About Us

We are a Community Arts Partner of the LAUSD Board of Education

The Red Balloon Playroom is a 12-week, one hour per week film boot camp that teaches middle school & high school students how to make movies. Students learn the elements of storytelling and then apply their knowledge to writing their own short film as a team. Once their script is complete, we hold auditions, do a table read and then shoot the film! On the last day of the program, we screen the film and celebrate!

Phyllis Toben Bancroft, Founder/CEO/Master Teaching Artist of Red Balloon Playroom shares her illuminating experience teaching students within the LAUSD who have little to no experience making movies.


The Red Balloon Playroom is passionate about giving students the tools to engage their whole selves, stretching and challenging their sensibilities and critical thinking skills while enhancing personal enrichment. We are excited for our students to re-imagine their place and power in the world.

What Problem Do We Solve?

The Red Balloon Playroom addresses the problems of limited communication skills, self expression and self relevance. Students are taught interpersonal skills, storytelling and how to place value on their life and personal experiences. These skills are especially limited in LAUSD’s lower income schools that fall short on the Arts Equity Index. These students deserve to know that their story is valuable not only to themselves, but to their community and the world at large.

The Red Balloon Playroom gives students the tools to value and tell their own story and, consequently, expand the breadth of their view of the world while building confidence.

The Red Balloon Playroom will address story techniques that focus on character building and analysis and the concepts of creativity and collaboration. It will also educate the students to the rudimentary elements of making a film that go deeper that just picking up a camera and pressing record. It will challenge students to use their imagination in a detailed, yet transformational way that deepens their personal identity and intentionally expands their education through work-based learning.

Our Clients

The Red Balloon Playroom welcomes Public and/or Charter Middle schools within the Los Angeles Unified School District.