Session Block 4

Saturday, July 25th, 2:45-4pm(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: High School

Love Potions are Problematic: Using Devised Theatre to Explore Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream  
Session Presenters: Kathleen Pennyway and Katie Mixon

This winter, students from Dreher High School created a new piece of devised theatre that used Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream to explore themes of consent, love and relationships. We partnered with community and school organizations to create a piece that interrogated a canonical author and reflected students' lived experiences. Workshop participants will get a chance to participate in exercises from our process and a discussion wherein we will share our data.


Network: Playwriting

Individual Visions: Creating Solo Plays for Young Audiences  
Session Chair: Dr. John Newman

Solo plays presented by a single performer can share individual visions through the eyes of a historical, contemporary, or fictional character. This panel discussion explores the writing and performance of such plays and will help participants to envision how they can create and produce such works themselves in theatres, schools, and libraries.

Network: High School

Red for ED, Teacher Shortages, and Massive classes: Building a Sustainable Career as a Drama Teacher in Arizona (A Panel Discussion)  
Session Chair: Nicola Olsen

Teaching drama can be a precarious pursuit, especially in states like Arizona where state funding has not kept pace with the rest of the nation. From the expected responsibilities of directing plays, teaching classes, and designing sets to the more unexpected roles like leading clubs, organizing field trips, disciplining and/or guiding students, building character, and running school assemblies "all for a small salary” a drama teacher's job is ever-expanding and full of challenges. And now, in a time where virtual classes and productions are the norms for the foreseeable future, how should drama teachers envision a sustainable career? Join us for a panel discussion with a group of Arizona teachers representing a range of experience (pre-service, non-certified, senior-level) as we discuss the precarity of the profession and expand our vision of the future to help us find sustainable paths for doing the job we love.  

Network: K-8

Dancing is Learning: Embodied Investigation in the K-6 Classroom  
Session Chair: Amanda Pintore

Utilizing dance and physical exploration, this workshop will offer activities and strategies for incorporating movement into math and language arts curriculum, as well as classroom transitions and everyday assessment. Whether you are an elementary school educator, a freelance teaching artist, or a scholar studying childhood development, this session offers hands-on tools that are applicable to a variety of educational settings. We will navigate how to support and promote the individual child’s immediate motor skill development, social development between peers, and emotional development in terms of body confidence and spatial awareness. Participants will leave with new curricular connections, examples of scaffolded lessons, and tools to develop both verbal and non-verbal connections with their students. All activities explored will be usable for both an in person classroom and a virtual classroom. Nervous about applying dance to your practices? Unsure about even saying the word dance to your students? Come to this session ready to move and observe (all choices are welcome) while building your dance toolbox.  

Network: High School

(Don't) Kiss Me, Kate: Intimacy Directing in High Schools  
Session Chair: Alli St. John

In this panel, join Alli St. John and Chris Weise as they discuss how intimacy directing techniques can be applied to working with high school-aged students. An MFA in Theatre for Youth student at Arizona State University, Alli has spent the past year developing a toolbox for high school theatre educators to navigate working with intimate moments, building a culture of consent in the rehearsal room, and breaking down traditional power dynamics. Chris, a middle and high school drama educator and graduate of the same MFA program (class of 2018), applied the toolbox to his work with his middle school theatre students to test its functionality and determine what further work needs to be done in its development. In this 75-minute session, attendees will hear about the toolbox, how it was developed, and Chris's experience implementing it in his drama program and how the move to the virtual classroom affected that work. Attendees will also participate in a discussion about intimacy directing in high schools, with key questions such as: How do we go about breaking down traditional power dynamics in the classroom so students are empowered to advocate for themselves? How do we create a culture of consent in rehearsals and classrooms? What might it look like to start implementing these tools in an existing program- does it happen gradually or all at once? What do you consider an intimate moment? 

Network: K-8

It's Just a Joke: Microaggressions in K-8 Improvisation & Theater Games  
Session Presenters: Megan Zakarian-Adell

Microaggressions are tricky. They can take place instantaneously and in passing, sometimes in the form of jokes, compliments or creative choices. Learning to identify microaggressions and understanding the damage they can cause is critical when it comes to creating an inclusive classroom. Improvisational exercises and theater games can be rife with these precarious moments, especially with K-8 students. During improv classes, students are asked to be quick on their feet and take creative risks! As a result, microaggressions can occur in a flash, giving the teacher the option to either ignore the moment or, ideally, find a way to effectively address the situation. In this workshop, we will first identify the numerous types of microaggressions that commonly take place during K-8 improvisational theater games. Together, we can explore when and why a moment would be considered sexist, racist, homophobic, ableist, classist or harmful. We’ll take a deep dive to understand why one choice can be appropriately funny, while another similar choice could be offensive.  We will also use our time to generate ideas and practice developmentally suitable ways to handle these instances. We’ll discover how to best address these situations, taking into account that we usually have limited class time,  are working with young students who most likely are not aware of the negative impact of their choices, and are potentially teaching remotely. The goal is to leave the session prepared, so that we can prevent these moments as well as address them. This groundwork will give us the tools to continue to offer inclusive and safe environments for all of our students, audience members, and faculty.

Network: Various

Poster Sessions
Session Presenter: Kristin Hunt

The inaugural year features 8 scholars representing a vibrant cross-section of artistic pedagogies, praxis, and scholarship.