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ARCHIVE - FINDING EQUAL GROUND: THE MARGINALIZATION OF TYA IN A UNIVERSITY SETTING (4-8-15)

Finding Equal Ground:

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ARCHIVE - TEACHING ‘THEATRE FOR GOOD’ (4-2-15)

One of the most exciting recent developments in my teaching career has been the introduction of a new class that we’ve unofficially titled “Theatre for Good.” Exploring the worlds of applied theatre and drama, artistic social entrepreneurship, community development, Augusto Boal and even grant writing, we begin with a somewhat controversial statement: “Students in our program should not only ask not ‘what their degree can do for them’ but also ‘what their degree can do for their world.’ Freely appropriated from John F. Kennedy’s charge to the nation at his 1961 inauguration, the sentiment is similar in the call to think beyond the boundaries of ‘self’ to the larger challenges in our communities, our nation and our world.

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ARCHIVE - THE SCAVENGER HUNT AS A MEANS OF ENGAGEMENT FOR COMMUNITY-BASED PERFORMANCE WITH YOUTH (1-31-14)

Armed with scholarship and discussion, but absolutely zero experience in Community-Based Performance, two colleagues and I were given the task to make a three minute video that would adequately document the engagement of six young people from the Boy’s and Girl’s Club of Mesa, AZ with the Arizona Museum of Natural History.  The video was our final project in Professor Stephani Etheridge Woodson’s THE 514: Projects in Community Based Drama and Theatre, a core course in the MFA and PhD programs in Theatre for Youth at Arizona State University.  In so doing, we were required to create a video that exemplified community based performance as discussed by Jan Cohen-Cruz in her books Local Acts: Community-Based Performance in the United States and Engaging Performance: Theatre as Call and Response.  According to Cohen-Cruz, “Community-based performance is thus a local act in two senses: a social doing in one’s particular corner of the world and an artistic framing of that doing for others to appreciate” (Local Acts 13).  Therefore, our video needed to depict these six young people doing (or engaging with) the Arizona Museum of Natural History at the same time they were framing (or performing) that live interaction for those who would eventually view the video as a geocaching reward permanently installed at the museum.[1]  As a doctoral student in theatre, I philosophically believed in this project as a performance oriented community based project; however, the task of making the video scared me to death.  I was most worried that we adults would wrest creative control away for the young people in the name of a “great product.”  I remember mulling this project over for several weeks without ever coming to a solution.  Eventually, I called a group meeting with my group members Megan Hartman and Megan Flod Johnson for the next day to discuss our dilemma.

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ARCHIVE - Incite-Insight’s State of the Field: An Introduction (8-5-15)

When we started editing Incite-Insight, we were inspired by the idea that this could be a forum for sharing the stories of the field. The field of theatre for youth is so much about practice – about showing up to both do the work and to experience the work. So far we’ve shared many articles talking about these experiences, and we’ll continue to do that. But this summer, we wanted to take a snapshot of the work that’s happening right now, around the country, in classrooms, on stages and in communities. We wanted to hear from our colleagues about what inspires them and what they wish we did better. We’re thrilled with the response.

So, we invite you to take a look through these surveys and hear about what is happening around the country in our field. AND, if this series inspires you, we’re also still inviting participation. Take the survey by clicking [link not active]!

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ARCHIVE - 12 DAYS, 41 TEENAGERS, AND THE PRESSURE OF СПЕКТАКЛЬ: DEVISING THEATRE PRACTICE IN PAPA ROSTOV(1-22-14)

On October 7th, 2011 Professor Manon van de Water and I boarded a plane headed for Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport in preparation for a two-week master class with group of Russian orphans in the industrial city of Ростов-на-Дону (Rostov-on-Don). At least, that was our plan when we started the twenty-four hour journey from Madison to Rostov-on-Don. In reality, the conditions of our work would be much different than expected, but the experiences of our 12 days in Ростов-на-Дону would transform my understanding and appreciation of the challenges and, more importantly, the rewards of drama in schools.

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ARCHIVE - TEACHING AND ACTING, A TRANSFER FOR THE CLASSROOM AND BEYOND (4-6-15)

“What impact does the practice of acting skills have on non-arts teachers’ instruction?” From January-April of 2014, I conducted a study through the City College of New York’s Educational Theatre Program involving three groups of participants in New York City, including non-arts classroom teachers at two public schools, teaching artists, and professional actors and directors. The research focused on professional development opportunities for participants to experience acting exercises for themselves, and reflect on how or if these skills are transferable to teaching, as opposed to how to teach drama.

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ARCHIVE - How One High School Theatre Program Engages Ohio Communities (3-27-15)

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ARCHIVE - State of the Field: Jeremy Winchester (8-5-15)

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ARCHIVE - State of the Field: Emily Freeman (8-5-15)

 

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ARCHIVE - State of the Field: Elena Velasco (8-5-15)

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ARCHIVE - Seeing Differently (3-23-15)

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ARCHIVE - Story Drama (12-19-14)

If you walk past a classroom of students engaged in a Story Drama lesson, you will know that this is an exciting time to be a part of the arts education community. Inside that classroom you might hear students retelling a part of the story, or see them making a tableau of an emotion that a character experienced, or working together to create an environmental soundscape. Many schools and arts organizations want students to have deep literacy skills and to leave their institutions with 21st century skills that include a growth mindset, perseverance, creative and critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and college and career readiness skills. Story Drama has the ability to do just this: teach core literacy skills while also preparing children socially and emotionally for the 21st century.

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ARCHIVE - TRAVERSING EXPECTATIONS FOR PROMOTION AS PRE K-12 ARTIST/EDUCATORS (12-17-14)

Traversing expectations for promotion from Associate to Full and from Assistant to Associate professorships often entails a rocky, time-consuming, and personally stressful process for any theatre faculty member.  For those Pre K-12 theatre artist/educators who have been hired to work specifically with, for, and on behalf of young people, the promotion and tenure process may be especially complicated by differing standards and interpretations of expectations at unit levels within theatre departments and at higher levels within colleges and universities.

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ARCHIVE - ARTISTIC WAYS OF KNOWING: REALIZING THE ARTIST WITHIN EVERY STUDENT (12-18-14)

The young dancer arches her arm overhead with eyes focused above, seemingly searching the sky for a favorite star. She is keenly aware of her movement as she interprets her dance. The teenage violinist intently plays a musical passage over and over in practice, carefully listening to gauge dynamics that match expressive intent. The artist visually perceives an apple while creatively transforming it into an intricate line drawing extending what the eye sees into what the artist imagines. Imagination is also at play as several actors improvise a scene depicting people waiting for a bus, each enjoying the dynamic of shared spontaneity.

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ARCHIVE - ADAPTATION: EXPERIMENTS IN AUDIENCE EDUCATION (12-10-14)

 

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ARCHIVE - NATION BUILDING: EXPERIMENTS IN UNDERGRADUATE ENGAGEMENT AND TEACHING ARTISTRY AT ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY (12-8-14)

 

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ARCHIVE - Using Theatre to Restore Equilibrium (5-23-14)

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ARCHIVE - FACING FAILURE (5-27-14)

 

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ARCHIVE - TABOO TOPICS IN THEATRE FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES (5-29-14)

How do we talk about taboo topics with young audiences? How do we engage in thoughtful, rich discussions that go beyond the reiteration of the production’s plot?

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ARCHIVE - UNDERSTANDING AND MASTERING COMPLEXITY (5-22-14)

Theatre Education: Using Sophisticated Play To Embody Cognition

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