Forum on Educational Theatre Preview #4

Preparations for the Forum on Educational Theatre April 21-24, 2016 are well underway. To register, click here.

As we gear up for the event, we will post descriptions of some of the presentations–one of which appears below:

Workshop: Two Schools, One Journey, Many Tales: An Integrated Drama Exploration

Two drama classes, two different schools, two devising processes, and two very different groups of students learning from each other is the premise for the project that will be shared in this workshop. This workshop, co-led by students, give participants an in-depth look into the first year of a collaboration between two drama teachers, 25 students, and two schools. Each drama class adapted a fairy tale based on their experiences in school. The goal for the students: create a piece of drama that, like fairy tales, can be shared with younger students to give them a glimpse of what their future school experience may entail.

11th grade students from Institute for Collaborative Education (ICE), a small, innovative New York City public high school, created 10-minute plays to share with the middle school students at The LearningSpring School, a small, independent school serving students on the autism spectrum. Graduating students from LearningSpring created short plays to perform for the students who will enter middle school next year. The students from ICE and the students from LearningSpring regularly met throughout their devising process to share ideas, give feedback, and develop content together through a series of integrated workshops.

In this workshop the students will lead the group in an activity they used in their devising process during their integrated workshops, perform a segment of their plays, discuss the experience and their learning in the program, and answer participant questions about the project. The drama teachers from each school will share their experiences of planning and implementing this new program and the lessons learned throughout the process. Highlighting creativity, flexibility, socialization, and communication as key skills involved in creating theater, the program provided opportunities for students to build and develop these skills which will serve them in their future schooling as the middle school students look toward high school and the high school students look toward college.

Highlighting new curriculum and methods in Drama in Education, this workshop is relevant to all involved in educational theater including drama teachers, teaching artists, school leaders, students of drama education, and arts program managers. The workshop will demonstrate strategies and work in collaborative programming, arts and special education/autism, devised theater with students, and viewing and discussing artistic work.

Aliza Greenberg is the Arts Enrichment Coordinator at the LearningSpring School, a chair of Continuing the Conversation, hosted by the Arts in Education Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and the Project Leader for Supporting Transitions with the Museum Access Consortium. Aliza recently served as the Autism Education Specialist for Trusty Sidekick Theater Company during the development of Up and Away, created at Lincoln Center Education. Previously, Aliza was a Program Manager at the Metropolitan Opera Guild and Roundabout Theatre Company. BA, Bryn Mawr College (Psychology, Education); MEd, Harvard Graduate School of Education (Arts in Education).

Natalie Mack is the Drama & Humanities teacher at the Institute for Collaborative Education, a member of Trusty Sidekick Theater Company, and a member of St. Fortune Theater Collective. She is a singer/songwriter, and frontwoman of her band, Major Magics. Natalie was most recently found strumming on her ukulele in Trusty Sidekick Theater Company’s production Up and Away, created with Lincoln Center Education. She will be performing in Sara & Reid Farrington’s production of Casablancabox at HERE Arts Center this spring. BA, SUNY Geneseo (Musical Theater, Communication); MA, New York University (Educational Theater/English).