Little Creatures Act Out


Since 2011, PCTC has expanded its “Little Creatures Act Out” (LCAO) youth theatre program. Offered over the public schools holidays, PCTC has provided FREE theatre camps and arts workshops to over 1500 young people of the Lower East Side and Chinatown (two historically underserved NYC communities) In the spring of 2020 (in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic) PCTC expanded its LCAO program to include young people in the Bronx (both virtually and in-person camps were held!).

In April 2021 (after a 12 month pandemic hiatus), LCAO expanded to serve the Bronx Thorpe House community. Thorpe House is a congregate living facility, operated by PCTC’s longtime partner Nazareth Housing. This expansion included a virtual camp (in April), and a two-week in-person camp in August.

PCTC has a long and successful partnership with Nazareth Housing, which is committed to the promotion of housing stability and economic mobility among vulnerable families and individuals of New York City. Through the provision of homelessness prevention services, emergency family shelter, supportive housing, and urgent needs assistance, they empower families and individuals to build a pathway out of poverty and prevent homelessness in their communities.

PCTC launched “Little Creatures Act Out,” a week- long theatre camp for homeless and at-risk youth. So far, PCTC has sponsored 23 FREE camps (spanning 29 weeks of programming) in which over 1,200 youths have taken part. In these camps, attendees receive training in the theatre arts (acting, voice, movement, and aspects of stagecraft). The camps culminate in a public presentation, allowing the children to put into play the skills they have learned.

The goal of LCAO is to help provide access to the theatre arts for homeless and low-income children of the Lower East Side. In doing so, we hope to help instill not only dramatic training, but also invaluable life skills: confidence, communication, collaboration, and caring. The four C’s.

For its LCAO program, PCTC was awarded The Nazareth Housing 2018 Community Service Partnership Award.

The goal of LCAO is to help provide access to the theatre arts for homeless and low-income children of the Lower East Side.

  • Created in


The LCAO program was created in 2010

as an opportunity for children of New York City’s low-income and homeless community, to provide the theatre arts and develop essential social skills. The goal of Little Creatures Act Out is to provide children a safe, fun, and artistic alternative. LCAO camps take place during public school vacation periods

These camps are free for the participants.
This includes all meals and supplies.

a history of creating opportunity and access

  • Ages


Our Little Creatures range from ages 8 to 15

(many living in and out of shelter housing), and many attendees lag behind their grade level in reading, writing, and social skills. Many deal with transient (and often violent) home lives, and rarely have an opportunity to just “be a kid”. Our mission is not to prepare these children for professional theatre, but rather to give them a safe, creative place to play and be children. LCAO uses the theatre arts to develop confidence, communication, collaboration, and caring. These skills are critically important for children in their ongoing academic and personal development.

LCAO gives these kids a chance to reclaim their creative spirit and tools to express themselves safely and productively. In our eight years of programming, we’ve discovered these camps to be an important transformative experience for the children. The child who won’t make eye contact, or speak above a whisper.

the first day they will “find their voice” and come to life

  • over


Over 1200 kids have participated in LCAO camps and workshops.

Camps culminate with a free performance for the children’s friends and family, held in a professional theatre with sets and full production values. This is often the first time the children and their families have been to a professional theatre, making this a truly special day for them. To foster a spirit of achievement, a ceremony is held after performances, where the kids’ achievements are acknowledged.

Hear from our kids


Help us with our mission to strengthen the legacy of the American Theatre, foster the emerging artists of our time, and extend the reach of the theatre to a wider audience.