Session Block 2

Friday, July 24th, 1:45-3pm(EDT)

All of the Session Blocks will be hosted on Zoom Meeting. You will be sent an email, 24 hours prior to the next days events, which will contain all of the log on details for each event. As in a in-person Conference, please feel free to select whichever workshop you would like to attend in the moment.

Network: Playwriting

Session Chair: Gloria Bond Clunie 

"There really is a North Star! We just have to find it!"~Aurelia, NORTH STAR by Gloria Bond Clunie. . .NORTH STAR tells the powerful coming of age story of a young girl who faces life-changing choices in the midst of the Civil Rights era. NORTH STAR is an American story – with primarily African-American characters. But suppose we live in a predominantly white community like the students of Tuacahn High School for the Performing Arts in Ivins, Utah? How might they explore this important, AATE Distinguished Play Award-winning drama? As educators and theater creators, how can we expand our vision to authentically present diverse stories from a variety of cultures which may not be our own? Important questions regarding cultural appropriation and appropriateness fuel current theater conversations. We must find our North Star to sensitively navigate stories that help us understand each other as citizens of the world – even though these stories may not directly come out of our community. Through the 2019 Utah Playwrights in Our Schools Program, NORTH STAR had its first public performance with a predominantly white cast. Springboarding from this life-changing experience at Tuacahn High School for the Performing Arts, this participatory, multi-media workshop will examine tools, techniques and useful questions when tackling diverse stories in the classroom or on stage. Topics will include selection of material, color conscious casting, and important artistic and directorial choices. Join award winning playwright, director and educator Gloria Bond Clunie; Utah Valley University theater professor, Artistic Director of Norda Theatre Center, and administrator of AATE's Utah Playwrights in Our Schools program Dr. John Newman; and award-winning educator and Tuacahn Performing Arts High School Artistic Director Kyle Lewis to explore how brave choices can reap amazing rewards for students, parents, teachers, theater-makers and audiences.  

Network: Applied Theatre

Pretzel Theatre Collective: A Global Youth Theatre & Technology Initiative  
Session Chair: Jeff Poulin

In 2019 at the World Alliance for Arts Education conference, a group of educators from different continents decided to collaborate on a piece of youth theatre. The premise was simple: each group will create a piece of stimulus which will be sent electronically to the next group around a common theme or ideal. The next group will look at that stimulus, devise something from it, and send their creation to the next group. The viewing, responding, creating cycle would continue bouncing and evolving from continent to continent. The developing concept would travel between six to ten times around the globe, resulting in five unique performances, containing elements from each of the other collectives. In this session, attendees will hear from members of the global collective to dissect how the teachers facilitated the process, presented the material, asked questions and set devising exercises. The presenters will share their findings on how using theatre can provide the world with unique youth perspectives on complex global topics.  

Network: Professional Theatre

Trauma Informed Teaching in the Drama Classroom  
Session Chair: Gillian McNally 

Neglect and abuse are just two of many hurtful experiences young victims of trauma bring with them to a classroom. Drama and theatre education asks students to be open and vulnerable as artists. How can we make our classrooms safe for students who have built up protectors to keep emotion and vulnerability at bay? Common paradigms, such as actions and consequences, are counterproductive with this population. In this session, participants will learn specific skills to “Connect before Correct” and to find ways to break down the walls of trauma for a successful teaching and learning environment in a trauma-informed practice.  

Network: Applied Theatre

Is this Drama Therapy? Unpacking Therapeutic Language and Disability  
Session Chair: Manon Van de Water 

Many drama educators question when it is appropriate to call their work therapy or therapeutic. When working with a population of students with disabilities, are we performing an intervention? What is the impact of using therapeutic language? What are we qualified to offer? This interactive panel will work to clarify language around therapy and disability, by featuring perspectives from different experts in the field. The panel will include drama therapist (Professor Sally Bailey) and drama educator (Katie Cummings) discussing their work with students with disabilities and offer participants time to reflect on their own work and its relationship to the field of drama therapy. The discussion is facilitated by Molly Mattaini.