April Nonprofit Spotlight

The Unscripted Project

The Unscripted Project has been selected for April’s Nonprofit Spotlight!

Who They Are:

The Unscripted Project is an award-winning, BIPOC-led 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to equipping students with critical social-emotional and interpersonal skills through the transformative medium of improvisational theater. They do this primarily through their core program, a free 10-week series of in-school applied improv workshops in the public middle and high schools. Since their inception in 2020, Unscripted has worked with over 1,000 students. Through their workshops, students develop key life skills like speaking confidently, collaborating effectively, and growing from mistakes in a low-stakes and laughter-filled environment.

What kind of support does The Unscripted Project need the most right now?

Right now, Unscripted is most in need of monetary support. Their program is quite lean: they run improvisational-theater based workshops in Philadelphia public schools during the school day – they don’t have an office, they don’t require any supplies (part of the reason they use improv is because it requires no set, costumes, or script – students can just come as they are), and they primarily use donations to compensate and train their teaching artists and staff. Currently, there is more demand for our programming in classrooms than they are able to offer: $150 sponsors one student’s improv education for a full year, and $2,500 sponsors an entire class for 1 year.

What is one thing you wish people knew about The Unscripted Project that they may not?

Unscripted’s mission is to equip young people with the “soft” skills needed for personal and professional success (whatever that may look like for each individual). Skills like speaking confidently, collaborating effectively, and growing from mistakes are critical in all arenas of our lives, at all ages. Unfortunately, these are skills that are rarely taught in schools – so they use improvisational theater as our chosen medium to support our young people in developing these skills. Their goal is not for our students to become excellent improvisors or performers, but rather to more easily navigate obstacles in their daily lives.

What is the most unique donation that The Unscripted Project has received?

One of the ways that Unscripted generates revenue is through their “Improv for Teams” offering: 60-90 minute workshops for corporations, nonprofits, or teams of any kind. They’ve found that while we focus on working with middle and high school students, folks of all ages can benefit from trying out improv, and it can be a great way to bring groups together. Previous donors have connected them with their workplaces and other groups, where they can run workshops, increase their impact, and take steps to becoming a more self-sustaining organization. If you’re interested in Improv for Teams, please email them at meera@unscriptedproject.org. Of course, 100% of proceeds support their free in-school programming.

For more information, please visit their website: unscriptedproject.org.