Graduation Challenge

Graduation Challenge

On May 20, 2020, with support from the David Rockefeller Fund, and in partnership with The New Victory Theater and Ping Chong + Company, the Stella Adler Studio of Acting launched

The 2020 Graduation Challenge.

As schools in New York City and across the country began to shut down for the rest of the year, and plans for many Class of 2020 commencement ceremonies were thrown into confusion, we drew on the insights gained from our own rites of passage work here at the studio to create The 2020 Graduation Challenge.

This project is intended to provide leadership and support for:

  • School administrators who want to create a truly meaningful graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020 that is both online and timely;
  • Teachers who want new classroom content to engage students in activities and reflections related to graduating from high school and moving into a new stage of their lives; and
  • Graduating seniors and their families who want to understand and connect more deeply to this significant rite of passage in their lives.


The 2020 Graduation Challenge online toolkit offers:

  • Detailed plans (with several variations) for identifying and building the capacity, and unleashing student creativity to create a meaningful online graduation event this June.
  • Written lesson plans related to rites of passage and graduation, with supplementary video demonstrations created by teaching artists from three of NYC’s most renowned arts organizations;
  • Exercises, ideas, and theory related to rites of passage meant to support students and families find ways to embrace and elevate this pivotal life transition; and
  • Ongoing webinars and virtual consultation through June 30, 2020 for individuals or groups who would like more specific support.


We’d love to know how you’re working to create a meaningful and timely
celebration in your community!

If you and your school are using any of these resources — to support graduation or to support your classroom, your child, or yourself — please let us know!

Contact project director Kevin Bott at and use hashtag #2020GradChallenge to tag related posts.


Click here to download our free 2020 Graduation Challenge Guidebook

Click here to watch the project introduction video or watch below!

Click here to watch classroom lessons and student exercises.