Arts Education Down Under – NYU Astor Fellows 2016

by Jamie Cacciola-Price, EdD Student and Astor Program Assistant

Over 10 days during late July and early August, the Astor Fellows, under the program direction of Dr. Philip Taylor, explored “Arts Education Down Under” in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia. The program offered Fellows, a select group of 12 NYC Dept. of Education arts teachers, the opportunity to explore cultural staples of the country, such as seeing Cosi fan Tutti at The Sydney Opera House, a visit to Taronga Park Zoo, a picnic at Hanging Rock, an “Aussie Rules Footy” game, and a play at Melbourne Theatre Company.

Fellows also shared rich learning experiences through secondary and primary school visits, and teacher training opportunities through The Sydney Theatre Company and Melbourne University. A particular area of interest was Australian Aboriginal history, presented by NYU Sydney, which shared many similarities to Native American history. Teaching artists and organizations, such as Ausdance, offered an inside look into the cultural dances and practices of indigenous peoples. Another highlight was being able to witness innovative teaching practices, such as the Kathy Walker Play-Based Learning Method, being utilized in a primary school setting at Noble Park Primary School, which serves a large population (88%) of ESL and immigrant students.

Overall, the trip was an incredible enriching experience both from an artistic and educational lens. Please visit the blog at www.nyuartseducator.com for a complete itinerary, educator resources, and a daily journal of the activities and learning experiences of the Astor Fellows while down under.

NYU Astor Fellows and Melbourne University drama education students explore "Drama Methods" with Dr. Jane Bird - August 2, 2016

View a photo slide show here:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uCOtosMIPs

Brooke Astor International Fellowship

Professor Philip Taylor has secured the Brooke Astor International Travel Fellowship for New York City Teachers. A generous gift from the Astor Estate to NYU Steinhardt has resulted in public school teachers studying special education in Argentina (2015) and science education in China (2014). Next summer, the third year of the Fellowship, 10-12 public school teachers will experience “Arts Education Downunder.” The program will be based at NYU’s Sydney campus with a site visit to Melbourne. All principal expenses are covered by the award. The Astor Fellows need to have three years of full time teaching experience and be committed to global education. Keep watching this space for application details, but in the meantime do read more about this glorious gift.

Study Abroad London – Drama and Youth

By Isaiah Bent

NYU Steinhardt sent nineteen graduate students to London for three weeks; jam packed with new and exciting ways to approach theatre.  We experienced theatre for children with special needs, opera for children, process drama with the brilliant Cecily O’Neill, and of course, all the Shakespeare we could handle.

Isaiah with Cecily O'Neill

It was a once in a lifetime experience. Not only did we get to see around fifteen theatrical productions, but Dr. Philip Taylor put together an all-star group of British educators for us to work with during our stay.

A new wrinkle in this year’s London program was the amazing opportunity we had to devise a theatrical experience for second graders.  We guided sixty children through different “imagined worlds” we created using the new techniques we learned from our London professors.

When we were not knee deep in theatre (which was rare), we were enjoying the beauty of London.  Our lodgings could not have been better, given they were in Russell Square, smack dab in the middle of London.  Museums, world-class pubs, and extravagant gardens were all in walking distance.  My favorite local experience was when we dined on meat pies in the building where Sweeney Todd’s barbershop once stood.

Every student should make an effort to take advantage of this truly special program.  For more student stories, please check out our fabulous blog: http://nyulondon2014.blogspot.co.uk.

Study Abroad options for 2015 include our Theatre Practices January program in Puerto Rico and our Community Engaged Theatre summer program in Ireland.

 

 

Study Abroad Puerto Rico – The Ultimate Share

By Marco Santarelli

According to Deborah Hunt, “mankind is a mistake on this earth, but it is only what we create that redeems us.” This was truly inspiring for all of the students who have worked so hard over the course of this trip to enhance their skills in creating something so incredible. Today, the two groups, masks and physical theatre, departed to begin their final rehearsals before the evening performances. Beginning at 10:00am, the physical theatre group took their usual walk to the studio.  We continued to refine and strengthened our pieces in preparation for this final “share.” The amount of sweat and tears acquired before lunch could fill our hotel’s unusable swimming pool.  It was absolutely amazing to watch this group of talented performers continue to strengthen their craft and perfect such a beautiful work of art. Our only mission was to prove ourselves in this art form, which few of us have experienced before this Puerto Rican adventure. It was an honor to share the field of battle with this group.

It was finally time for the masks and physical theatre groups to share their work and reflect on this amazing experience.

As we left the studio to watch the performance that was to be taking place in the courtyard of the Bellas Artes building, we were met by a masked figure with a bell waiting to guide us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once seeing the group of masked figured scattered around the square, I instantly recognized the performers’ dedication and intensity they brought to the piece. We knew we were in for a great show, though strangers enjoying an afternoon coffee had no idea what they were about to experience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was clear wearing layer upon layers of black fabric and a mask in 90-degree heat was no easy task, but each performer took on the challenge with ease and created a fantastic show for everyone, including random spectators.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was then time to return to the studio for the physical theatre group’s final performance. The two weeks we spent creating, devising, collaborating, altering, and adapting all of these pieces finally proved itself to be a terrific gift for all of us on the stage. Like the mask group, we all created something that was uniquely ours, and we were extremely grateful to share it with such fantastic artists. Throughout this performance, each actor highlighted his or her original work and built an ensemble piece with tremendous support and assistance from our director and warrior in training Javier.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Both performances were tremendously successful, and it was finally time to leave the stage and take in our final moments as performers in Puerto Rico.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But that’s not to say we didn’t celebrate afterwards. The program put together a fantastic party in the studio with terrific food and dessert. Being surrounded by music, dancing, and great friends, it was the perfect way to end an incredible day performing an art form that we have all enjoyed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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To view additional images from Marco’s blog post, visit:

http://nyuedtheatre.tumblr.com/post/73864255504/the-ultimate-share-january-18th-marco

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For additional information about the our study abroad programs, visit:

http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/music/edtheatre/programs/summer/abroad

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

 

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

Mask Making in Puerto Rico

MA student, Jennifer Luong wrote a detailed blog about the mask-making process taught by Deborah Hunt in the Puerto Rico Study Abroad Intersession Program in January, 2013. Here is an excerpt:

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January 15th, Jennifer –

Since the majority of the class is in the Physical Theatre group, I thought I should take the opportunity of the “day off” entry to share my notes for mask construction.

Clay mold:
Deborah had a plaster cast of a blank-neutral face set out on the table – one to each seat. The plaster was used as a guide to work with and was more time-efficient for our purposes. It was on top of this plaster mold that we built the clay mold for our masks.
– Using fishing line with two clothes pins tied to each end, cut a one inch block of clay to place under the plaster mold. This helps give the plaster mold more height to work with.
– Fill in any empty space under the plaster to bring edges of the clay to match the edges of the plaster mold.  Smooth it all out.
– Start building your mask. Deborah reminded us to exaggerate the features and that it doesn’t have to look human. She also reminded us to keep checking the profile of the masks: are the features interesting?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paper Mâché-ing:
– Put a thin layer of Vaseline on the mold.
– The glue we used was wallpaper glue mixed with water.
– Rip off the straight edges of the paper and dump them. Following the grain of the paper, rip (do not cut!!!) strips of paper.
– When paper mâché-ing, be sure to work the glue into the paper.
– Overlapping of the paper is what makes it strong.
– We paper mâchéd our mold in four layers: newsprint, brown crafting paper, newsprint, brown crafting paper.
– Start with the edges of the mold and then work your way in to the face.
– Make sure the last layer is super smooth. This is the surface you will paint on!
– Let the paper mâché out for drying!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cutting and Wiring:
– When the paper mâché is dry, it is time for the mask to undergo a surgery! Using a box cutter, cut along the rim of the mask to free it from the cardboard base the mask is sitting on.
– Then cut the mask straight down the middle of the forehead and down to the tip of the nose. Make the cut deep to make sure all four layers are cut!
– Get a good grip on the paper mâché and peel it off the mold. This is why sufficient Vaseline is important! If there is not enough Vaseline, it will be tough to peel off. If there is excess, the duct tape in the next step will not stick.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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To continue reading Jennifer’s post about the mask-making process, visit:

http://nyutheatrepracticespr2013.tumblr.com/post/40822415156/january-15th-jennifer

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For additional information about the our study abroad programs, visit:

http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/music/edtheatre/programs/summer/abroad

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