Session Block 3

Friday, July 23rd, 4:15-5:30pm (EDT)

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


Network: Applied Theatre 

Script to Screen | Adapting Musicals and Plays for Virtual Production

Session Chair: Hestia September

In this workshop, Thera and Hestia will discuss and apply techniques to adapt, produce and perform staged productions online. Using the experiences they had writing and composing musicals, adapting and producing those musicals for virtual production, and educating and directing young actors, they will discuss the many facets of the process. They will walk attendees through the journey from planning to performing, including pre-production, rehearsals, performance, and go over realistic expectations for virtual theatre. Attendees will use a selection of scenes from plays and musicals provided for the workshop that have been written for the stage to analyze what works and what doesn't in the virtual format. Participants will spend time in small groups adapting a scene and exploring blocking on a stage versus in boxes on a screen. Throughout the workshop, we will explore equity issues that the virtual theatre format solves as well as creates for students, educators, and theatre professionals. We will discuss the new roles and tasks in virtual theatre and present options for the technology a creative team has at hand to innovate set, costume, and lighting design. We will go over the unique issues musical productions present, including intonation, latency, and teaching songs, and brainstorm solutions on how to mount a virtual musical in the face of these challenges. We will explore the rehearsal process and go over unique solutions for performance, including pre-recorded shows, hybrid shows with a combination of both live and pre-recorded performances, and fully live performances. We will learn about recording techniques and strategies to support students, educators, and theatre professionals who are new to the self-recording process and discuss solutions for workflow issues inherent to remote production. We will wrap up with an open discussion about our discoveries and provide time for the community to have pressing questions answered.


 Network: Applied Theatre 

Making meaning and poking fun with performing objects

Session Chair: Johanna Smith 

Monuments surround us, but to many folks (especially children) the most famous of these gigantic memorials may not feel welcoming. Let's see if we can play with the power of objects on a more accessible scale.  Meaningful objects can be a gateway to all sorts of possibilities that are rich with educational and artistic potential.  Join puppeteer Johanna Smith for some hands-on exploration of ideas relevant to devising, teaching, and creating community. We will discover how objects create meaning, ritual, story, character, hilarious satire, and connection.


Network: Playwriting

A Landmark Approach to Crafting New Plays for Young Actors

Session Chair: John Newman 

Other Presenter(s): Wendy Gourley, Dr. Drew Chappell, and Mahonri Stewart

For the past decade, the Noorda Theatre Summer Camp at Utah Valley University has created and premiered original plays that are inspired and shaped by youth actors and written by professional playwrights. The panel will feature the four playwrights who have engaged in this process and who will share their experiences and advice for teachers and directors who would like to emulate a similar approach in their own schools and theatres.


Network: K-8

Creating Virtual Bridges to Students Grades K-5 in Rural Communities

Session Chair: Lindsay Kujawa 

Other Presenter(s): 

Throughout the country, there are countless communities that have little to no access to the arts. With limited opportunities to access quality arts education, these students are often participating in theatre programs without educational value. Since 2016, RE:THEATRE has been working in these communities using technology as a bridge to bring theatre education to their students. For the past two years, they have been partnering with Central Wisconsin Children's Theatre in Wausau, WI to help them build a year-round theatre education/training program through a hybrid of virtual and in-person components. Over the course of 5 years, the goal of this partnership is to create pedagogy and train a group of teaching artists in this community to run this fully operational program in a community with zero formal theatre education opportunities. Even post COVID-19 online education will likely be an ongoing aspect of theatre education, so exploring ways to ensure academic excellence is a must. In this panel the Executive Director of Central Wisconsin Children's Theatre, and some of the teaching faculty from RE:THEATRE will discuss their findings in how to build sustainable and impactful education opportunities digitally for students grades K-5. One of the main focuses of their work has been focus on not just providing an opportunity for students to work with artists, but fostering meaningful connections. They will also share their experiences of how to more actively engage students digitally while learning acting, singing, and movement, and how to inspire theatre for social change through this instruction.


Network: College/University/Research 

Landmarks and Monuments in Pre-Service Theatre Teacher Education

Session Chair: Matt Omasta 

Other Presenter(s): Amy Petersen Jensen 

This session employs the metaphor of a long-distance road trip through various landmarks and monuments (as defined in the conference theme) to represent pre-service teachers’ journeys toward becoming professional educators. Participants will identify qualities of effective theatre teachers and explore how pre-service educators can develop these traits and competencies. University students participating in the session will reflect on their experiences to date as well as their anticipated future endeavors to consider turning points (both positive and otherwise) in their thinking and/or practice. The remaining participants (university faculty, teachers, and others) will dialogue with students about the students’ experiences while also sharing stories about their own practice. The overall goal of the session is to help pre-service teachers define who they want to be as educators and explore how they accomplish their goals. This session continues the well-established AATE tradition of convening undergraduate and graduate students, teacher educators, practicing teachers, and others interested in pressing issues facing today's pre-service teachers as they prepare to advance in the field as professionals. This session, like those before it, explores traditional and innovative approaches; successes and failures; and ways theatre education praxis functions within particular educational and community contexts.


Network: Various

New Guard Debut Panel

Session Chair: Kendra Kahl and Alli St. John 

This year’s annual New Guard panel includes a diverse collection of researchers and practitioners exploring topics from a trama-responsive workbook to autoethnographic research on teaching practices. Come check out these first-time AATE presenters as they share their amazing work.     


Network: Playwriting 

Playwriting through Trauma for Elementary Students using ToP Methods

Session Chair: Renana Fox 

A common challenge for elementary students is learning to regulate emotions. With the increased likelihood of trauma due to the impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic, students are even more in need of opportunities to clearly express their feelings and manage their reactions to stress and frustration. In this workshop you will participate in a demo mini-unit with planned breaks to explain the research and methods supporting each activity. You will leave with a full 3-lesson unit that you can implement both virtually and in-person which can be modified for students ages K-3rd grade and expanded to 4 lessons. The techniques of this workshop are built off central ideas used within Theatre of the Oppressed through which students are able to dictate the elements of the character being discussed to ensure it correctly reflects their own lived experiences. They will then use a structure you have created to write or plan a scene for performance that reflects their understanding of a healthy and accurate response to frustration and anger. In the workshop you will experience core moments of the unit from the perspective of students, a list of resources you can use within the unit or adapt for other lesson plans, an outline for the lessons in the unit, and an opportunity to share your own relevant resources with other participants. In the workshop we will:-Watch an animated kid-friendly video about anger management-Discuss how our emotions are connected to our actions and physical sensations-Create a sample character struggling with anger because of the pandemic-Observe a teacher-led scene of two puppets, one of whom is our class creation-Discuss/review how students can then translate this to their own scenes -Review how this can be altered to become more writing focused and/or used for in-person learning.