The summer 2013 edition of the Program in Educational Theatre’s Newsletter is now posted online. You can view the document at http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/scmsAdmin/media/users/cl1097/REVUEsummer2013.pdf
Myths of the Metamorphoses***
(*** official title forthcoming)
Written and Developed by Deborah Zoe Laufer (with assistance from the ensemble)
Directed by Amy Cordileone
Musical Direction by Rachel Whorton
Join the Program in Educational Theatre for an exciting new venture this fall… a brand new, mainstage play with music & movement!
The creative team is excited to collaborate with an ensemble of 12-16 diverse female and male storytellers (including singers and dancers) interested in weaving select tales from among the 360 myths of Ovid’s epic poem, The Metamorphoses.
Actors, singers, and/or dancers interested in auditioning should email Amy Cordileone to schedule an appointment & receive more specific information regarding the audition itself, firstname.lastname@example.org ^^
^^ Auditions will be scheduled in 10-minute increments on the date listed below. Please email Amy with a preferred window of at least 90 minutes during which your 10-minute audition and dance call will be scheduled (given times will be honored, should times within said window continue to be available).
Auditions and callbacks will take place at the Provincetown Playhouse (133 MacDougal Street).
Audition Date: Saturday, Aug 31 (10:00 am – 1:00 pm & 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm)
Callback Date: Sunday, Sep 1 (10:00 am – 5:00 pm)
For the audition, participants will be asked to:
– tell a 1-2 minute story & sing a 1-2 minute a capella piece
– learn a group movement piece
Rehearsal days/dates: Tuesday – Sunday (Sep 3 – Oct 24)
Friday, October 25 at 8 pm
Saturday, October 26 at 8 pm
Sunday, October 27 at 3 pm
Monday, October 28 at 10 am (school show)
Thursday, October 31 at 8 pm
Friday, November 1 at 10 am (school show)
Friday, November 1 at 8 pm
Saturday, November 2 at 8 pm
Sunday, November 3 at 3 pm
Time goes by quickly. It seems like we just started the fall 2012 semester and now we are preparing to graduate many of our students this spring. As the semester comes to a close and I reflect on the academic year, I’m astounded by the quality and depth of student work that has transpired in our educational theatre classrooms and performance spaces, much of which is documented in this blog. Projects that have happened beyond coursework have also been impressive–and inspiring. All one has to do is look back over the numerous Educational Theatre list-serve notices and invitations sent over the last 10 months to find an abundance of theatre activities on display–including applied theatre workshops, play readings, TYA productions, fully produced plays, and many other teaching/learning opportunities and events for which our students have been involved. These reveal an incredible record of collaboration, artistry, diversity and passion within the Educational Theatre community.
While the semester comes to an end, the summer and fall launch new and exciting course possibilities for students who are continuing their studies. In its 16th year, this summer we are excited to continue our annual New Plays for Young Audiences series at the Provincetown Playhouse in June, as well as the class that accompanies it, Problems in Play Production. Students of our London summer program, being led by Philip Taylor, will have numerous rich experiences, including site visits to Oily Cart and the Conference on Dorothy Heathcote as new additions to the curriculum. Some students will continue on after London and join other Educational Theatre students in our course in Dublin, led by Joe Salvatore, as they study community-engaged theatre. Back on campus, our annual Looking for Shakespeare program continues as Nan Smithner is getting ready to direct Shakespeare’s As You Like It with young people and graduate students helping through their enrollment in the course,Directing Youth Theatre. There’s still space available for Educational Theatre students to register for this course. In just a couple of weeks, I’ll be the instructor for Teaching Through Drama, where middle school students will come once a week over a three week period to experience drama with the graduate students, one time with special guest Cecily O’Neill leading a drama workshop–and the NYU students will facilitate a drama experience for the young people in week three. There’s also an Acting: Scene Study class to consider, being taught by Amy Cordileone, as well as other summer course offerings. All of the course titles and descriptions are listed on the blog posted on May 3rd (see below), and I want to stress that it’s not too late to register for any of these classes.
What a great year! Congratulations to all who are completing their studies and receiving their degrees. Your hard work and commitment have contributed to the successful completion of your degree requirements, and more importantly, the Program in Educational Theatre is a better place because we have talented students like you.
Have a wonderful summer everyone!
David Montgomery, PhD
Director, The Program in Educational Theatre
By Lauren Durdach
As my final semester as a graduate student in the Colleges and Communities track quickly draws to a close, I feel incredibly blessed for a stellar journey here at NYU. Today I write to you about my most meaningful and rewarding experience of all… being the Company Manager of the NYU Steinhardt Youth Theatre Ensemble (YTE)!
The YTE is comprised of 20 zany and mad-talented middle and high school students from across the five boroughs. Students audition for the esteemed program, and most often continue with the team until they graduate from high school. This year-long commitment begins in the fall with Joe Salvatore’s Shakespeare’s Theatre graduate course. The young actors are coached by a graduate student one-on-one to prepare a Shakespearean monologue. For many, this is their first introduction to theatre! Additionally, they participate in a series of ensemble and skill building workshops throughout the fall to prepare them for the work to come. Each spring, YTE members join Amy Cordileone’s Acting, Pedagogy, Technique and Performance graduate course every Thursday… true dedication! Throughout the semester, students are directed by the graduates on contemporary scenes and monologues which culminate in a weekend’s worth of showcases for the public.
Our fabulous team this year embraced the very essence of ‘ensemble’. Collaboration between directors and actors was evidenced in the strong performances in our showcase at the end of April. Respect, lasting friendships, and positive attitudes exuded from not only the YTE members, but also the graduate students. Through our art making, these young actors discovered mentors, role-models, and a home away from home. Over the course of the year this group continued to surprise me every day with their talents and kindness. As the Teaching Assistant for the class and the Company Manager for the YTE, I was constantly inspired by the relentless contribution of quality artistic work, spirit, and passion from both parties. Congrats to a fabulous year, everyone!
SPREAD THE WORD! Auditions for the ensemble will be held in late September early October for the 2013-2014 season. Know some fun and talented teenagers? Please encourage hard working students to apply! Email email@example.com for more information.
The Program in Educational Theatre’s Youth Ensemble is comprised of young people aged 13-18 from the New York City area. They work with NYU students in Shakespeare’s Theatre I in fall and Theater: Pedagogy and Practice in spring with a culminating performance in April.
By: Ashley Hamilton and Clare Hammoor
Professor Taylor’s Applied Theatre II class was assigned the mission of exploring the field of transformative theatre through several different projects this semester. Each student in the class was asked to choose a site and a population that they could work with. They were given a number of tools and techniques to apply the theoretical concepts discussed in class within their communities. The sites ranged included: classrooms, religious spaces, alternative learning centers, traditional theatrical stages and more. Each project worked with a unique population within the site. The populations included: grade school children learning about kindness, women being interviewed on body image, suspended middle schoolers, actors seeking development, and more. Here are a few snippets from these experiences.
Dana and Hoyeung: Theatre of the Oppressed Workshops
We led weekly Theatre of the Oppressed workshops with nine actors who have an interest in social justice. After the 6 sessions had taken place, a forum theatre performance happened on April 28th. Our goal was to expose the actors to TO work and pass along some knowledge about it so that they can use it in their future work. Our performance goal is to expose a systemic issue and create dialogue about possible solutions and what we can do as a community. A brief video of part of a session can be viewed here: http://youtu.be/FQzvuptouKM
Ashley, Nikki, and Nicole: DISORDERED
Ashley interviewed 25 different women on their experiences with body image and the American media. The data was then transcribed and assembled into a script. A play reading was held on April 25th with four actresses. There was an inner- active component of the reading in which the audience participated in answering the question: “my body is…”. Their answers were then transplanted into the script reading. After the reading, there was a talkback with a member of the NYU Health and Wellness Eating Disorder team and the audience was asked to fill out a response to the reading with their questions and thoughts. The intention behind this piece was to both raise awareness around female body image in America and also report on the experience on being a researcher pursuing interview- based theatre. Ashley also performed a part of the piece at the -ISM Project Showcase hosted by NYU’s CMEP on April 23rd.
Interested students should take Professor Philip Taylor’s Fall course, Applied Theatre 1, for an introduction to this work. The course will take place on Tuesdays from 4:55pm to 6:35pm for 3 credits. The course number is: MPAET-GE 2101-001.
By: Jamie Cacciola-Price
Sanctuary, an ethnodrama in one act is based on the stories and writings of LGBTQQI (Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Transgender, Queer, Questioning and Intersex) homeless youth that live at a local shelter. For the past two years I have conducted interviews with the youth, as well as facilitated writing workshops where they wrote journals, poetry, and letters. The piece explores topics ranging from lack of employment, prostitution, discrimination, sexual abuse, HIV, love, skinny jeans, Little Debbie’s and Beyoncé. I was drawn to tell these stories because of the growing epidemic of homeless queer youth in New York City, particularly among transgender and intersex youth of color. During the script development stage I was influenced by the vividness and graphic nature of the youth’s writings and chose to showcase their stories through a combination of flashback/frozen action sequences scattered within a linear story structure that follows the youth over a period of three days in June of 2012. Further aiding my process was Stephen DiMenna’s playwriting class, where I was able to try different approaches to the storytelling to see what was affective. Sanctuary is important because it raises awareness and provides a voice to a population that so desperately needs to be heard. The rich talk back and discussion following the premiere reading on April 27 at NYU illustrated to me that this play has the potential to change hearts and minds, and should a production ever come to fruition it will be because of the mentorship and guidance of the many great professors, researchers and artists that I’ve had the privilege to work within the Program in Educational Theatre.
While the spring term draws to a close, it is not too late to make plans for summer courses. Below, you will find course descriptions for available summer courses in Educational Theatre. If you are interested in enrolling in a course, be sure and schedule an appointment with your academic advisor soon!
Acting: Scene Study
In this course students will continue the exploration begun in Acting: Fundamentals with in-depth scene & monologue preparation from the contemporary stage. Studio work will focus on the given circumstances, creating a physical life for the character, & miming the relationships that drive the play.
Storytelling in the Classroom
Storytelling dynamically engages us in the act of learning. This highly participatory class explores storytelling as an art form and as a tool in the classroom and community. Students explore its historical context, educational use and significance, performance techniques, and types of tellable tales.
Methods and Materials of Research in Educational Theatre
This class will explore the diverse research designs available for investigation in Educational Theatre. An examination of how to construct a research and grant proposal, as well as data collection and analysis techniques, and the various forms of representing data including performed ethnography. A required course in the MA programs.
Theatre Practices: Problems in Play Production
This course examines how artists work with new plays in a development process. The course addresses theories and methods of play development including script analysis, rehearsal, and performance of works-in-progress. Students have opportunities to observe rehearsals, attend performances, and dialogue with playwrights, directors, and dramaturgs associated with the New Plays for Young Audiences series at the Provincetown Playhouse.
Drama in Education II
Study contemporary applications of drama in community sites. Topics include community-engaged drama, participatory theatre, theatre for seniors, and prison theatre.
Teaching Through Drama
This course provides an essential foundation upon which to build a drama-in-education practice. It introduces students to many drama-in-education strategies; critiques the educational rationale which supports them; & analyzes the process of structuring drama work as a medium for learning across the curriculum & beyond. Students will become critically acquainted with the pedagogical principles which delineate the teaching terrain of the drama-in-education practitioner.
Drama with Special Ed Populations
Examines the practices and theories of educational theatre as they apply to working with elementary and secondary students with special needs. At its core, this class is about good teaching. Any professional teaching in today’s schools will work with a child with a disability. Differentiated instruction is not about teaching a class, but rather teaching a student. This hands-on course will isolate specific drama approaches and techniques and adapt them for the physically, cognitively, or emotionally challenged student.
Directing Youth Theatre: Looking for Shakespeare
High school students work with a director and graduate students from NYU to shape an original production of Shakespeare. This program is unique in that the ensemble members will work with director, Nan Smithner, and a dramaturg to discover how a Shakespearean play resonates for them, within their own personal experiences. Using these connections as a source and inspiration, the ensemble members will rehearse and perform their own version of the play. The production will be supported by designers and stage managers.
Independent Study / Practicum
Under faculty mentorship, students craft their own research project in one of the program’s four concentration areas: drama education, applied theatre, theatre for young audiences, and theatre production.
By Emma Price
The greatest gift in my graduate experience pursuing a dual degree in Educational Theater and Social Studies was the opportunity to trouble shoot and to teach. Sharing resources, experimenting with new concepts and having the opportunity to practice and make mistakes helped me to become a much better teacher. Because we had so many opportunities to teach, especially in our educational theater classes, I felt far more prepared to step into the role of student teacher.
These opportunities informed my teaching by helping me to find the flaws and holes in my lessons. Additionally, this practice made me more comfortable making mistakes with my students, because these are always moments in which I learn the most. By noticing where the lesson comes undone, I then know how to not make that mistake the following time. For example, in the first lesson that I taught with my fourth graders as a student teacher at PS 3, I dropped magic markers and poster paper in the middle of my students’ tables and said, “Write everything you know about Christopher Columbus.” I gave no clear directions, no sense of what these posters should look like, or how to use the markers. Therefore, this was a material nightmare! I realized immediately that figuring out how materials will be utilized over the course of a lesson is always something that I must figure out first in order to enhance the learning of my students.
Most of all, my experience in the Educational Theater program gave me encouragement and confidence, as well as a rationale as to why theater in the classroom is so important and useful. I left the NYU with not only a passion for teaching, but a resounding belief that theater makes material accessible to students in an entirely different and more transformative way, all the while encouraging community building and opportunities for students to express themselves, be heard, and hear their peers. In the classroom, this means that I try to give students as much of an opportunity to share as possible. This often means writing in role as a way to develop empathy with historical characters or contexts, and then having the students share their written work with their peers. I conducted two process dramas with my seventh graders throughout our slavery unit, as well as a mock trial. These dramas helped us understand the Underground Railroad more deeply, as well as how perspective plays a role in how people are judged (in relation to John Brown and Harper’s Ferry). While teaching fourth grade, I was challenged to find ways to teach about concepts surrounding social justice through theatrical devices. Once I was able to conceptualize what I wanted students to understand, I found the theatrical vehicles that would take us there. Throughout my time at PS 3 we wrote petitions, staged sit ins, created tableaus to communicate our ideas about injustices perpetrated against American Indians, and wrote boycott plays in order to help my students explore how to stand up for their rights.
Students greatly enjoyed this type of learning, and I believe it gave them more ownership over the material. In letters that students wrote to me at the end of both semesters, they most often mentioned the dramatic activities that we had done together. This demonstrated to me that the students found these learning experiences deeply meaningful, and it is my hope that those moments of learning will remain with them throughout the rest of their academic careers. I see education as a means of attaining social justice, and as a means of rectifying the injustices in our education system today. Through theater, students find their voices, and wrap their minds around abstract ideas as they express their understanding through their bodies. Therefore, the use of theater in the classroom serves as a tool to move the work of social justice forward in a beautiful way.
Given the growing student and applicant interest in a program combining social studies certification with theatre certification, NYU Steinhardt offers an innovative dual certification program, whose curriculum is built on the school’s already registered programs in Educational Theatre, All Grades, and Teaching Social Studies, 7-12.
For additional information about the program, visit:http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/music/edtheatre/programs/graduate/etss
Developing New Work for the Theatre
Friday, April 26 & Saturday, April 27
The Program in Educational Theatre is a community of diverse artists, educators, and audiences with a commitment to creating and participating in engaging theatrical experiences, not necessarily in traditional spaces or by traditional measures, but through consistent investigation of artistic processes and aesthetics. The development of original work has been central to the Program’s mission since its inception, and this forum proposes to generate new knowledge within the field as we address the following questions:
that are innovative and sustainable?
2. How does accountability serve the stakeholders in a new works development
3. How do we define and measure success in a new works development process?
By Rachel Whorton
On an average summer day around an average conference table, three actors read an exceptional, though unfinished, script about an average boy named Zachary Briddling. The play, Zachary Briddling Who Was Awfully Middling by Finegan Kruckemeyer, was one of three plays selected for the New Plays for Young Audiences series in the historic Provincetown Playhouse.
The actors, including myself, were undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students from NYU and beyond. Over the course of one week, director Emilie Fitzgibbon of Ireland’s Graffiti Theater helped us create a world derived from Zachary’s crayon drawings. Giants, storytellers, roller skating squirrel-monkeys and girls covered entirely in hair were all characters from Zachary Briddling’s imagination; and it was up to just 2 actors to make the full cast of characters come to life around the third actor, Zachary himself. So my fellow actors and I engaged in some exploration of voice quality, pitch, volume, body posture, attitude and gesture as we tried to create at least 8 different characters…each.
As new pages came in during the development process, new characters appeared and disappeared, changed and mutated, combined and emerged more dynamic than before. Even after audiences entered the equation, the playwright and the director encouraged us to keep exploring and creating because the ultimate goal of New Plays for Young Audiences is to help the playwright develop his or her script.
Scripts in development are my favorite type of work because they are never confined to the notion of what has been, but are always looking forward to the possibility of what could be. The collaborative nature of the New Plays for Young Audiences rehearsal process made the experience anything but average.
New Plays for Young Audiences is an annual summer play development series located in the historic Provincetown Playhouse. Founded in 1998 by Lowell and Nancy Swortzell, NYU’s prize-winning New Plays for Young Audiences has developed over thirty new plays written by leading playwrights for young audiences and families including Carl Miller, Y York, Laurie Brooks, Suzan Zeder, Bryony Lavery, Lois Lowry, Angela Betzien, and José Cruz González. These plays go on to receive publication and production throughout the world.
For additional information about the program, visit:http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/music/edtheatre/programs/summer/newplays