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ARCHIVE - Tough Car Talks: A Lesson in Intergenerational Audience Engagement (12-12-14)

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ARCHIVE - Who Are We Tricking? (5-26-14)

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ARCHIVE - WHAT REMAINS: A PLAYWRIGHTS IN OUR SCHOOLS RESIDENCY 12-15-14)

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ARCHIVE - SHAKESPEARE WITH YOUNG LEARNERS REALLY! WHY? HOW? (12-3-14)

This piece reflects on work presented at the AATE conference in Denver, Colorado (2014) where we shared a series of drama-based strategies for introducing Shakespeare in the elementary and middle grades (ages 5-13).  The sample of teacher-friendly approaches below are based on the work of experienced elementary teachers in Vancouver, Canada, who have been exploring Shakespeare with children for nearly a decade.  These activities were developed as part of a five-year nationally funded project on building community through drama in the elementary classroom.  George was the principal investigator on this project, and Sue was one of the key teachers facilitating the work in elementary classrooms. The Canadian-based project compliments the research and pedagogical work at the Royal Shakespeare Company (www.rsc.org.uk/education), and the Folger Institute in Washington, DC (www.folger.edu).

A number of publications have emerged from the Canadian study,[1] yet few of the actual pedagogical practices of teachers have been shared. [2] The activities offered below are informed by research and have proven to be pedagogically effective for introducing young learners to Shakespeare, in particular A Midsummer Night’s Dream. For experienced drama teachers, these activities are familiar, however what is perhaps new is introducing and sequencing them to introduce Shakespeare to children as young as six.  Feedback from the Vancouver classrooms where this work has been developed suggests that young children working with Shakespeare were highly engaged with the rich and playful language, stories, and complex characters (Belliveau, 2012).  As one of the parents of the children who has participated in this process suggests:

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ARCHIVE - DRAMA IN THE SPECIAL EDUCATION CLASSROOM (12-5-14)

 

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ARCHIVE - NEW AUDIENCES DEMAND NEW FORMS OF ENGAGEMENT (1-24-14_

In The Seagull, Chekhov has the character Treplev say, “What we need’s a new kind of theatre.  New forms are what we need, and if we haven’t got them we’d be a sight better off with nothing at all.”

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ARCHIVE - State of the Field: Gai Jones (8-5-2015)

Name

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ARCHIVE - EMBRACING THE BEAST (2-5-14)

We stand at the precipice of a new era. Ahead of us, a massive, mechanical beast. It seems unavoidable. We must meet it head on. We must be prepared to…converge. Most of us are already there, actively participating in this idea of technological convergence culture, “where old and new media collide” *(see Jenkins, Convergence Culture for more insight). Many of us use social media to connect with our audiences; Facebook, Twitter, and E-blasts are standards in our marketing plans. We blog about rehearsals and events in an effort to bring a global audience into our theatres, and in doing so, we move our theatres out of the brick and mortar of their everyday existence and into the hearts and minds of people around the world. Today, we have the possibility of knowing not only what’s going on in our microcosm of the theatre world, we can compare and contrast, be inspired and inspire, grow and change with theatres across the nation and across the world. Theatre is about connection. It’s about bringing people together. And while most of us find the peak connection in bringing together community members to see a show, create a performance, or learn in a camp, it is important to consider how the landscape of space is changing. The physical space has always been, and will always be, an important component to the theatre arts, yet the virtual landscape has so much to offer.

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ARCHIVE - BRING ME THE PLAY OF DW GREGORY! (1-29-14)

Two summers ago in the land of bourbon and horses, I was fortunate to present a workshop in archetypal acting to my peers and colleagues. Among the group of interested artists and educators was a delightful and intrigued playwright, D.W. Gregory. D.W., co-chair of the AATE Playwriting network, approached me and said we should “network” and talk about Playwrights In Our Schools (PIOS).

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ARCHIVE - Mything It Up (2-3-14)

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ARCHIVE - Igniting Sparks: Theatre for Social Change in Orlando Repertory Theatre Writes of Spring (3-31-15)

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ARCHIVE - ANNE THURMAN: FROM FARM GIRL TO SARDI’S – IN 84 YEARS (7-20-13)

Anne Thurman (1919-2012) was a giant in our field.  She would cringe reading those words, but they are true.  Her career spanned six decades – she was a pioneer, a mentor, a force for good.  Her impact remains indelible, and so we tell her story.  To remember.  To celebrate.  To be grateful.  To be inspired by her words and accomplishments.

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ARCHIVE - CONFESSIONS OF TWO ADVOCACY NOVICES (7-24-13)

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ARCHIVE - CONTEMPLATING THE IMPACT OF PAY-TO-PARTICIPATE IN A HIGH SCHOOL DRAMA PROGRAM (6-21-13)

Due to failure of two sequential tax levies, our school district will implement Pay-to-Participate in the upcoming school year. Pay-to-Participate is a policy that requires families to pay a fee in order for their children to participate in school sports and activities. My school board and superintendent are developing details of the new policy as I write this, so while waiting for specifics, I ponder the implications of change.

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Sample Blog

Sample Blog

The American Alliance for Theatre and Education (AATE) and New York’s New Victory Theater host a weekend focusing on quality Theater for Young Audiences. The weekend opens on Friday evening with the New Victory presentation of Théâtre du Phare’s Oh Boy! On Saturday, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in master classes led by TYA artists who will invite you into their artistic processes. Throughout the gathering there will be opportunities to attend Open Rehearsals of works being developed in the New Victory LabWorks program and the chance to engage with fellow thought-leaders and rabble-rousers about how to define, support, make and present quality TYA productions.

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Sample 2

Sample 2

The American Alliance for Theatre and Education (AATE) and New York’s New Victory Theater host a weekend focusing on quality Theater for Young Audiences. The weekend opens on Friday evening with the New Victory presentation of Théâtre du Phare’s Oh Boy! On Saturday, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in master classes led by TYA artists who will invite you into their artistic processes. Throughout the gathering there will be opportunities to attend Open Rehearsals of works being developed in the New Victory LabWorks program and the chance to engage with fellow thought-leaders and rabble-rousers about how to define, support, make and present quality TYA productions.

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