...a rehearsal for a healthy life.




Igniting Imagination

Empowering Creativity

Red Ladder Theatre Company is a nationally acclaimed, award-winning social justice theatre company.  Formed in 1992, Red Ladder works with a wide range of disenfranchised populations within the community, using the tools and techniques of improvisational theatre to help its participants develop positive life-skills. 

Red Ladder is founded on the understanding that the most essential component of a healthy individual is the creative spirit, and when a person’s creative impulses are revered, encouraged and nurtured, positive change occurs.  By working with the professional actors in the company, participants are encouraged to engage their imaginations and envision the broadest possible range of possibilities for themselves.

Often the neglected or disenfranchised members of the community, Red Ladder’s participants span a wide range of ages, experiences and abilities, with backgrounds that often include racial segregation, economic hardship, teen pregnancy, developmental disability, homelessness or incarceration.  The company fills the void where the resources to nurture life-skills critical to the healthy development of children and enrichment programs for struggling adults are not available. 



➤ Mailing

P. O. Box 1359
San Jose, California 95109


(408) 657-7582 (RLTC)


Community Engagement


Red Ladder Theatre Company has a long-standing history of serving incarcerated populations – adult inmates as well as juvenile offenders – with great success.  These participants often grapple with multiple and inter-related issues such as substance abuse, unemployment, illiteracy, social alienation, low or no self-esteem, troubled or abusive home lives, and no resources to aide them in their efforts to positively affect their own circumstances.  For 25 years, Red Ladder has worked with youth and adults in Juvenile Hall, Harold Holden Ranch for Boys, the James Ranch, the Muriel Wright Center, Santa Clara County’s Correctional Center for Women and Elmwood Correctional Facility.  Red Ladder is currently under contract from the State of California's Arts-in-Corrections program to deliver workshops to participants at Salinas Valley State Prison, and will be expanding to deliver workshops to the men in Deuel Vocational Institution, the California Health Care Facility, the Correctional Traning Center in Soledad, and both Men and Women at Folsom State Prison in 2017.

professional development

For years, Red Ladder has executed professional development workshops for artists and educators.  Hundreds of individuals have been trained through workshops that the company has conducted at the Marion Cilker Conference for Arts Education (“The Arts Really Teach”), the annual Arts in Your Classroom conference, the Santa Clara County Office of Education’s Artspiration initiative, the Bay Area California Arts Project, Arts Express, the South Bay Arts Education Collaborative, and workshops that the company has offered directly to participants.  As a part of this training, the company has developed a theatre arts activities handbook for use by other practitioners. 

community partnerships

The key to successful program delivery is effective community partnerships.  Red Ladder works to forge meaningful partnerships with community organizations in an effort to provide a network of services to its participant groups.  Schools, social service organizations, government agencies, grass-roots organizations and others pool resources and share information to ensure that Red Ladder's participants are receiving support specific to their individual needs.

corporate training

Red Ladder Theatre Company conducts workshops with  a wide range of groups within the community to assist individuals with the development of creative thinking, problem solving, communication, collaboration, teambuilding and leadership skills — the very skills necessary to be effective and competitive in the corporate world.  Through active, high energy workshops in the creative process, Red Ladder can help your group or organization expand its creative horizons and re-energize the corporate team environment.  Red Ladder has worked with such organizations as eBay, Cisco, KPMG, Hopkins & Carley, and others to develop trust, spontaneity, communication, creativity, and outside-of-the-box thinking skills in their corporate teams.

curriculum development

Red Ladder has become a leader in performing arts curriculum development. The company was deemed a Demonstration Project by the California Arts Council, and has compiled a broad range of activities that meet the State of California’s Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) Standards, and are in line with the newly adopted Common Core State Standards (CCSS).  Further, Red Ladder successfully executes curriculum based on the Studio Thinking Framework/Studio Habits of Mind with its participants.

national recognition

Because of Red Ladder’s innovative techniques, the company has been asked to make presentations and conduct workshops at several conferences including:   
• Making Art Making Change—Arts for Social Justice Youth Conference  
• National Service Learning Conference
• America’s Promise  -- Silicon Valley  
• CYZYGY (the National Conference of Idealism for City Year’s corps members)
• TeenWorks - the California State Youth Leadership Summit
• The Art of Peacemaking – Conflict Resolution Conference  
• The Creativity at the Core Summer Institute   


...a rehearsal for a healthy life.
— Red Ladder Theatre Company


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