winter 2: Epic 80’s Songs. We are going to rock those power ballads and 80’s classics with an energy that honors this decade in music!  Family members are welcome to join in (with your kid’s permission:)  Sing it loud or grab your instrument and play along (keys and lyrics will be provided).

Skills/Concepts: singing, language arts, cultures, communication

Add-on tutoring extensions: beginner vocal coaching, songwriting, song analysis essay writing. Scheduling and pricing TBD with Melissa.

Vocal and Script Workshops are paired thematically for a full theater and music study on Wednesdays.  Bundle up this winter with both!

Ukelele Song Salon

Ages 9-15, Friday 4:00-5:00 pm with Phil Blank. Tuition *free to anyone registered in a SJ class Winter 2 session (class size limited) $50 as a stand-alone class

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Winter 1: Hey let’s have fun. In this free class, you’ll be gently coaxed into writing and performing your own music! It’ll be fun and funny and pain-free (I promise.) Writing songs is hard but much, much easier with a group of friendly folks to help you along. We’ll explore lots of experimental songwriting techniques that will drag that magical content kicking and screaming from the very depths of your soul. Guitars are also welcome. Musical experience is not necessary but a uke (or guitar) and a sense of adventure is.

Winter 2: During Winter 1 we embarked on an experimental ukulele make-your-own-music adventure. Let’s continue to create songs and share musical fun with one another during Winter 2. New folks, siblings and family members are welcome to join in because there’s nothing like making music with someone else in the room. Come gather around the virtual campfire with us and we’ll all stay warm together. Learn new chords and musical skills, make songs, laugh and play along. As always, guitars are also welcome. Musical experience is not necessary but a uke (or guitar) and a sense of adventure is.

In lieu of tuition if you’re enrolled in another Winter 2 Workshop, please make a donation to Girls Rock Philly if your family is able.

The SJ program has been an empowering and exciting theater and community experience for my daughter.  Linnea and Melissa really “get kids,” and create a warm, welcoming and wildly creative space for young people to grow themselves in positive and powerful ways.  SJ stands out as a place that nurtures so much more than a singular skill.  You can expect your child to engage in deep thinking, to learn to appreciate multiple perspectives and to be challenged to create something uniquely in their own voice.

Parent Rachel Schwartzman


Staging Journeys co-creators Melissa Church and Linnea deRoche are joined with fellow teachers who are experienced in the arts, in education, and in subject-related fields. We are practiced in shaping content around the interests and abilities of students, and in building community among young people.

Our workshops are not adult-presentation-driven; they are creative and collaborative. Teachers design and lead workshops with an effort to center anti-racism and inclusivity in age-appropriate ways.

Melissa Church (she/her) has an M. Ed., certifications in Elementary, Special Ed., and as a Reading Specialist, and over 20 years of teaching experience. She is a children’s theater director, worldschool/homeschool parent, and international family travel leader. Read more…

Linnea deRoche (they/them) has a B.A. in Communication and an M. Ed. With a focus on anti-racism and playful self-inquiry, they teach in classrooms, direct theater and also facilitate workshops for LGBTQIA+ youth, English Language Learners, unschoolers, and other radical groups of all ages. Read more…

Daniel Farmer (he/him) has a B.A. in Environmental Studies.  He is creator of The Alley, an allyship community and anti-racist consulting company.  He is an environmental educator, Spanish tutor, and world traveler currently living in Taiwan.   Daniel recently served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Mexico.  He is excited about any opportunity to engage with youth and adults alike about their place in the world.

Phil Blank (he/him) is a practicing illustrator, artist and former librarian working in watercolor, ink and oil paint. He loves to tell historical stories with images and words. The heart of his work is his sketchbook practice, which has formed the basis of workshops that he has offered to adults and children alike. In his spare time, he is a homeschooling dad and an obsessive guitarist and accordion player. See more


Sliding scale is a tool that allows workshops to be offered at multiple price points based on individual family circumstances and the importance of equity. Additional scholarships are also available. We aim to never turn a young person away due to finances.

  • The amount listed as the tuition price allows us to run the workshop affordably with 5-10 students.
  • If you need to pay a lower amount on the scale to participate, feel free to do so.
  • If you are able to pay a higher amount on the scale, doing so allows us to cover additional programming expenses.

Tuition is paid directly to individual teachers via PayPal or Venmo through the online registration forms linked above.


  • Most workshops have a minimum of 5 and maximum of 10 students.
  • Register separately for each workshop.
  • Register separately for each young person.
  • You can register for Winter 1 and Winter 2 sessions together or separately except where noted.