Back to School Series

AATE is pleased to present a community conversation series focused on helping our members and networks prepare to go back to school and teach in new formats.

AATE Members can access recordings of completed sessions HERE.

Previous Sessions:

Developing Theatre Curriculum for Remote and Hybrid Learning
A Conversation with Dr. Jenn Katona
Monday, August 17th from 7pm-8pm (EDT)

As educators prepare to re-start the school year the looming question is how to best plan for an uncertain year.

With in-person instruction, online or the combination of both as likely possibilities, this session will provide guidance on how best to write and adapt your theatre curriculum for any learning situation.

*Note- This is a Community Conversation based on the session: Developing Theatre Curriculum for Remote and Hybrid Learning presented at AATE's 2020 National Conference. We encourage you to watch this video to assist as a jumping-off point for the discussion.

Becoming Brave in this New World – Focus Not on What We Can’t. . .but What We CAN!
With Jo Beth Gonzalez
Wednesday, August 19th from 5pm-6pm (EDT)

What is something – a teaching strategy or approach to directing – that you are excited to attempt? What advice do you seek to help you make it successful? What is an obstacle you might encounter? How might you overcome it? What benefits might this new teaching or directing strategy offer your students? Their audiences? You?

Creating an Online Presence as an Act of Arts Advocacy

With Felicia Brown
Thursday, August 27th from 6pm-7pm (EDT)

This session is to help you utilize a presence online to help reach your goals for program support. Topics include rules, social media, websites, online performances/galleries, and organizational connections. The presentation is about an hour in length with time for questions throughout it. 

School is in Session … Now what?!

With Betsy Quinn
Monday, August 31st from 7pm-8pm (EDT)

The literal and virtual doors are open! Our students are awaiting us to teach them some Drama/Theatre! What do we need to do now?! This session will explore what’s next on the frontier of drama teaching and learning in these pandemic times . What are the areas where you need support and guidance? What’s working? Let’s collaborate with our colleagues to keep the joy and magic of our craft as we continue teaching behind masks, screens, and everywhere in between!

Connection through the Arts: Centering what We Value Most

With Roxanne Schroeder-Arce & Joan Lazarus
Wednesday, September 2nd at 6pm (EDT)

As school districts across the country scramble (again) to create online learning opportunities for students, haphazard plans demonstrate a failure to acknowledge and respond to what our children need most right now. At this moment, our students desperately need opportunities to connect, to digest and express what they are feeling, to explore, to create, to reflect, to relate to others, to empathize, and to have their feelings validated. In the arts, this is exactly what we do—and yet, in many districts and schools, the arts are being cut out, in order to focus on what some leaders (often far removed from students) consider “essential”.

How can we, as theatre educators, keep what we value most—creativity, collaboration, connection—center? How can we do this in a virtual setting, and make sure our students have support for the social and emotional needs? Children’s book author Mo Willems, encapsulated this sentiment perfectly on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon recently, “Right now, the arts are essential. Science will get us out of this [pandemic], but art will get us through this.” Our young people need to create, to express, and to process what they are experiencing. The arts make envisioning the other side of this pandemic even possible.


Thought-sharing, Ideas, and Support Centered Around 
Teaching During the COVID-19 Pandemic


With Meg O'Brien and Mitch Mattson
[1] Wednesday, September 30th at 7:30pm (EDT)
[2] Wednesday, October 7th at 7:30pm (EDT)

In this two-session event, we welcome anyone in the Professional Theatre Network to continue the discussion we began in our Network Session during Conference 2020.

In Week One: We'll convene to check in on how the school year is going so far, what's happening at your regional theatre company, how partnerships have had to pivot to remote learning, etc. Mitch will then lead a breakout room dedicated for discussion around classes where students have self-selected/chosen to be there, and Meg will lead a breakout room dedicated for discussion around classes where students are required to do the work for a grade (non self-selecting classes).

In Week Two: GAME-SHARE! Anyone and everyone who wants to share their most successful theatre games in a virtual/remote classroom are welcome to join us! Be ready to share your games, be ready to play games, and be ready to learn ways we can all strengthen our virtual classroom teaching skills through gameplay.