2015 Pre-Conferences

Pre-Conference A:


Delve into the National Core Arts Theatre Standards as a tool for curriculum planning, instruction, assessment, and advocacy. Standards writers Julia Ashworth (Brigham Young University) Betsy Quinn (Evanston, IL School District 65) and Joshua Streeter (University of Texas at Austin) will guide participants through an intensive exploration of effectively using the standards in classrooms and other educational theatre settings. This professional development opportunity is designed for arts educators and teaching artists interested in translating the information from the National Arts Standards website into relevant, practical applications to ultimately increase their own knowledge and use of the standards in and ultimately improve students learning.

Pre-Conference B:


Bring your brain, your expertise, your bold ideas and come hang with our team of three scientists and three master drama teachers as we explore the connections between the interdisciplinary fields of social cognitive neuroscience, clinical psychology, and drama/theatre.

First Stage will be providing young people excited to engage with us in drama process work. Our three demonstration sessions will move across the day from 2nd graders with Peter Duffy, Ed.D. (creative drama) to 5th graders with Julia Magnasco, M.F.A. (process drama) to teens with Michael Rohds, Professional Theatre Artist & Educator, Northwestern University (devising theatre). Our GOAL is to create a common language of understanding between science and drama and to find the intersections where collaborative research can begin. In fact, with your help, we hope to launch some interdisciplinary research while at the AATE conference.

Science Team: Indre Viskontas, Ph.D. (Social Cognitive Neuroscience) Studied acting and improvisation at San Francisco Conservatory of Music and is now a professional opera singer when not in the fMRI lab at the Memory and Aging Program at the University of California at San Francisco. Thalia Goldstein, Ph.D. (Clinical Psychology) Runs the Social Cognition and Imagination Lab at Pace University. Her research demonstrates that acting experiences may be causally implicated in increased theory of mind, empathy, and the use of adaptive emotion regulation strategies. Michael Johnson, Ph.D. (Clinical Psychology) Runs the Neuropsychiatric Institute-Child Outpatient Clinic at the University of Utah. Michael’s current focus is seeking to better understand the relationship between empathy and children living in the autism spectrum.