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2012 Illinois Theatre In Our Schools Regional Mini-Conference
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ITAIllinois TIOS Mini-Conference
in partnership with the Illinois Theatre Association
March 10, 2012
Northwestern University
Evanston, IL
Early Bird Registration: $40 for AATE and ITA members, $60 for non-members



In partnership with the Illinois Theatre Association (ITA), the Illinois TIOS Mini-Conference encompasses the full diversity of the pioneering work happening in the Land of Lincoln. Illinois has become host to a number of unique residencies that push the boundaries of meaningful collaborations between theatre companies and organizations that are prime to reap the benefits of arts education. Steppenwolf, American Theatre Company and Adventure Stage Chicago are just a few of the trail blazing companies that will be represented at this dynamic and thought-provoking conference. This program is supported in part by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. 

If you would like to join ITA or renew your membership with ITA, please click here.

Morning workshop descriptions

Caleb Probst:

A major component of Emerald City’s educational programming involves teaching children to work together in creating their own pieces of theatre. Emerald City’s Theatre School students and teaching artists employ a variety of methods for creating these pieces, but one of the most common is adaptation. Participants in this session will learn strategies for teaching adaptation to students, have the opportunity to choose a grade-level and put their knowledge into practice by adapting a story for their chosen age-group. After each group has shared their adaptations, participants will have an opportunity to discuss challenges that arose during their process, strategies for implementing this in the classroom, and any other unanswered questions. The techniques presented in this session can be used in a variety of classroom situations.

Alyssa Vera Ramos:

Join FYI for an interactive workshop on using theater to ignite authentic dialogue about sexual health and sexual violence with young audiences. The session will begin with an introduction to our participatory plays, which were created in direct partnership with diverse Chicago youth. We will then explore the various games, storytelling methods and structures that we utilize in our programming. In this hands-on workshop, participants will learn how to use applied theatre techniques to elicit safe, youth-centered conversations about sexual health. Workshop participants will be exposed to multiple skills and methods used in FYI workshops, as well as models for how to apply these tools to their own programming, goals, and interests.

Unique Residencies Process Panel:

Participants will hear from multiple companies utilizing unique residency programs. Adventure Stage Chicago will share the process of revising their program outcomes, reworking their assessment tools and how that led them to the creation of a new mission statement. They will share some of the assessment tools and show a timeline of their progress. The challenges and outcomes of the work will also be discussed. Participants will also hear about Erasing the Distance, a company focusing on sharing stories of lives affected by mental illness. They will share the common obstacles the company has faced, suggestions they have for overcoming these obstacles and maximizing success and impact with programming. Participants will be able to take these lessons and apply them to their own partnerships.

Afternoon Workshop Descriptions

Unique Residencies Programming Panel:

Participants will listen to a variety of organizations presenting their unique residencies. Participants will learn about American Mosaic which is a 6 week residency focused on a play in American Theater Company's season. Participants will also hear about Global Voices Initiative, a playwriting/theatre pedagogy program which partners with local Foreign Language classrooms, teachers and English language learners abroad in hopes of increasing language fluency and "deepening intercultural understanding". Participants will also hear from Hallie Gordon, who will discuss how the residency of Steppenwolf for Young Adults utilizes aesthetic education and the capacities for imaginative learning learning. She will be accompanied by Rachel Jamieson, drama teacher from Franklin Fine Arts Academy, and Lawrence Grimm, who is a facilitator/teaching artist for the program.

Karen Erickson:

In this interactive workshop, participants will learn about a classroom-based arts integration program developed in collaboration with a school community over 5 years. Participants will hear about techniques for successful partnership between teaching artists, teachers, and principals, as well as how one program evolved and impacted student learning. The workshop will also explain how in- and out-of-school educators can work together to develop an inquiry-based method of teaching that supports and leads to innovative integration work. Participants will experience one of the lessons that evolved from this partnership, and receive a handout of the lesson plan.

Imagination Theater:

For 46 years, Imagination Theater has been working with diverse communities using theater as a means to address various social issues, including teasing/bullying, respect, sexual abuse prevention, diversity, and effective communication, among many others.   In this Master Class workshop, Jeremy Schaefer will demonstrate several ways that theater can be used to help middle school students combat bullying at their schools.  The session will showcase various theater exercises, statue work, and Forum Theater all of which can be used within the classroom to create dialogue and engage students in exploring solutions to frequently difficult problems.


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