As it approaches its fortieth anniversary in 2014, the Creative Arts Team (CAT), a professional educational theatre company in New York City, can reﬂect with satisfaction on how it has survived and thrived over a long and, at times, bumpy road.1 An educational outreach initiative of The City University of New York (CUNY),2
CAT currently employs nearly ﬁfty full-time professionals, including actor-teachers, programme directors and arts administrators, serving approximately 11,000 people annually. Working with populations from pre-kindergarten to adults in the City and beyond, the Company oﬀers interactive theatre and drama experiences that examine curricular themes and social issues including race relations, HIV/AIDS, bullying, literacy, college readiness, parenting and life skills. CAT’s mission is to use the power of theatre to encourage participants to engage critically in the world around them and actively participate in their own learning. For many years now, the work has been process-rather than productfocused, having shifted away from the play with an accompanying workshop to a more integrated mixture of performance and participation. It is typically developed through a combination of topic research, target population assessment and devising. The projects described in this chapter exemplify how funded partner-
ships have impacted this work, highlighting speciﬁc challenges that a TIE company faces in the present political, ﬁnancial and increasingly outcome-driven educational climate as it tries to balance its own priorities with those of its funders. How does a company decide what it is willing to do to meet ﬁnancial needs, how does it satisfy its partners, and what does it need to do to maintain its artistic and educational integrity?