THEATRIX: Short Play Festival – THIS WEEKEND

“Theatrix…IN SPACE!”
An Exploration – How Space Affects Performance

A Festival of Original Short Plays
Featuring
A Nice Guy Doing Good Things by Jason Boxer
Back by Megan Ibarra
To the Seance by Katelyn Miller
The Sorry Play by Chelsea Hackett

Pless Blackbox Theater
82 Washington Square East
This event is open to the public. Tickets are FREE!

Tickets can be reserved in advance by clicking on the following links:
Tickets must be picked up 10 minutes prior to start time. Any tickets not retrieved 10 minutes prior to curtain will be distributed to walk up patrons, no exceptions. Tickets will be available for pick up one hour prior to each performance and can be obtained from the house management staff in the lobby of the Blackbox Theatre. The doors to the theatre will open at 15 minutes to curtain.
In the case of a full house, a waiting list will be developed at each performance. Incomplete ticket requests will not be honored.

All pieces are being presented this weekend in the Pless Blackbox Theater and AGAIN the following weekend as site-specific works in the NYU Forum on Site-Specific Performance.
For more information on the Forum, and to register for that event, please go to http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/music/edtheatre/forum
(NOTE: performances presented during the Forum (Saturday, April 25) are not free, but are part of a larger full-day event)

Summer 2015 on the Square

Summer is just around the corner and now is the time to register for our exciting summer courses here at the Washington Square campus.

Acting: Character Study (MPAET-UE 1052/GE 2252)

An advanced exploration into the tools & techniques of creating character within the context of the world of the play. Through script analysis & attention to style, students will learn how to create the imaginary world in which the character lives. Scenes will be selected from both contemporary & classical genres.

Dramatic Activities in the Secondary Classroom (MPAET-UE 1068/GE 2031)

Theories & practices of educational drama & theatre as applied to the secondary classroom in such areas as learning processes, motivation, communication & classroom management. Attention given to the relationship of drama & theatre to speaking, thinking, writing, reading, history & other curricular subjects. An examination of improvisational techniques as well as play production. Student will use drama & theatre to address the human developmental processes that impact on the 7-12 student’s readiness to learn, such as culture, nutrition, personal safety & community. Laboratory experience required: 15 hours.

Physical Theatre Improvisation (MPAET-UE 1113/GE 2113)

Physical Theatre is the study of physical, vocal & improvisational exercises designed to free the creative imagination & develop performance skills. Through the layering of words, sound & movement, students will hone the essential ingredients & tools of the performer’s craft. Focus will be on vocal & movement techniques exploring atmosphere, imagery, gesture, isolation, abstraction, timing, rhythm, spatial awareness, character development, mime, body graphics, viewpoints, & the theories of Yakim, Delsarte & Laban. The creation of original material will also be studied.

Storytelling in the Classroom (MPAET-GE 2042)

This course will examine the ancient art of storytelling as a performance form (developing expressive tools, creativity, physical & vocal skills); as it has appeared throughout history (in mythology, folk tales, legends, fairy tales, fables); & as it can enhance curricular subject areas (math, science, social studies, literature, & history), relate to the New York State Learning Standards for Arts Education & the Standards for English & Language Arts. Oral history projects will also be explored through the telling of personal stories.

Theatre Practices: Problems in Play Production (MPAET-GE 2152)

Participate in the New Plays Series; attend rehearsals, meetings with the playwrights, directors and dramaturges and experience the procedures of bringing new scripts to life. Theories and methods of play development including script analysis, rehearsals and presentation of works-in-progress. Students in MPAET-GE 2152 work with visiting playwrights, directors, and dramaturgs, attend rehearsals, and participate in the step-by-step procedures of bringing new scripts to life. This practical course, designed for teachers, directors, playwrights and producers, gives particular attention to script selection, play analysis and rehearsal techniques.

Drama in Education I (MPAET-GE 2193)

Relationships of theories of dramatic art to general educational principles; present practices & potential of education drama at all levels of instruction. Uses of theatre & drama in education from the Greeks to present day. The history & philosophy of drama in education as they relate to a variety of classroom strategies, including the use of new technologies. The impact of human developmental processes, such as culture, personal safety, & nutrition on learning through theatre & drama. Individualizing instruction to prepare students with special needs for their highest levels of achievement.

Seminar in Applied Theatre Research (MPAET-GE 2400)

An advanced seminar which examines the key considerations which drive research activity in applied theatre. Students canvas the territory of applied theatre, the purposes of an applied theatre, & the challenges researchers face when designing, implementing & presenting their applied theatre studies. Students create their own applied theatre research project which can include a creative component.

Role Play 1: The Teacher in Role (MPAET-GE 2950)

The technique of stepping into the shoes of someone else is at the heart of educational drama. This course focuses on the use of role play as a strategy in the classroom & similar settings, & it explores how teachers may employ this complex convention. It will define those characteristics that are specific to educational role-play & will provide participants with opportunities to practice the techniques & skills required or its successful implementation. The course will focus primarily on the strategy of teach-in-role.

Creating Theatre with Young People (MPAET-GE 2980)

This course is designed for students who would like to develop knowledge & skills in planning & leading theatre workshops with young people. The course explores the theory & practice of creating theatre with young people from a youth-centered perspective, offers practice in designing workshops, & culminates with an in-course opportunity to initiate practical work with young people.

Directing Youth Theatre: Looking for Shakespeare (MPAET-GE 2982)

This four-week graduate course is an invaluable experience working with a youth acting ensemble, providing the chance to delve into Shakespeare’s language and hone coaching/directing skills. Students will also work with an assistant director, stage manager, designers, and youth ensemble on a production of Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

 

Alumni Updates

Alum Christina Kosyla (MA ’11) has been hard at work assisting her second grade drama classes with their audio recording debuts! Her 28 second graders at Stuart Country Day School in Princeton, NJ, have been working on crafting clear enunciation, appropriate projection, and unique character voices. In October, her students produced two Halloween Radio Shows, capturing sound effects and working on creating a spooky environment. In late fall, Audible recording talent Virginia Bosch spoke with the girls about professional recording. As their culminating project, each class worked with a partner to record books by Eric Carle and Dr. Seuss, constructing unique voices to distinguish between characters. These fourteen titles were given to the kindergarten class to serve as a part of the media library for years to come. Christina is proud of her students and thrilled to share with them all she gained while at NYU!

 

Open Culture in the Asian Century

This summer, the 8th International Drama in Education Research Institute will convene in Singapore. International leaders, scholars, and students will meet for workshops, panels, paper presentations, and fellowship to re-imagine drama education.

Students participating in GET’s program in Zanzibar perform a scene they wrote about arranged marriage

One of the panels will feature three scholars from the Program in Educational Theatre: Professor Philip Taylor, doctoral candidate Soohyun Ma, and recent doctoral graduate Jennifer Holmes Socas.

The Theatre for Critical Social Change Panel: Hotspots and Healthy Futures will feature panelists from various global zones who will converse on how research enables the case for citizens’ health and well being in times of struggle. Where has the field excelled in making the case for theatre as a vital critical agent? What further scholarship is required? IDIERI creator, Philip Taylor, meets with artist-educators from Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas.

Philip Taylor, (panel chair and IDIERI creator) is very well known to the applied theatre and drama education communities. Author of many influential texts, he teaches at NYU and is delighted to be in Singapore.

Jennifer Holmes, BA (Vassar College), MA (NYU), PhD (NYU) is Assistant Professor at City College of New York in the Theatre and Speech Department. She is the founder and director of Global Empowerment Theatre (GET).

Dr. Holmes working with a GET participant in Zanzibar

Soohyun Ma, a Drama Therapist, lectures in Dongduk Women’s University in Korea. Her doctoral dissertation is titled “Unveil the Invisible: Addressing Stigma Faced by Unwed Mothers in Korea through an Ethnodrama.”

Registration for IDIERI 8 is still open. Visit the following website for further details:

http://idieri2015.org/

A Sense of Gratitude in Real Time

By Elena Stephenson

When I reflect on my directorial contributions for In Real Time, I can’t help but feel a sense of gratitude. I feel gratitude for the experience, gratitude for the depth of learning, and gratitude for being able to work with a talented design team and ensemble. This experience was new for me because it was my first time serving as a director for a new play in development.

Table read at first rehearsal.

 

This past summer I was able to take Problems in Play Production with professor and playwright, Joe Salvatore. During that class, I was able to track the role of a director in the new play development process. That learning got to come full circle once I was able to put it to practice, by working alongside Joe as a director for one of his plays.

Window Cast (L to R): Kirstin Kammermeyer, Megan Ibarra, and Kyla Blocker

I immediately connected with “How do You Say ‘Window’ in Italian?”, catching the Three Sisters Chekhov reference in the title. The play appealed to me because of the strong sibling dynamic and the way that the sisters resembled Olga, Masha, and Irina. It was impossible not to connect to this play on a personal level because of my husband’s work as a nurse, specifically caring for those that suffer from dementia.

Window cast with director, Elena Stephenson (second from left)

What I loved most about all these plays is though they were very different, they all held a common thread of exploring human connection and capturing a moment “in real time.”

Photo © Chianan Yen

Directing M Squared

By Nick Robertson

When Joe Salvatore posted the Student Directing notice for In Real Time, I jumped at the opportunity.  I’d taken three directing classes in the department (with Nan Smithner and Amy Cordileone, all of which I highly recommend) and was eager to put the concrete skills I’d learned into real-world practice.  I applied to direct M Squared, a mysterious little play about a semi-schlub of a guy, Chad, whose sedate life is totally disrupted when Marilyn Monroe crashes into his kitchen one night.  As I began my application, I realized skills alone were not going to be enough to successfully direct this show.  The play spoke to me in a very personal way and I would need to acknowledge that, lean into it, and be able to share it with other people in order to do the story justice.  Deep down, what I connected to was this person who’d built a safe and static life, denying himself of some very deep-seated desires (passion! excitement! beauty! glamor!) until his subconscious literally had to wake him up to the possibility of a more integrated and joyous existence.  Talk about a classic equation for comedy!  What followed were three and a half months of continually jumping into the void of vulnerability, sharing a private part of myself through this play, first with Joe, then my cast, then the designers, then finally with the audience.  I found that at each step of the journey, people not only accepted what I shared with them, but supported and appropriated it so that by opening night, all of us were telling the same story from our own very personal points of view.  It was a really magical collaborative experience throughout, and one I hope to replicate in all my other theatrical work.

Photo © Chianan Yen

Program in Educational Theatre Welcomes Students to the New EdD Program

This year, the Program in Educational Theatre will welcome our first students into the new EdD Program. The second of our esteemed new students is Michael Yurchak.

A teacher once told me that to experience the sensation of being thrilled is to embrace the space where fear and excitement meet. I am thrilled! Thrilled to be embarking on a new journey at NYU and to be returning to the department of Educational Theater after 11 years in the field. I am also truly honored to be invited back to be part of this community. I live in Los Angeles and will be commuting virtually as well as joining study groups and intensive semesters whenever possible. As a teacher, I am particularly influenced by the work I do as an associate instructor of Fitzmaurice Voicework, focused on the release of breath and body tension in order to discover and express with authentic voice. I try to incorporate the principles of this practice into my work as a teaching artist, in an effort to help facilitate the empowerment of students as they seek to make themselves heard. I also perform regularly as a voice artist and actor and (most importantly) I’m a dad to two amazing little creatures (Luca 9 and Sascha 6) who want desperately to see New York City! I hope to focus my doctoral work on the design and implementation of meaningful teaching artist programs within the context of urban nonprofit arts organizations. As equal parts artist, educator, and administrator, I work full time across many facets of the field, and I hope to learn more about ways to add leadership and value to the various organizations I represent. Since I started my career after getting my masters in 2004, I have consistently found connection with and inspiration from fellow NYU alums as mentors, colleagues, and friends all over the country. There is no other program I know of with as far reaching impact, and it is with the most sincere gratitude that I join you!

Program in Educational Theatre Welcomes Students to the New EdD Program

This year, the Program in Educational Theatre will welcome our first students into the new EdD Program. The first of our esteemed new students is Carmen Meyers.

Carmen Meyers: Thrilled and Honored

I am thrilled to be one of the first two students in the newly revised Educational Theatre Ed.D program for the Fall 2015 semester.  As I embark on this unfamiliar path of doctoral work, I am excited, honored, and to be honest a little nervous.  As with most things, I’ve learned that this combination is the perfect environment for me to begin my work.  I feel proud and a great sense of responsibility to continue to create and explore new strategies for teaching and learning through theatre practice.  As I am a full time instructor in the Communication Arts and Sciences Department at Bronx Community College, my hopes are that my doctoral work will continue to help me serve my students. I am currently working with the Psychological Services Department to address domestic abuse and mental health issues on campus.  It is in this area that I would like to focus my doctoral work by delving deeper in to the barriers of mental health services within Latino/Hispanic cultures.  I plan to create forum pieces to help aid these conversations and bring awareness and understanding to this issue.  I am eager to gain the knowledge and expertise that this program offers and that I will need to go forward.  This program has been a pioneer in the exploration and potency of applied theatre practice and education around the world, and through its outstanding faculty I hope to add to the work that has already been done.

Theatre Practices in Puerto Rico: Once in a Lifetime Experience

By Rachel Gubow

The Theatre Practices in Puerto Rico intersession was a once in a lifetime opportunity that allowed me to explore dance, movement, and theatre through a different cultural lens.

In Javier Cardona’s physical theatre class I was pushed to physical and mental limits as our ensemble explored unconventional ways of creating movement that connected body and voice as one whole instrument.  Our trip was filled with delicious food, meeting brilliant artists, seeing moving performances, and learning to dance bomba.

One of our many adventures in the city of Old San Juan included participating in a parade to celebrate San Sebastian Festival which fills the narrow city streets with over half a million people!  As we all enjoyed the beautiful weather and rich bonding experience, I came to a deeper understanding of how we can use art and theatre to break down barriers and tell stories that connect us within and across cultures.

In Real Time: Educational Theatre Presents Six Original, Student-Directed Plays

In Real Time, a premiere performance of six new short plays written by NYU Steinhardt faculty member Joe Salvatore, will be presented by the NYU Steinhardt Program in Educational Theatre February 27-March 8, 2015. Each play is directed by students, working closely with Salvatore and 14 student actors.

educational-theater-presents-six-original-student-directed-plays-feb-27-march-8

The six short plays that make up In Real Time come from a series of eighteen plays that Salvatore wrote in 2012. Three of the plays were subsequently developed as part of a Writers Roundtable sponsored by the Program in Educational Theatre during the 2012-13 academic year. Salvatore also taught playwriting workshops to 180 middle school and high school students throughout New York City, whose feedback provided additional insights to develop the plays. Many of those students will attend the show in special school matinee performances on March 2 and March 6 at 10 a.m.

In Real Time features scenic design by Andy Hall, lighting design by Emily Stork, costume design by Márion Talán, and sound design and composition by Sam Crawford and Zeb Gould. The production stage manager is Talia Krispel, and Keith R. Huff serves as the production’s dramaturg. The directors are NYU Steinhardt students Katie Braun, Elena Stephenson Campbell, Yulissa Hidalgo, Haven Mitchell-Rose, Nick Robertson, and Shanae Sharon. The cast features NYU Steinhardt students Isaiah Bent, Kyla Blocker, Kordell Draper, David Ello, Nicole Gebler, Megan Ibarra, Kirsten Kammermeyer, Alexis Lounsbury, Adam Miller, Charlie Ponty, Sarah Smith, Devin Miranda Weise, Rachel Tuggle Whorton, and Peter Zerneck.

NYU’s production of In Real Time runs February 27-28, March 5-7 at 8pm, and March 1 and 8 at 3pm, at the Provincetown Playhouse (133 MacDougal Street). Tickets are $15 general admission and $5 for students and seniors. For tickets, contact NYU Box Office at tickets.nyu.edu or call the box office at 212.998.4941, or visit in person at 566 LaGuardia Place (at Washington Square South).