Session Block 5

Friday, July 31st, 1-2:15pm(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

Produce a Stress-Free Improv Show
Session Chair: Jim Hoare

1. What Is an Improv Show? - An Improv Show is an unscripted, live performance in front of an audience where teams compete (for no points) in various improv games led by a host/side coach. The whole show takes about 90 minutes.

2. Why Do Improv Shows? a. Educational Importance: Improv is an ideal way to motivate creative thinking, collaboration and communication, all crucial skills for the 21st century. b. Artistic Importance: Improvisation helps to develop an ensemble, encourages risk-taking, supports spontaneity, accepts mistakes as part of the creative process, and fosters a sense of humor. c. Practical Importance: In the beginning, most high school improv teams are a mix of apprehension and confidence. With time and experience, confidence will outweigh apprehension. Improv shows become a source of fun, ensemble building, and additional revenue for your program. The purpose of this workshop is to empower educators to present an improv show with high school aged students in a way that will be fun and entertaining for all involved, while in a safe and controlled environment. 

Network: Playwriting

Read, See, Play: The Picture Book Project  
Session Chair: Rebecca Pogue

A granny dancing about peas and corn. A mother and son singing about pancakes. A loveable bear imparting wisdom to his woodland friends. A ten-year-old speaking up for what is right. The Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia expands hearts and minds onstage and off through its sixth annual Picture Book Project. This joint children's book initiative is a collaboration between the Alliance Theatre and the High Museum of Art that concurrently presents and produces family-friendly plays and special exhibitions around celebrated children's book authors and artists. In this session, learn about the Alliance Theatre's previous productions of Knuffle Bunny; Pancakes, Pancakes; The Dancing Granny; Winnie-the-Pooh; and Max Makes a Million. Then, take inspiration from the Alliance Theatre's upcoming production Sit-In, in which two young children learn about sit-ins and the Civil Rights Movement, as they remain wholly grounded in their contemporary lives. Discover how to create beyond a literal adaptation, think critically about a community's rich history, and allow picture books to speak to and about the present-day. This active, participatory session will identify strategies that you can apply to your own directing or professional theatre.  

Network: Professional Theatre

Session Chair: Christopher Totten

In this interactive virtual workshop, we plan to explore the various modes of intergenerational engagement—pre-show, post-show and during a performance—and how they can deepen the impact of the live theater-going experience and the virtual theater-viewing experience. We will discuss the philosophy that guides our work at the New Victory Theater, and the importance of establishing and revisiting core values, as well as the processes through which New Victory Education's School Engagement and Family Engagement staff collaborate to create engaging, inclusive, responsive materials in order to extend the theater-viewing experience into any learning space, including at home. We will also reference fascinating research, conducted by New Victory, which indicates that kids who have received pre- and post-show engagement opportunities have higher levels of anticipation to attend live theatrical performances as well as greater levels of emotional impact. Participants will interact with a range of engagement materials created for both school and family engagement, from digital materials used to support interactive engagement to online activities created to grow anticipation of seeing a live show, to analog materials curated to build anticipation and reflect on the theater-viewing experience. Participants, collaborating in small breakout groups, will also be tasked with creating and presenting an interactive, engaging experience based on specific show content and criteria provided to them. Participants will be given time to reflect on the experience of engaging with these materials and discuss ways they might begin to plan the implementation of these types of programs and materials for their organization.