CALL FOR PROPOSALS: Educational Theatre and Drama Therapy Forum 2019

NYU Educational Theatre & Drama Therapy Forum 2019: Theatre & Health

April 11-14, 2019

 

An aging population, increasing climate and politically-motivated displacement, unstable housing, the rise of depression and anxiety, and the challenges of providing comprehensive healthcare amongst other concerns make health a significant challenge for our times. With this in mind, we invite you to join us for an exploration of how theatre, including improvisation, performance, and other drama processes, contribute to psychological, neurological, physical, social, civic and public health. Teachers, drama therapists, applied improvisation practitioners, theatre-makers, performance artists, and scholars are invited to come together to share vocabularies, ideas, strategies, practices, measures, and outcomes.

 

During this event, participants will consider the following questions:

  • What understandings of health and wellbeing inform improvisation and theatre-making?

  • How can theatre, including performance, improvisation and other drama processes, be used to address specific health concerns and promote wellbeing?

  • How can we assess health outcomes related to theatre?

  • How are artists, educators, and therapists using improvisation and performance in health related research?

  • How do health-related contexts inform aesthetic choices and social considerations?

Call for Proposals

DEADLINE: JANUARY 15TH, 2019 AT 11:59 EST

We invite the global community to submit session proposals dealing with research, artistry, and practice. Proposals can be submitted for workshops, papers, narratives, and performances that address the guiding questions listed above. Submissions are due by Monday, January 15, 2019 (11:59pm, EST), and we strive to notify potential presenters by February 20. We encourage new researchers and practitioners to submit proposals as well, so we can include new voices in the discourse.

Papers and Narratives (30 minutes):

We invite authors to submit a proposal for the presentation of a paper or narrative. Papers and narratives must be grounded in research, artistry, or practice and should somehow address the guiding questions for the forum. Proposals should outline elements of the research, practice, and/or theory-focused work the author wishes to present. Accepted papers and narratives will be organized as much as possible into thematic sessions. 30 minutes will be designated to these presentations: 20 minutes to present and 10 minutes for Q&A.

Workshops (45 or 90 minutes):

We invite practitioners to apply to facilitate workshops relating to the use of improvisation, performance, and/or theatre related skills to facilitate health and wellbeing. Proposals should outline the details of the workshop: who are the participants, what strategies will the facilitator(s) demonstrate, and how will the participants later apply this approach to their own work? Workshops will be held in an open workshop space. Workshops may be provided with a 45 or 90-minute timeslot and accepted practitioners should allow time within that period for discussion.

Artistic Sharings (45 minutes):

We invite authors to apply to share examples of theatre and health. Proposals should outline elements of research, artistry, practice and/or theory-focused work embedded within the piece. Proposed sharings should have already been staged and/or presented for an audience in another venue prior to their inclusion in the forum and could be comprised of a scene, scenes or the entire piece. Please note: Sharings will be staged in a workshop space, and will not receive technical support. Sharings will be provided with a 45-minute time slot and accepted presenters should allow time within that period for discussion of the work (i.e. 30 minute sharing/ 15 minute discussion)

Submission Instructions

The submission and review of proposals for the 2019 NYU Forum on Theatre and Health will be managed through an online conference proposal management system called EasyChair. This system gives you, the author, complete control over your submission. You can upload your abstract and check on the review status of your submission.

Please use the template below and submit through the ABSTRACT box on EASYCHAIR Do not upload additional documents – they will not be reviewed.

Under topic, please choose your type of proposal

Title of Proposal:

Type (Paper or Narrative, Workshop, Artistic Sharing):

Abstract (250 words maximum describing your session):

Relevance (250 words maximum describing how your proposal addresses the themes of the conference):

Biographical Statement (150 word maximum per presenter):

Proposals will be peer reviewed. Submissions are due by January 15th, 2019 (11:59pm, EST). Authors/applicants will be notified of the outcome by February 20, 2019.

Click here to submit your proposal.

Additional instructions for creating an EasyChair account and submitting a proposal are available here. Feel free to submit any additional questions to nyuforum2019@gmail.com.

Please share this email with a colleague, friend, list, and like us on Facebook!

We look forward to seeing you at NYU in the spring!

Sincerely,

The 2019 NYU Forum Committee and

Dr. Nisha Sajnani & Dr. David Montgomery, Co-Chairs

Scholar-in-Residence Rubén Blades comes to Educational Theatre, Wednesday, October 24!

Rubin Blades

We have the privilege of hosting the inaugural NYU Steinhardt Dean’s Scholar-in-Residence for 2018-19, Rubén Blades, on Wednesday, October 24, 3:30-4:45pm in the Pless Hall Black Box Theatre. All Educational Theatre students, faculty, and staff are welcome and encouraged to attend this discussion with an outstanding exemplar of what it means to be an artist-citizen in the 21st century.

Rubén is an actor, musician, activist and politician. He is a 17 time Grammy winner, 3 time Emmy nominee, one time Presidential nominee for the Republic of Panama, and current star of AMC’s Fear The Walking Dead. He is an extraordinary artist and activist, as evidenced by his bio and website here.

Please make it a point to join us for this conversation! We look forward to your attendance and participation!

Looking for Shakespeare Opens This Week!

Looking for Shakespeare
presents
Poster Image for Two Noble Kinsmen

Thursday, July 19 at 7PM

Friday, July 20 at 7PM
Saturday, July 21 at 2PM
 
Black Box Theatre
82 Washington Sq. East
 
Tickets are $5 online and at the door
Purchase tickets at NYU Ticket Central
 
Looking for Shakespeare is an intensive four-week summer program for high school students from across the country. Over the past few weeks, our ensemble of 18 young actors has worked with Director Amy Cordileone, our artistic team, and 8 incredible grad students to produce this rarely-performed Shakespeare play.
 
If you would like to join us for the Invited Dress Rehearsal at 7PM on Wednesday, July 18th.
please email Jasmine Pai 
 

Director: Amy Cordileone, PhD
Producers: Jasmine Vogue Pai & Robert M. Stevenson
Productio
n Stage Manager: Cassie Holzum
Assistant Stage Manager: Zack Palomo
Music Director: Rachel Whorton
Dramaturg & Vocal Coach: Ashley Renee Thaxton
Scenic & Lighting Designer: Daryl Embry
Costume Designer: Livvie Goble
Props Master & Sound Designer: Evan Oslund
Dramaturgy Intern: Kaylee DeFreitas
Production Artwork Designer: Sophie Bomeisler

Ensemble Members: Ma. Pilar Beddall, Elektra Birchall, Maya Bodnick, Sophie Bomeisler, Hero Cordileone, Oliver D’Avolio, Aaron Dorelien, Liam Festa, Emily Friedman, Wilson Hernandez, Elizabeth Kenney, Cornelius “CK” Kittrell, Nina Kolman, Thomas LaGrange, Emily Leclerc, Sasha Kruger, Rachel Smith, Finn Westcott
NYU Students/Acting CoachesStephanie Anderson, Shalen Daniels, Ian McCabe, June Moore, Justine Moser, Victoria Neff, Cynthia Rosen, Casey Starkey

New Plays for Young Audiences presents: “Becoming Martin” by Kevin Willmott

Please join us at the Provincetown this weekend!

Celebrating its 21st season, New Plays for Young Audiences will stage rehearsed readings of three new plays exploring migration through a magical travelling band, violence in society, and Martin Luther King Jr’s formative years. These staged readings are presented by NYU Steinhardt’s Educational Theatre program at the historic Provincetown Playhouse from June 9-24, 2018 and are free and open to the public.
New Plays 2018 List of Plays and Reading Dates - Information appears in blog post
Becoming Martin is by noted director, screenwriter, and playwright Kevin Willmott and explores Martin Luther King Jr.’s journey to understand his own feelings and beliefs during his time at Morehouse College (from the age of fifteen). Through his relationship with Dr. Benjamin Mays, Dr. King discovers that a minister can simultaneously debate theology and philosophy while fighting for justice and equality. Chip Miller directs. This play is appropriate for ages 11 and up. Rehearsed readings are on Saturday, June 23 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, June 24 at 3 p.m.
All rehearsed readings are in the Provincetown Playhouse. Tickets are FREE. There are no advance reservations. Tickets will be available at the theatre’s box office beginning an hour before each reading.

 

 

The Provincetown Playhouse is located at 133 MacDougal Street, between West 4th and West 3rd streets [Subway: A, C, D, E, F, M (West 4th St.)].

 

New Plays for Young Audiences is supported by The Nancy and Lowell Swortzell Permanent Fund in Educational Theatre and with thanks to NYU Steinhardt’s Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions.

NPYA presents “Fun and Games” by Lois Lowry (6/16 and 6/17)

Please join us at the Provincetown this weekend!

Celebrating its 21st season, New Plays for Young Audiences will stage rehearsed readings of three new plays exploring migration through a magical travelling band, violence in society, and Martin Luther King Jr’s formative years. These staged readings are presented by NYU Steinhardt’s Educational Theatre program at the historic Provincetown Playhouse from June 9-24, 2018 and are free and open to the public.
New Plays 2018 List of Plays and Reading Dates - Information appears in blog post
Fun and Games* is by noted author Lois Lowry and invites its actors and the audience to explore violence in society. Each performance will be different—reflecting the ever-shifting nature of young peoples’ lives—and will uncover uncomfortable aspects of the characters on stage. It’s a thought-provoking performance that will elicit laughter, fear, and sadness and raise questions that will stick around long after the audience leaves the theater. Stan Foote directs. Fun and Games is appropriate for ages 13 and up. This play contains mature themes and content. It may not be suitable for all audiences. Rehearsed readings are on Saturday, June 16 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, June 17 at 3 p.m.

 

*formerly titled HOW? 

All rehearsed readings are in the Provincetown Playhouse. Tickets are FREE. There are no advance reservations. Tickets will be available at the theatre’s box office beginning an hour before each reading.

 

 

The Provincetown Playhouse is located at 133 MacDougal Street, between West 4th and West 3rd streets [Subway: A, C, D, E, F, M (West 4th St.)].

 

New Plays for Young Audiences is supported by The Nancy and Lowell Swortzell Permanent Fund in Educational Theatre and with thanks to NYU Steinhardt’s Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions.

NPYA presents “Lucky Petra” by Carl Miller and Christopher Ash

Please join us at the Provincetown this weekend!

 

Celebrating its 21st season, New Plays for Young Audiences will stage rehearsed readings of three new plays exploring migration through a magical travelling band, violence in society, and Martin Luther King Jr’s formative years. These staged readings are presented by NYU Steinhardt’s Educational Theatre program at the historic Provincetown Playhouse from June 9-24, 2018 and are free and open to the public.

 

New Plays 2018 List of Plays and Reading Dates - Information appears in blog post

 

“Lucky Petra: by Carl Miller is a musical coming-of-age story about Petra, a girl who escapes an unhappy childhood locked in a high tower and embarks on a magical journey with a band inspired by travelling music groups such as Balkan Brass bands and Roma/punk mashups. The play features music by Christopher Ash and draws parallels between Petra’s travels and contemporary debates about migration. Tony Graham directs. This piece is appropriate for ages 11 and up. Rehearsed readings are on Saturday, June 9 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, June 10 at 3 p.m. 

 

All rehearsed readings are in the Provincetown Playhouse. Tickets are FREE. There are no advance reservations. Tickets will be available at the theatre’s box office beginning an hour before each reading.

 

 

The Provincetown Playhouse is located at 133 MacDougal Street, between West 4th and West 3rd streets [Subway: A, C, D, E, F, M (West 4th St.)].

 

New Plays for Young Audiences is supported by The Nancy and Lowell Swortzell Permanent Fund in Educational Theatre and with thanks to NYU Steinhardt’s Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions.

Announcing ArtsPraxis Volume 4 Issue 1

Logo for Arts Praxis, Volume 4, Issue 1, 2017

ArtsPraxis Volume 4 Issue  1 has been published.

I am proud to present this new issue of ArtsPraxis, featuring articles in response to the guiding questions and themes established for the NYU Forum on Educational Theatre in April 2016, which included applied theatre, drama in education, and theatre for young audiences. As a number of authors submitted articles under the heading of youth theatre, I curated a stand-alone section for this topic as well as I felt it wise to highlight the breadth of research in this area at this time.

A great asset of the 2016 Forum on Educational Theatre was the degree to which the NYU Program in Educational Theatre was able to reconnect with our global community. In large part, this was due to the efforts of Philip Taylor following his experience at the International Drama in Education Research Institute in Singapore in 2015. Under the direction of Prue Wales, it became evident at that event that even in this time of inescapable electronic connections, there is nothing that can take the place of face-to-face fellowship. Just this week, we are coming off of our latest international conference, the NYU Forum on Ethnodrama, looking at the intersection between theatre art and arts-based research paradigms. After many months of political duress, we communed. We shared art, research, and activism.

In the spirit of maintaining our international dialogue in these troubled times, this issue of ArtsPraxis continues the conversation. Our contributors present scholarship from Africa, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. I hope that you find this work as inspirational as I have and that you consider joining us next spring at the 2018 NYU Forum on Performance as Activism.

Volume 3, Issue 1 of ArtsPraxis is available for download here.

ArtsPraxis Volume 4, Issue 1

ISSN: 1552-5236

Editorial

JONATHAN JONES

 

Responsivity in Applied Theatre Practitioner Expertise: Introducing Identifying Patterns and Names

KAY HEPPLEWHITE

ABSTRACT

This article outlines a research project investigating the expertise of applied theatre practitioners. Summarising some of the research approaches and findings, a conceptualization of ‘responsivity’ is proposed to encapsulate the blended expertise of those artists that work in community, participatory and applied settings. The ‘practice responsive’ research methodology utilizing ‘reflective dialogues’ with practitioners is explained and the resulting artists’ commentaries are embedded throughout. I outline how reflection and response thread through a conceptualization of applied theatre in literatures, and discuss how these themes informed both the method and the findings of my research. Whilst offering namings for patterns found common to practitioners operating across diverse contexts, the article also acknowledges how naming can close down understanding of the complex operations and qualities of the practitioner. I suggest a theoretical proposition of ‘__’ (underscore) to open up understanding of the workers and the work of applied theatre, in order to allow further insight to their expertise. The proposal concludes by arguing how the practitioners’ developmental response to the work enhances applied theatre’s beneficial objectives for participants.

 

Making Theatre in Communities: A Search for Identify, Coherence, and Cohesion

JOHN SOMERS

ABSTRACT

Traditionally, theatre was created and performed in communities to celebrate religious and other significant aspects of shared community life. Many such customs possessed a quasi-religious identity in which theatre depictions were thought to appease those spiritual forces which controlled the lives and fortunes of mere humans. In the UK and the Western world more generally, the cohesiveness of community life has lessened as families become more self-sufficient. Until relatively recently, rural communities in South West England were dominated by the farming industry. The land of many farms has been merged and the farmhouses sold to relatively well-off incomers. They often operate a self-sufficient life, sending their children to private schools outside the community and engaging in leisure pursuits which take them out of the community in which they live. Thus, community cohesion is weakened and the opportunities for cooperative and communal action lessened. Theatre has the potential to bring disparate members of a community together in common purpose, providing a forum in which new and lasting relationships can be formed. If the dramatised stories have their roots in the identity and history of the community in which they are made, long-term residents have ways of sharing their knowledge with the ‘newcomers’.

 

The Long Game: Progressing the Work from Thesis to Practice

LINDEN WILKINSON

ABSTRACT

This paper discusses the evolution of significant findings made within the context of a doctoral research project and the structures that developed to share these findings through workshops for students and teachers. As the research concerned an 1838 Australian Aboriginal massacre and the construction of a memorial to commemorate this event one hundred and sixty-two years later, the aim of the project was to locate a reconciliation narrative. The project failed to do so, because ultimately in the words of the participants the memorial was seen as a beginning and not an ending.

Nevertheless this understanding did deliver powerful insights into the complex nature of reconciliation within a dominant settler culture. And it was felt that sharing these insights was worth pursuing. 

Central to the doctoral research was the creation of a verbatim theatre play, therefore the workshops relied on drama techniques to establish through affect new ways of knowing shared history. However the execution of the content proved challenging. Because of the way settler history continues to be understood, engagement with the intellect via political correctness as opposed to the imagination was problematic. The necessity of prioritizing the imagination became as much of a learning curve for workshop facilitators as workshop participants.

 

Discovering a Planet of Inclusion: Drama for Life-Skills in Nigeria

KAITLIN O. K. JASKOLSKI

ABSTRACT

This paper explores the on-going development of a Drama for Life-Skills project in Lagos, Nigeria, which embraces aspects of applied & educational theatre practices. Using neurodevelopmental disability assessments and standards, the project creates a simultaneous balance of teaching and learning life skills in the disability community. It focuses on work currently being done with students of the Children’s Development Centre Lagos, incorporating theatre practices into the daily living activities of adolescents with disabilities with the goal of gaining increased life skills. In developing their most recent production, Discovering a Planet of Inclusion, members of the Centre team up with teaching artists, therapists and community members to teach, learn, practice and incorporate life skills with theatrical performances designed for schools and community centers throughout Nigeria.  Company members with disabilities (including autism, cerebral palsy, and various genetic disorders) perform with the hope of showcasing their abilities, ending stigma, and inspiring opportunities for the disability community throughout the nation. The paper will include anecdotes and analyzation from the performance praxis, development of advocacy and vocationally-based theatre performances, and ways to incorporate disability therapies (occupational, physical, multisensory, communication) into theatrical performances. The paper also discusses the importance of inclusion in destigmatizing disability and the cognitive benefits of applied theatre within communities.

 

The Evolution of Monologue as an Education

SCOTT WELSH

ABSTRACT

Performance is social theory, or it can become so, when we use it as a means to understand social phenomena rather than merely viewing it as a spectacle or for entertainment (Brook, 1972). Theatre that explores domestic violence (Welsh, 2014), homelessness (Welsh, 2014) or the plight of refugees (Robinson, 2015) are all examples of dramatic processes  becoming social theory. There are many more examples such as the work of Lloyd Jones or Pina Bausch, both of whom use experimental theatre as a means of educating, understanding and criticising society (Marshall, 2002; Pendergast, 2001). This article explores the relationship between theatre and education in three somewhat diverse contexts. Firstly, the autobiographical monologue, The Outcaste Weakly Poet Stage Show, describes experience in a conversational style. Experience and conversation are inevitably educational, that is, being is learning and listening is learning. Secondly, I explore the practice of monologue writing with a sample group of Australian school students on the subject of social labelling, reinforcing the idea that theatre practice is education by applying it to a classroom setting. Finally, I examine a monologue writing workshop conducted with a group of teachers-in-training, revealing the potential of monologues to foster empathy among teachers and their most difficult students. Theatre then becomes a source of learning and philosophical reflection for audiences, a way of practising social learning in a school setting and increasing emotional intelligence, empathy and communication between teachers in training and their students.

 

Noise as Queer Dramaturgy: Towards a Reflexive Dramaturgy-as-Research Praxis in Devised Theatre for Young Audiences

JESSICA M.  KAUFMAN

ABSTRACT

Dramaturgy is often considered the work of the ‘neutral outside eye’, but in devised theatre, the dramaturg is embedded within. This requires creative solutions for how a devising dramaturg might navigate engagement with the totality of their work—the piece, the devising process, and the context—from their own position within all three. In this article, I will recount and re-examine my work as dramaturg-researcher devising Martha and the Event Horizon. The research inquiry suggests a praxis of dramaturgy-as-research inspired by Home-Cook’s model of noise as a function of attention and Sullivan’s (2003) poststructuralist analysis of queerness as both being and doing, wherein the devising dramaturg embodies the queer doing to take an external perspective on their work via the critical context. Examinations of the devisor’s relationship to spectators by practitioner-researchers Goode (2011) and Reason (2010) respond to the research question and suggest a non-linear model within which the audience experiences meaning through Boenisch’s (2010) reflexive parallax. Placing these research outcomes within Bryon’s (2014) ‘active aesthetic’ and Nelson’s (2013) practice as research model, I propose the dramaturgy-as-research praxis as the key to a rigorous, flexible framework for constructing diverse avenues for meaning-making in devised theatre, particularly applicable to audience-driven work.

 

Children’s Theatre: A Brief Pedagogical Approach

DENNIS ELUYEFA

ABSTRACT

There are several theories as to what constitutes children’s theatre. This diversity exists because the term is used as a literal description of theatre that involves children in one way or the other – theatre for children, theatre with children, and theatre by children. This complexity means there is a need to specify the sense in which the term is being used. There is no universal agreement within academic discourse on the parameters in which the term should be defined. While some scholars suggest age as a defining factor, others think it should be decided by the performers who design a piece of theatre based on their knowledge of the children audience. What is children’s theatre? What should be the level of involvement for children? This paper is not a systematic review of the discipline and it is not an attempt to re/define children’s theatre. Rather, it is about a pedagogical approach to creating a piece of theatre for children between the age of 4 and 10 that can enable them to learn and be morally developed while being entertained at the same time. In this paper children’s theatre is the term that will be used throughout.

 

Feeling Blue: An Investigative Apparatus

CLARE HAMMOOR

ABSTRACT

This auto-ethnographic inquiry explores found and constructed apparatuses in the production of a devised clown show with 3rd-6th grade children at Blue School in New York City. Through a playful negotiation between artifacts, theory, and memory, this essay works to untangle the production of meaning and the possibilities of children’s theatre. Drawing from Agamben’s theorizations of apparatus, Hammoor writes into knowing and understanding the frameworks he built and discovered in directing a sad clown show with children.

 

Participatory Aesthetics: Youth Performance as Encounter

PAMELA BAER

ABSTRACT

In this paper the notion of a participatory aesthetic is developed by exploring how a collaborative and creative process provides opportunities for young people to engage in an act of becoming in relation to one another, building powerful and affective art work that is not bound by the conventions of traditional forms of theatre and art making. The paper begins with a discussion on the role of affect and participation in applied theatre, offering a theoretical framework that is used to analyze two case studies. The first is a project in Accra, Ghana that resulted in a youth-led documentary film about HIV/AIDS and gender relationships. The second is a YouTube based applied theatre project with LGBTQ youth in Toronto, Canada. In both case studies the paper demonstrates the power of dialogue in building a participant driven aesthetic rendering of theatre for social change. The paper concludes stating that a participatory aesthetic is a deeply visceral and vulnerable encounter that builds important pedagogy through affective artistic engagement.

 

From Les Mis to Annie, Jr.: A Discussion of Dramaturgical Adaptation for Musical Theatre in Education and Accessibility of Musical Theatre to Youth

SEAN MAYES

ABSTRACT

As an arts educator, it is inspiring to have access to the spoils of the art of musical theatre to engage and captivate young minds and artistic hearts. In providing an artistic output, one affords both the satisfaction of involvement in a collaborative art coupled with the lasting gift of community and artistic inspiration. Regrettably, the endeavour towards providing an accessible dramatic medium can prove challenging for the best of theatre & music pedagogues and artists alike. Musical theatre becomes increasingly more difficult as both musical and dramatic requirements needed for its execution modify.

With these constraints, youth face obstacles in exploring many works of the genre they love faithfully. As educators, the responsibility in maintaining accessibility is tremendous. Improper attention to the usage of the vocal instrument without regard of these developments can cause irreparable damage. Limited access to works for youth and negligible adaptation risk staleness and disinterest.

How might the educating artist continually provide an accessible medium of musical theatre to the young performer? From a dramatic & musical lens, this paper discusses the responsibility of the educator in identifying and addressing the unique challenges confronting young performers via the art of musical theatre.

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ArtsPraxis Volume 4, Issue 1 looks to engage members of the global Educational Theatre community in the ongoing dialogue about where we have been and where we are going. This call for papers was released concurrently with ArtsPraxis Volume 3 and the submission deadline for Volume 4, Issue 1 was February 1, 2017.

Dr. Jonathan Jones, New York University
Editor
jonathan.jones@nyu.edu
steinhardt.nyu.edu/music/artspraxis

Editorial Board:

Amy Cordileone, New York University, USA
Norifumi Hida, Toho Gakuen College of Drama and Music, Japan
Byoung-joo Kim, Seoul National University of Education, South Korea
Ross Prior, University of Wolverhampton, UK
Nisha Sajnani, New York University, USA
Daphnie Sicre, Borough of Manhattan Community College, USA
Prudence Wales, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Hong Kong
James Webb, Bronx Community College, USA

NYU Educational Theatre Presents 2017 Swortzell Innovator Awards to Laurie Brooks and Johnny Saldaña

NYU Steinhardt’s Program in Educational Theatre has named Laurie Brooks and Johnny Saldaña the recipients of the 2017 Swortzell Innovator Awards, which recognize outstanding contributions and sustained service to the field of educational theatre.

Laurie Brooks and Johnny Saldaña; winners of the 2017 Swortzell Innovator Award

Laurie Brooks and Johnny Saldaña are the winners of the 2017 Swortzell Innovator Award

The Swortzell Innovator Awards were established in 2016 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Program in Educational Theatre and honor its visionary founders, the late Lowell and Nancy Swortzell. The inaugural award winners were Lynda Zimmerman, Rebecca Brown Adelman, Trent Norman, and Jay DiPrima.

“The Program in Educational Theatre is thrilled to bestow Laurie Brooks and Johnny Saldaña with the Swortzell Innovator Award not only for their exceptional work in the field, but to honor their ongoing commitment to actively sharing their high quality expertise with others,” said David Montgomery, director of the Program in Educational Theatre at NYU Steinhardt.

Johnny Saldaña has been named the winner of the 2017 Swortzell Innovator Award for outstanding and sustained service to the field of ethnodrama and qualitative research. Saldaña will be presented with his award at the NYU Forum on Ethnodrama, which takes place April 21-22, 2017.

Saldaña is professor emeritus from Arizona State University’s School of Film, Dance, and Theatre in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. He has authored, co-authored, and edited eight books on qualitative research and ethnodrama including Longitudinal Qualitative Research: Analyzing Change Through Time and Ethnotheatre: Research from Page to Stage.

Saldaña’s works have been cited and referenced in more than 4,300 research studies conducted in over 120 countries in disciplines such as education, medicine and health care, technology and social media, business and economics, government and social services, fine arts, social sciences, human development, and communication.

Laurie Brooks has been named the winner of the 2017 Swortzell Innovator Award for outstanding and sustained service to the field of Theatre for Young Audience. Brooks’ award will be presented at the 20th anniversary of NYU’s New Plays for Young Audiences, which takes places June 10-25, 2017.

Brooks is an award-winning playwright and fiction author. She has received numerous awards and grants including TCG National Theatre Artists Residency Program (The Coterie Theatre), AT&T FirstStage award, three Distinguished Play Awards and Charlotte Chorpenning Cup from American Alliance for Theatre and Education, New York Foundation for the Arts, and Irish Arts Council Grants (Graffiti Theatre Company). Brooks’ Lies and Deceptions Quartet for young adults includes The Wrestling Season, commissioned by The Coterie Theatre, developed at New Visions/New Voices, and featured at The Kennedy Center’s One Theatre World 2000. Additional award-winning plays include Deadly Weapons, The Tangled Web, and The Riddle Keeper, commissioned by Graffiti Theatre in Ireland; Selkie: Between Land and Sea, developed at New Visions/New Voices; Brave No World and Jason Invisible, commissioned by and premiered at The Kennedy Center; Devon’s Hurt, The Match Girl’s Gift, A Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas, Franklin’s Apprentice, The Lost Ones, Triangle, Atypical Boy, and All of Us.

Brooks has been an assistant professor, playwright in residence, and literary manager for NYU’s New Plays for Young Audiences. She has served as playwright in residence for the HYPE Institute at The Alley Theatre in Houston, artist in residence at Arizona State University, and has taught at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and The University of Texas at Austin.

Brooks’ new play, Now Comes the Dust, will be staged at New Plays for Young Audiences in June, where she will also be part of a 20th anniversary roundtable event and panel discussion to explore emergent directions in writing and producing works.

Two Weeks with the Queen Opens Tonight!

Tonight I caught the dress rehearsal for Two Weeks with the Queen, a fantastic show you won’t want to miss!
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Based on a popular Australian novel by Mary Morris, Two Weeks with the Queen is a moving TYA play that appeals to people of all ages. While it explores some serious subject matter, director Philip Taylor ensures that the story is told with humor and warmth to create an uplifting experience about overcoming fear and handling the challenges that life has to offer. Fast paced, funny and skillfully directed, the show highlights a very talented ensemble of actors. Meghan Crosby gleefully and beautifully portrays the spunky and determined 12 year old Colin, while the rest of the gifted cast, including Cheryl Brumley, Maggie Bussard, Brendan Chambers, Eric Gelb and Shannon Stoddard, impressively play a variety of memorable characters. What a pleasure it was seeing them all work together so well, each making strong choices to create many lovely moments on stage.
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The designers and crew also deserve praise, including Daryl Embry’s clever set design, Leah Cohen and Daryl Embry’s appealing lighting, Meaghan Cross’s delightful costumes, and Kari-Noor Thompson’s effective sound design. The production stage manager Sarah Brown, assistant stage manager Jiawen Hu, and assistant director Andrew Gaines are also to be congratulated for their hard work in helping to create this remarkable show.
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Poignant and full of hope, Two Weeks with the Queen is a production with a lot of heart!
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David Montgomery

Poster advertising the production of Two Weeks with the Queen.