Theatre in Our Schools:
'23 Workshop Series

AATE is pleased to present an ongoing community conversation series focused on bringing awareness to the importance of theatre education in our schools.
AATE Members can access recordings of
completed sessions below:

*note you will be prompted to sign into your AATE account

Upcoming Sessions: 


Five Neglected Strategies for Teaching Drama
with Karen L. Erickson
Wednesday, December 6th, 2023, 7PM (EDT)

Join us for this discussion and workshop with Karen L. Erickson. Karen will guide participants through an exploration of lesser used teaching strategies in drama, and discuss how to use them to create unique and effective drama lessons. Through a combination of presentation, discussion, and hands-on practice, participants will be introduced to the strategies of Compare and Contrast, Graduated Difficulty, Pair Coaching, Mystery, and Multisensory Experiences in the drama classroom. The goal of this session is to encourage and support participants as they incorporate unique teaching strategies into their classrooms, address the range of learning styles among their students, and create a space where every student is engaged, challenged and uplifted. Bring a lesson or drama activity you would like to breathe new life into
by giving it a new instructional approach.

Karen L. Erickson is a national leader in Arts Education who has worked with schools and arts organizations in all fifty states and around the world. She is a National Workshop Leader, Course Leader, Keynote Speaker, and Seminar Presenter for the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., where she has had the opportunity to share her expertise with teachers, artists, and administrators all over the country. Ms. Erickson is the Founder and Executive Director of Creative Directions, where she provides services and guidance in curriculum integration, assessment, long range planning, and drama education for K-8 educators. She is the author of ten acclaimed books on drama and education. In 2015, she decided to digitize her curriculum on the website OneStopDRAMAShop, so teachers everywhere can access drama integrated resources and materials. Ms. Erickson was a co-author of the Illinois Fine Arts Curriculum Resource Guide, the Illinois State Learning Standards, Integrated Curriculum Arts Project (ICAP), and the Illinois Performance Assessment Tools. Ms. Erickson is a certified teacher in Language Arts and Theater Education for grades K-12 and has worked in schools for over 35 years. In professional theater, Ms. Erickson worked with the Goodman Theatre where she assisted Tennessee Williams on two world premieres. She recently directed The Merry Wives of Windsor at Rock Island Genesius Theatre Guild, and she has worked with many Chicago Theaters in various roles including artistic director, stage director, playwright, and actress. Ms. Erickson is the author of 9 plays for young audiences including the recent, “Hazard! Bullies at Work,” popularly produced at educational theatres around the United States.

Reimagining Drama Curriculum: The Gradual Release of Responsibility Framework

with Jonathan Jones
Wednesday, November 15, 2023, 7PM (EDT)

Join us for this discussion and workshop with Jonathan P. Jones, who will invite participants to examine their approach to instructional design for the drama classroom and consider the gradual release of responsibility to scaffold a learning experience for students. As theorized by Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey (Better Learning through Structured Teaching, ASCD, 2021), teachers facilitate focused instruction ("I do it"), guided instruction ("We do it together"), collaborative learning ("You do it together"), and independent learning ("You do it alone") in order to shift cognitive responsibility in the classroom from the teacher to the student over a period of time. 

The goal of this session is to support participants as they explore a variety of approaches to implementing this approach into their lesson planning. 

Jonathan P. Jones, PhD, is an advisor, faculty member, and coordinator of doctoral studies at NYU Steinhardt for the Program in Educational Theatre. At NYU, he teaches courses in pedagogy and theatre history; at CUNY, he teaches courses in public speaking and theatre history. Jonathan has presented on theatre education, research, creativity, and pedagogy in the US, UK, Canada, China, and Iraq. He serves as editor for ArtsPraxis, on the editorial board of Applied Theatre Research and Youth Theatre Journal, as well as Chair-Elect for the board of the American Alliance for Theatre and Education (AATE). His book, Assessment in the Drama Classroom: A Culturally Responsive and Student-Centered Approach, will be published by Routledge on December 1, 2023.