RESIDENCIES AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR TEACHERS are offered to expand and deepen academic curriculum and provide enrichment and skills in the arts and social/life skills. The work is primarily focused on students in grades 4-12 in English/Language Arts, Social Studies/History, Special Education, and Theater/Drama. Residencies are available either during the school day or for after-school programs. Professional development for teachers are available as 3-hour or 6-hour sessions or over several days.
All residencies are tailored to meet your school's specific needs. In drama, this might mean a single day's visit for an introduction to drama skills and activities, theater games and improvisation. Lengthier residencies will expand these basic skills which will then integrate the arts with the teacher's academic curricular objectives and standards, social/personal/life skills or around the art and craft of theater itself (to develop students' skills in acting, directing, writing and theater history in relation to American or world history.)
A representative list of classroom residencies and professional development for teachers that foster creativity, collaboration, self-expression, critical thinking skills and literacy:
THE DRAMA OF SHAKESPEARE
Shakespeare's plays have been performed throughout the world for more than 400 years because they provide insight into universal and timeless themes of the human condition that still resonate for us today: Life, death, love, power, family, marriage, friendship, nature, art. Using excerpts from Shakespeare's plays, students will explore how actors and directors use both verbal and non-verbal acting techniques to bring plays to life and how these strategies can help them demystify the language, inhabit the imaginary world of the play, and connect to the themes, the dramatic situation, characters, setting, and time period. (Grades 5-12)
1, 2, 3 SNAP!
Deepening Students Comprehension of Literature through Tableaux or Living Picture: The living picture or or tableau is a theatrical convention that can be traced back to the Middle Ages but in the classroom, it is an accessible teaching tool in which students individually or as members of a group use their bodies and facial expressions to make an image or picture capturing an idea, theme or moment in time. The tableau or frozen image is a useful activity that helps students analyze and understand moments in stories, poems, and historical events for key ideas and concepts, events, plot, setting, characters, relationships, conflict, and theme. (Grades 3 and up)
Students will work together in collaborative teams to create or adapt a story or poem into a short play (or vice versa). After writing, they will direct, act and design their written pieces for a culminating performance, experiencing the role theatrical collaborators (playwrights, directors, designers, and actors) play in bringing a play to life for an audience. (Grades 4 and up)
THE DOCUMENT DETECTIVES
Using clues found in classified ads, historical photos, drawings, paintings, journals and diaries of the 1800s and through educational drama activities, students will learn about the experiences of a 14-year-old-Irish boy who left Dublin for New York by himself in 1867. Activities include writing their own diary entries, poems and stories, from which a Readers Theater script will be created and performed as a culminating activity. (Grades 5-up)
DOCUMENT DETECTIVES (PLAYWRIGHTING)
Primary documents and classified advertising offer clues to how people lived other times. Students will follow these clues, as well as those from secondary source material (such as paintings, stories and journals) and based on their findings analysis and hypotheses, write short plays or poems, which they will then rehearse, design and perform for a short play and poetry festival. (Grades 5-up)
DANCE TO ENHANCE YOUR LIFE
Inspired by yoga, qi gong, modern dance, jazz dance and African dance, this is a great workout, builds flexibility, ease, endurance, cardiovascular fitness and teaches about personal and public space, cooperation, and also has curricular connections to ELA and SS. No dance training or experience is necessary. Participants will feel more alive, energized and connected to themselves and to others.
Using great music from the US and the rest of the world, classes combine leader-led sequences with opportunities for freestyle dance. Starting with a slow, gentle full-body warm-up, the pace of the music and movement progressively builds, from slow ‘n’ easy – to move ‘n’ groove – to get down ‘n’ funky – onto sweat-it-out-cardio. With the final cool down, you’ll feel calm, centered, clear and grounded. Classes can include music and dance of countries you're studying, geography, characters and events from stories, and elements of science and math.
PLAYMAKING THROUGH IMPROVISATION AND GAME
Sometimes playwrights write all their dialogue and stage directions alone and sometimes they work with actors, having them improvise around the plot points of a story. In this residency students learn basic improvisational skills and then improvise before writing their plays. (Grades 4- up)