A peek inside HOT Schools: Rob Santos’ Arts Workshop at Harding High School in Bridgeport


Teaching Artist Rob Santos designed a HOT Schools Arts Workshop to address a Harding High School classroom teacher’s wish to “engage students in crafting a story to help them express their thoughts on the novel We Were Liars by E. Lockhart.” The Arts Workshop entitled Voicing our Feelings in our Family and the Secrets we Keep created a safe environment in which Grade 9 and 12 students shared their ideas and emotions. Through the study and practice of theatrical improvisation—Rob’s primary arts discipline—students connected with and more deeply understood the novel’s characters and narrative. Reflecting upon the students’ experience, the classroom teacher shared that, “Rob was a breath of fresh air for these kids…” and that he gave them “…an opportunity to use their voice.”