The Unscripted Project

We teach life skills through improv education

Philadelphia, PA   |  www.unscriptedproject.org

Mission

Our mission is to equip students with the building blocks for personal and professional success through the power of an improv education

Ruling year info

2020

Principal Officer

Philip Chen

Co Principal Officer

Meera Menon

Main address

3720 Spruce St Ste 404

Philadelphia, PA 19104 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

85-0844633

NTEE code info

Arts Education/Schools (A25)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Nationwide, students are leaving school unprepared for the world beyond. In an evolving professional landscape, academic preparedness alone is insufficient for students to thrive post-graduation. Social skills and emotional intelligence are now no longer simply “nice to have,” but rather are crucial to success. While test scores, to some degree, can predict academic success, skills such as communication, relationship management, and resilience are more effective in preparing students for graduation and beyond. It is crucial that we invent and invest in a new educational paradigm that addresses both the academic and social-emotional development needs of today’s students. We at The Unscripted Project believe the performing arts – and improv training in particular – can be a powerful creative and educational tool to develop students into capable and well-rounded citizens.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Student Improv Workshops

Our free 9-week series of improv workshops in classrooms is our signature program. The series is taught by professional teaching artists and in collaboration with classroom teachers. Through the 9 weeks, we provide students in a given cohort with a robust introduction to improvisation and its associated skills. Our goal is for students to have developed and hone skills such as active listening, collaborating, speaking publicly with confidence, and resiliency by the end of the program. Our improv curriculum is differentiated by its focus on life skills — each week is centered around a certain key concept outside of improv (for example, point of view and character) and all of the games are then adapted to focus on that skill.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

In addition to our student-facing programming, we are also empowering Philly educators to bring the power of improv to their students through our Act 48 accredited professional development (PD) programming.

Population(s) Served
Teachers
Adults

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of participants engaged in programs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents

Related Program

Student Improv Workshops

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We worked with 146 students across 6 partner schools in our first semester.

Percent of students who no longer screen positive for social anxiety following our program

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents

Related Program

Student Improv Workshops

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

15% of students who screened positive for social anxiety prior to our program no longer did after the program.

Number of children who have a sense of their own feelings and an ability to express empathy for others

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents

Related Program

Student Improv Workshops

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We measure changes social and emotional self-efficacy in our students using the SEQ-C scale. 65% of students experienced increased levels of social self-efficacy.

Percent of students who report feeling more confident following the program

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents

Related Program

Student Improv Workshops

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

88% of students report feeling more confident following the program.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Launched by the University of Pennsylvania and backed by Philadelphia educators, academics, and practitioners, The Unscripted Project is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit fostering social-emotional skills in the classroom through the medium of improv. Our goal is to equip students with crucial life skills such as collaborating effectively, speaking confidently, and growing from mistakes through an improv education.

It has been well documented that improv training can build fundamental soft skills including communication, collaboration, and resilience. In addition, a growing body of research has determined the benefits of applied improv in reducing adolescent anxiety, promoting deep learning, and developing leadership

While education in improv will not solve everything, we believe it equips students with a powerful toolkit to take with them into their lives. To this end, we are committed to partnering with Philadelphia public schools to support their students in both the ambition and achievement of their long-term goals.

The Unscripted Project offers programming that serves the needs of Philadelphia students and educators.

Our signature program is a free 9-week series of improv workshops in Philadelphia classrooms, taught by professional teaching artists and in collaboration with classroom teachers. Our innovative curriculum has been created with the counsel of our improv partners and is in alignment with PA state standards and both the Philadelphia School District’s Arts and Creativity Framework and “Get Ready, Leave Ready” standards, designed to best prepare students for college and career opportunities beyond high school.

We also empower educators to bring improv into their classrooms, whether in person or remotely, by offering professional development workshops online. Workshops will enroll a maximum of ten participants, as they are designed to be interactive, relevant, and fun.

In addition, we are focused on research and impact measurement. Working with our network of academic researchers, improv practitioners, and educators, The Unscripted Project is committed to being research-forward in the approach and design of our curriculum. In addition, we are dedicated to taking a rigorous and methodical approach to impact measurement and will always continue to advocate for the widespread application of arts education within schools.

Financials

The Unscripted Project
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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The Unscripted Project

Board of directors
as of 02/22/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Meera Menon

Philip Chen

Meera Menon

Marcia Ferguson

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 3/5/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Asian American/Pacific Islanders/Asian
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Asian American/Pacific Islanders/Asian
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data