Human First

Human First is a high school residency program that focuses on themes of mental health and wellness for students, teachers, counselors, and administrators. Classroom residencies invite students to express their ideas through a variety of artistic media, including music, dance, visual art, and poetry. The program culminates in a performance that features student work for a peer student audience.

The framework script is penned by local award-winning playwright and director, Matthew B. Zrebski, who also wrote the successful touring shows Texting the Sun and 1 ½ for Kaiser Permanente’s Educational Theatre Program.

Essential Questions

  • Should we be able to speak about and explore mental health issues with the same level of comfort as we do when discussing physical health?
  • Why is mental health so quickly associated with mental illness?
  • Should mental well-being be addressed alongside physical well-being?
  • What issues in schools and in the daily lives of teenagers contribute to mental stress and mental health challenges?


Are you interested in bringing the Human First residency to your highschool? Please contact our Administrative Director, Kerry Ryan, at


I am told to be a student, a child, a friend, a future employee - all these things…can’t I first just be a human being?