AATE 2014 Conference

Opening Keynote-Wednesday Night


Cleo Parker Robinson is the choreographer, artistic director, and founder of the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble. She has been transforming the stage into a sanctuary of healing arts for more than 30 years, uplifting audiences worldwide through an explosive body of works inspired by the African American experience and rooted in Black dance traditions. Conference attendees will learn about Parker Robinson's remarkable life and the lessons learned along the way, as well as watch a performance of the Youth Ensemble.

Cleo Parker Robinson is a master teacher/choreographer, and cultural ambassador she has taught and performed with her Ensemble in such diverse places as Iceland, Singapore, Hawaii, Nassau, Belize, Israel, Egypt, Turkey, throughout Europe, and throughout the African continent. People of all ages and backgrounds have participated in Ms. Parker Robinson's workshops and master classes at conservatories, universities, and neighborhood dance centers worldwide Ms. Parker Robinson's awards include the Colorado's Governor's Award for Excellence (1974), Denver's Mayor's Award (1979), induction into the Colorado Women's Hall of Fame (1989) and the Blacks in Colorado Hall of Fame (1994). Recognized in Who's Who in America Colleges and Universities she holds an Honorary Doctorate from Denver University (1991), and an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Colorado College (2003), and an Honorary Doctorate of Public Service from Regis University in Denver (2008).


Keynote Speaker, Friday, August 1st

The Children’s Theatre Foundation of American is proud to present keynote speaker Mary Helen Immordino-Yang at the upcoming American Alliance for Theatre & Education 2014 Conference in Denver this summer.


Dr. Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, an affective and cognitive neuroscientist, conducts research at the Brain and Creativity Institute at the University of Southern California. Her studies use fMRI brain scan technology to study the impact of emotion, social interaction and culture on human development and education. Immordino-Yang boldly concludes that education must pick up the slack in children’s development by infusing arts learning methods into mainstream education.

The connections between theatre artists and educators and Mary Helen Immordino-Yang’s research occur regularly as we guide participants in the performative processes of drama and theatre. It is in these processes that we utilize process drama, creative drama, and other non-exhibitional and formally-produced drama-based opportunities for self-expression.

Immordino-Yang asserts that such opportunities engage us on a meta-cognitive level and exponentially increase a child’s embodied library of "lived in” experiences. Such involvement is critical to understanding and negotiating the complexities and nuances of human experience.

Keynote Speaker,Saturday, August, 2nd

Kurt Wootton is the co-founder and director of Habla: el centro de lengua y cultura in Merida, Mexico. Habla is an international language school and community arts center dedicated to fostering global collaborations between teachers, artists, and students. Kurt was one of the founding directors of the ArtsLiteracy Project in the Education Department at Brown University. He has piloted several ArtsLiteracy lab schools in the United States and Brazil and worked with Boston, St. Paul, Providence, and Central Falls on multi-year, citywide initiatives. In 2005, his organizations received the prestigious Coming Up Taller Award in 2005 from the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities for "extraordinary work in making a remarkable difference to our nation's youth."