Summer Abroad: Drama Education in London and Dublin

By Emily Tinawi

My elephant tattoo! It was done at Skin City in Dublin, Ireland

This summer I got an elephant tattooed on my ankle. It is a permanent representation of the life-changing summer that I had doing both Educational Theatre summer abroad programs in London and Dublin. Students who had done the programs before told me to take advantage of the study abroad programs, so I applied with excitement but didn’t really know what to expect.

As last school year ended I was feeling frustrated with myself as a teacher, was losing some of my drive, and knew that I needed to grow professionally and step up my game. That is where this summer came in. The trip was filled with experiences that can’t be done justice on paper. In London we delved deeply into process drama through workshops with David Booth, Cecily O’Neill, Philip Taylor, and a myriad of other experts in the field at the International Drama Educators Conference: Heathcote Reconsidered, in Greenwich! We travelled to Sidcup, England to partner with Rose Bruford College where we worked with Jeremy Harrison and learned about actor musicianship and how to use it for educational theater purposes. Mr. Harrison had such a fresh look at educational theater and added many new tricks to our toolboxes. We also went to theatre shows in the evenings which reminded me about the power of theater in all forms, commercial or non.

One of our devising pieces done on the streets of Belfast. Pictured: Robert Stevenson, Jayme Kilburn, Marshall Louise Burgart, Kristen Tregar, and Emily Tinawi

Ireland was a very different experience but equally life-changing. From learning about devising work by performing created pieces on the streets of Belfast to learning how to come into a community as an outsider, the Ireland program really caused me to look deeply at my theater practice. You cannot go through the Ireland program without feeling the deep importance of theater work in ALL communities! Living at Trinity College is truly special, knowing that every step takes you on a journey through history.

Out at Sidcup for a day of workshops with Jeremy Harrison. Pictured: Abigail Screer, Katharine McSherry, Emily Tinawi, and Janet Chia-En Lee.

Both Professor Taylor and Professor Salvatore clearly cared about us, our learnings, and ensuring that we had unforgettable experiences. I know that I will be a better teacher because of them.  Beyond the academic learnings, I made life-time friends. There isn’t a day that I don’t Facebook/snapchat/email/text/call one of the many new friends that I acquired over the summer.  When people look at my ankle they only see an elephant. When I look at my ankle I see a reminder of two of the best months of my life.

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For over 30 years, the program in Educational Theatre has offered unique opportunities for concentrated study and daily field participation in the uses of theatre education and applied theatre which are designed for teachers, teaching artists, university students, recreational leaders, language and speech arts specialists, theatre directors, actors, integrated arts educators, and community leaders.

For additional information about the program, visit:

http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/study_abroad/programs/Theatre_Practices

http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/study_abroad/programs/Youth_Theatre

http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/study_abroad/programs/Community_Engaged_Theatre

 

Applied Theatre in Dublin

By Chelsea Price

Since I have fully recovered from the jet lag, I am happy to share with you my amazing experience participating in the NYU Steinhardt Community-Engaged Theatre study abroad program in Dublin, Ireland!

With a home base in gorgeous Dublin city at the historic Trinity College, this program provided both theory and practical experience in the growing artistic realms of applied theatre and community engagement. We participated in site visits to renowned theatres and community centers to hear how top notch Irish practitioners were tackling and expanding on these vast categories of theatrical work, and even got to produce and perform some work of our own.

Now, if you think you’re going to Ireland to learn a few things about applied theatre and then being unleashed on some poor community group to change their lives, you’re sadly mistaken. This program challenges participants to think of their program colleagues as the community and includes a myriad of practical small group projects and performances.

So, collaboration is key in this program. You won’t get very far if you can’t learn to work with and work well with other people. If that’s not a problem for you, then you’ll have an absolutely wonderful time learning from and about others with vastly different life perspectives and talents, and you might even make some lasting bonds and friendships along the way. I certainly did!

I started off knowing next to nothing about the term, “Applied Theatre” other than what the pre-readings assigned before the program could illuminate. However, being immersed in another culture and taking trips to locations such as the Upstate Theatre Project in Drogheda, the National Theatre in Dublin, Dalkey Castle, and the Giant’s Causeway in Belfast, things started to click.

As I heard from guest speakers, saw work firsthand, personally devised theatre, and proposed plans to engage communities, this term started to take on a lot more depth for me. My general understanding has come to rest with the idea that a facilitator who uses theatre or theatrical elements to indirectly solve and combat social issues in a given community is working in the area of applied theatre. This is something that I have always known and believed about theatre and its ability to create social change, but I now have the academic terminology, research, and practical experience to back it up.

Honestly, if this study abroad program fits into your academic plan, but maybe you’re debating on whether to dish out the dough, take it from me: it is totally worth every penny. On top of being a fantastically fun and adventurous learning experience, it was some of the most practical work I’ve done in my entire Educational Theatre program at Steinhardt. I highly recommend it and I’m sure the Irish people will warmly welcome you!

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For over 30 years, the program in Educational Theatre has offered unique opportunities for concentrated study and daily field participation in the uses of theatre education and applied theatre which are designed for teachers, teaching artists, university students, recreational leaders, language and speech arts specialists, theatre directors, actors, integrated arts educators, and community leaders.

For additional information about the program, visit:

http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/study_abroad/programs/Theatre_Practices

http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/study_abroad/programs/Youth_Theatre

http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/study_abroad/programs/Community_Engaged_Theatre

Study Abroad: Dublin 2013 – in Pictures

By Chelsea Price

Accommodations at Trinity College were amazing. I had my own, huge room!

This production got super “meta” for the group of American theatre students watching an Irish production of an American classic theatre piece.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visiting a museum together.

 

 

 

 

Post film screenings at the Upstate Theatre Project, we enjoyed a discussion with the director and actors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watching classmates perform a devised theatre piece based on interviews in a public space, Victoria Square in Belfast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A beautiful sunset over Trinity College as late as 10:30PM! Something I could get used to.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seeing Major Barbara at the Abbey Theatre after reading it and developing educational resource projects for pre and post show workshops.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Devising original movement theatre at the natural phenomena, Giant’s Causeway in Belfast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marshall Burghart gets an archery lesson at Dalkey Castle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cast of “This is a Story” for final performance piece!

 

 

 

 

 

Challenging, Thought-Provoking, and Inspired: Study Abroad Dublin

By Justin Daniel

Site specific theatre at the Giants Causeway near Belfast.

It’s been many months since I returned from Ireland, and while the experience is still sinking in, I can safely say the program was revelatory. I was a part of a group a sixteen graduate students exploring community engaged theatre while living in the historic Trinity College campus. The simple fact that we were away from home and studying in a new environment allowed us to dive into this work without the usual distractions of everyday life. Not to mention the work was challenging, thought-provoking, and inspired.

 

 

 

 

Group photo with students, tutors, and our fearless leader Joe Salvatore.

The three weeks gave us an opportunity to work with leaders in the field of applied theatre, write and perform original pieces, and individually develop a prospectus for a community engaged theatre project of our choice. For me, the prospectus experience especially widened my ideas around theatre as it required me to consider the practical, logistical, financial, and cultural considerations that all influence theatre in specific communities. I’m thrilled that I now have the initial groundwork for an actual project that I’m now actively developing.

 

 

 

Justin Daniel, celebrating the incredible scenery of Ireland.

Beyond all of this, I had a blast. I closed out my graduate experience surrounded by inspiring people, the vast history and culture of Ireland, and expanded my personal artistic practice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The wall dividing Catholics from Protestants in Belfast has now become the Peace Wall, filled with inspirational messages from around the world.

After an exhausting hour of physical theatre!

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For over 30 years, the program in Educational Theatre has offered unique opportunities for concentrated study and daily field participation in the uses of theatre education and applied theatre which are designed for teachers, teaching artists, university students, recreational leaders, language and speech arts specialists, theatre directors, actors, integrated arts educators, and community leaders.

For additional information about the program, visit:

http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/study_abroad/programs/Theatre_Practices

http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/study_abroad/programs/Youth_Theatre

http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/study_abroad/programs/Community_Engaged_Theatre