10 More Days to Submit a Proposal for the 2017 NYU Forum on Ethnodrama!

NYU Forum on Ethnodrama: The Aesthetics of Research and Playmaking

Program in Educational Theatre at New York University’s Steinhardt School

April 21 and 22, 2017

Proposal Deadline: Monday, January 16, 2017

Call for proposals and submission guidelines available on this website.

We are excited to announce two of the forum’s featured plenary speakers: Patricia Leavy and Johnny Saldaña!

Patricia Levy
Johnny Saldaña
Join us for a robust conversation about the aesthetics of ethnodrama, the practice of creating a play script from materials such as interview transcripts, field notes, journal entries, and/or print and media artifacts. Theatre artists, academic researchers, and artist-researchers will come together to share ideas, vocabularies, and techniques for engaging audiences with the aesthetic presentation of data and data-based playmaking, while also discussing the opportunities and challenges that emerge when working with this style of theatre and research.

Please forward this email on to all colleagues who might be interested in joining the conversation.

We look forward to receiving your proposals and seeing you in April 2017!

All best wishes,

The 2017 NYU Forum Committee


NYU Forum on Ethnodrama: The Aesthetics of Research and Playmaking / April 21-22, 2017

NYU Forum on Ethnodrama:

The Aesthetics of Research and Playmaking

April 21-22, 2017

Image from Towards the Fear, directed by Joe Salvatore

Join us for next year’s NYU Educational Theatre Forum for a robust conversation about the aesthetics of ethnodrama. How do artist-researchers engage audiences with the presentation of data? Theatre artists and academic researchers will come together to share ideas, vocabularies, and techniques.
Save the dates: April 21 & 22, 2017

If you’re interested in participating, please email Joe Salvatore.

Visit the NYU Forum Website.

** Image from Towards the Fear: An Exploration of Bullying, Social Combat, and Aggression, produced in spring 2014

Forum on Educational Theatre Preview

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Preparations for the Forum on Educational Theatre April 21-24, 2016 are well underway. To register, To register, visit the registration page.

As we gear up for the event, we will post descriptions of some of the presentations–one of which appears below:

Paper: A Wealth of Knowing


In celebration of fifty years of leadership and artist praxis, we take this opportunity to reflect on how that period of time has deepened our own understanding of the ways in which drama works whether in a classroom, studio, university setting or community hall. In so doing, we address a number of the questions that were posed as guides to this submission.

As the lens for this retrospective, we use a children’s picture book, Josepha (McGugan, 1994) “ past fourteen and trying to learn in primary row.” It is a story about an immigrant boy, friend to the younger narrator, who chooses to leave school to work for “a dollah a day” so that he can help support his impoverished family. Josepha “springs like a ram into the cart alongside his brother,” despite the impassioned pleas of a teacher who sees his potential: “It is nineteen hundred. Nineteen hundred, Josepha. A fresh century in your chosen land. You are quick and bright and cunning. Oh, the wealth of knowing you could reap.”

Josepha holds within its apparent simplicity the “novelty, surprise and teaching that connects with students’ past experiences and personal interests … low in threat and high in challenge” (Willis, 2008: 427). But more than that, it serves us as a metaphor for the wealth of knowing in our own discipline that we have come to acknowledge and appreciate over the past fifty years as central to artistry and pedagogy. And for today’s purpose, we use the story to illustrate five advances in our practice:


  1. The importance of distancing as a mediator of personal investment that provides protection into emotion (Eriksson, 2011; Heathcote, 1976).
  2. The power of story and narrative to shape our emotional and ethical realities (Nussbaum, 2003, Turner, 1998).
  3. The significance of our art form’s subjunctive mood to reveal the complexity and contingent nature of our world (Sennett, 2012, Kahneman, 2011).
  4. The contribution of Howard Gardner’s (1983) theory of Multiple Intelligences to an understanding of curriculum as interpersonal, intrapersonal, holistic and processual (Doll, 2008).
  5. The confirmation of the old adage that “drama teaches empathy” but how it does so and what is required in that teaching is now more apparent. (Levy, 1997; Miller & Saxton, 2015).

We are living in a time when there is a famine in quality conversation (Krznaric, 2014); face to face communication (Turkle, 2015) has become two-dimensional, and knowledge is now subject to “sensitivity alerts” (Jarvie, 2014). Such developments confirm the critical need for drama education to provide the metaphoric place where we may call into question our assumptions: the safe space in which to embrace the ambiguities that may disrupt and disturb, thereby shifting our understanding of who we are as we move from comfort to newness. A richer awareness of how drama works allied to current brain research reinforces Bolton’s (1984) recognition of the power of embodied narrative when he argued for placing drama at the center of the curriculum.

Carole Miller and Juliana Saxton are both emeriti professors at the University of Victoria, holding adjunct professorships in the Faculty of Graduate Studies and adjunct appointments at the University of Sydney, Australia. Each is the recipient of an Excellence in Teaching award. Together they chaired the 2nd International Drama in Education Research Institute 1997, were responsible for the Academic Program for the 5th World Congress of IDEA 2004 and served as the Reflective Keynote speakers for IDEA 2007 in Hong Kong. Their collaborative research is primarily situated in pre-service teacher education with a focus on inquiry-based instruction, applied theatre and the relationship of brain research to theatre practice. Their award-winning book, Into the Story: Language in Action through Drama (2004 Heinemann) will be followed in 2016 by Into the Story 2: More Stories! More Drama! (Intellect, UK/ University of Chicago Press).

NYU Forum on Educational Theatre: Registration Now Open

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You’re ready to register? To register, visit the registration page.!

When: April 21-24, 2016.

What: The Forum features the global educational theatre community representing over 20 countries (including Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, El Salvadore, Hong Kong, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Palestine, Philippines, Qatar, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America) presenting over 100 workshops, papers, posters, and performances around one of the following topics:

  • Drama in Education (i.e., studies in drama/theatre curriculum, special education, integrated arts, assessment and evaluation)
  • Applied Theatre (i.e., studies in community-based theatre, theatre of the oppressed, the teaching artist, diversity and inclusion, drama therapy)
  • Theatre for Young Audiences and Play Production (i.e., studies in acting, dramaturgy, playwriting, dramatic literature, theatre technology, arts-based research methodologies)


Presenters include Wasim Al-Kurdi, Courtney Boddie, Edie Demas, Michael Finnernan, Kathleen Gallagher, Norifumi Hida, Maria Hodermarska, Byoung-Joo Kim, Christina Marín, James Miles, Carole Miller, James Mirrione, Peter and Briar O’Connor, Cecily O’Neill, Monica Prendergast, Ross Prior, Nisha Sajnani, Richard Sallis, Joe Salvatore, Alex Santiago Jirau, Juliana Saxton, Nan Smithner, Philip Taylor, Prudence Wales, and Tim Webb.

Organizations presenting include Community Word Project, Improbable Players, Roundabout Education, The New Victory Theatre, and The New York City Department of Education.

Registration fees are:

Standard Registration: $125.00
Current NYU Student Registration: $20.00
Other Current Student Registration: $65.00
Single Day Registration: $30.00

The schedule for the Forum is still being finalized, but a tentative overview follows:

Thursday, April 21:
6PM – 9PM           Pre-conference Master Class

Friday, April 22:
8:30AM – 6PM     Drama in Education Presentations
6PM – 9PM           Evening Event and Reception

Saturday, April 23:
9:30AM – 6PM      Applied Theatre Presentations
7PM – 10PM          Alumni Event and Reception

Sunday, April 24:
9:30AM – 4:30PM   Theatre for Young Audiences/Play Production Presentations
4:30PM – 5:30PM   Closing Event

Check out our website for all of the details!

NYU Forum on Site-Specific Performance: April 23-26

For our 2015 annual forum, the Program in Educational Theatre is highlighting site-specific performance. Through interdisciplinary panels, performances, and workshops, the forum invites established art makers, emerging artists, and university students to critically engage with spaces on the NYU campus and the greater Washington Square area.

Site-specific explorations have long been embraced by applied theatre practitioners as they collaborate with participants to link performance and community literally on common ground; through participation in such multi-disciplinary encounters, students, community members, and artists may unlock new understanding of the stories imprinted in their surroundings. Moreover, through such collective re-imagining of space, site-specific work moves beyond traditional notions of art and audience, developing nuanced relationships between spectators and space, blurring lines between performers and patrons.

As site-specific performances continue to gain popularity in broader circles and across disciplines, how might we as artists and educators further utilize, build upon, and innovate form while re-examining space as opportunity? What are the implications for artists in community-engaged, educational, and non-traditional performative settings?

Forum Fees

  • NYU Student Registration: $20
  • Other Students Registration: $40
  • General Admission: $75
  • Daily Registration: $30
  • Note: Sunday’s events are free for all STUDENTS


Guiding Questions:

How does space inform, change, and/or dictate conventions of a given performance?

To what extent does space determine audience?

How do we determine which spaces merit performative inquiry?

To what extent does technology inform site-specific performance work?

What can we offer the space as artists, and what can the space offer in return?

What are the educative implications of engaging in and/or developing site-specific artistic encounters?

How are these techniques already present and/or available in classrooms, theatres, and individual practices?

What opportunities exist for audience generation/development?

What connections can be made between artistic skills in traditional performance settings?

Reflections on the Life of Maxine Greene and the Forum on the Teaching Artist: Navigation, Innovation, and Sustainability

By Andrew M. Gaines

Last spring’s annual Forum was a spectacular three-day event, drawing renowned presenters from across the globe, newcomers to the field, administrators, researchers, and allied professionals from multiple arts modalities and disciplines.

Our theme spotlighted the Teaching Artist, a term coined by Dr. Maxine Greene during her 36-year term as Philosopher-in-Residence at Lincoln Center Institute for the Arts.  On the opening night of the forum, Maxine fittingly presented our Exemplary Teaching Artist Awards to four outstanding practitioners, following a touching introduction by Dr. Philip Taylor who cited her as the inspiration for his acronym ART (action, reflection, transformation).

Maxine Greene

Sadly, our attendees had the privilege and honor of witnessing Maxine’s last public appearance that night.  On May 29, only one month following the Forum, Maxine took her last breath at the age of 96.  She had continued to teach until her final days as Professor Emeritus at Columbia University Teacher’s College.  In her plenary address, Maxine’s precious words captured the sublime ephemerality of life, art, and education:

These creative ways to teaching cannot be always predicted or controlled. They are emergent–like our engagement with the changing life, of the golden leaves I see outside the window, with the world. It is always becoming and can never be fully captured.

Our Forum proceeded in the spirit of her noble pursuit, enthusiastically exchanging perspectives and collectively envisioning our shared future. We sought to explore such guiding questions as:

• What is the impact of the Teaching Artist, locally and globally?

• How are Teaching Artists effectively recruiting, cultivating engagement, and fostering    accountability?

• How do Teaching Artists negotiate a commitment to both process and product?

In total, we featured 17 workshops and dialogues, 3 plenary panels, and introduced an alluring new format – PechaKuchawhere presenters had 6 minutes to narrate 20 slides automatically forwarding every 20 seconds.  Sunday morning began with and fabulous performance of Julius Caesar by Shakespeare-to-Go, NYU’s traveling Shakespeare troupe. Community Word Project sustained our momentum by hosting a teaching artist job fair that attracted hundreds of talent and dozens of agencies. Our Forum concluded at the New Victory Theater to enjoy a performance of Fluff: A Story of Lost Toys and a post-show reception, including a brief workshop facilitated by Barbara Ellmann and Ted Sod, two of our Exemplary Teaching Artists.

In sum, our Forum synergized our vibrant community and it’s memory will largely remain a testament to the life of Maxine Greene. Like Dr. Greene, our program bravely sought questions more than answers, and embraced many opportunities to sense more deeply, release the imagination, “internalize new modalities for expression” and bring ourselves into “startling relation to the world.”

NYU Forum on the Teaching Artist: Navigation, Innovation, and Sustainability

Forum on the Teaching Artist Banner

For this year’s arts education forum, The Program in Educational Theatre at New York University is spotlighting the Teaching Artist. Allied professionals of all disciplines, newcomers to the field, administrators, and researchers are invited to exchange perspectives and collectively envision our shared future alongside leading arts organizations such as New Victory Theater and Lincoln Center Education.

This three-day event will highlight the work of local and international teaching artists through a variety of experiences: dynamic workshops and dialogues with artists representing Roundabout Theatre, AIE Roundtable, The Moth, Urban Arts Partnership, and more; panel discussions around navigation, innovation, and sustainability from cross-disciplinary arts leaders; performances both on campus and at premiere NYC arts venues; and networking opportunities.

Opening night of the forum will include the first ever Exemplary Teaching Artist Awards, celebrating four outstanding leaders in the field of teaching artistry. Nominated by their peers, these individuals are innovators in teaching practice, seasoned guides to teaching artists navigating the field, and experts in sustaining a teaching artist practice. This unique honor will be presented by Dr. Maxine Greene, world-renowned teaching artist pioneer and scholar.

The forum will also feature events such as a teaching artist job fair hosted by Community Word Project and a performance of Julius Caesar by Shakespeare-to-Go, NYU’s traveling Shakespeare troupe.  The forum will conclude with an excursion to the New Victory Theater for a pre-show workshop facilitated by New Victory teaching artists, a performance of Fluff: A Story of Lost Toys, and a post-show reception.

For more information and to register for the conference, please go to the Forum Website.

Early registration (before March 28):                                                       Registration:

$15-NYU student                                                                                          $20-NYU students

$55-other students                                                                                       $65-other students

$85-general admission                                                                               $105-general


Twitter: @EdTheatreForum

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: NYU Forum on the Teaching Artist: Navigation, Innovation, and Sustainability (April 25-27, 2014)

NYU Forum on the Teaching Artist: Navigation, Innovation, and Sustainability

April 25-27, 2014

Hosted by The Program in Educational Theatre at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development

For our 2014 annual forum, The Program in Educational Theatre spotlights the Teaching Artist. The intersection of pedagogy and aesthetics has extended its reach to a broad array of interdisciplinary perspectives and multiple art disciplines. We invite all allied professionals, newcomers, administrators, and researchers to exchange perspectives and collectively envision our shared future. The forum will begin Friday night, continue all day Saturday, and conclude Sunday afternoon.


Submissions are due Monday, January 20, 2014 (11:59pm, EST), and we strive to notify potential presenters by February 17.

Submit your proposal here, review a comprehensive description of the event, and consider the governing questions behind this forum.

Feel free to email any additional questions to  or to add yourself to our mailing list for future updates…

Please share this information with a colleague, friend, list, and...wait for it…like us on Facebook!

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

~Your 2014 NYU Forum Committee

The Program in Educational Theatre

Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development

New York University

82 Washington Square East

New York City

Forum: Developing New Work for the Theatre

By Matt Cohen

On Saturday, April 27th, I attended the Program in Educational Theatre’s 2013 Forum, Developing New Work for the Theatre.  For the first session, I attended the Case Study on New Play Development, moderated by Professor Joe Salvatore.  This seminar featured representatives from the New York Theatre Barn and Luna Stage.  For the second session, I participated in a workshop in Entry Points for Devising New Work, facilitated by Dr. Nan Smithner.

The Case Study on New Play Development provided a fascinating take on the development process of original musicals and plays.  Sammy Buck and Brandon James Gwinn, respectively the librettist and composer/co-lyricist of Speargrove Presents, NYTB’s musical about the drama surrounding a high school production ofRent, discussed how in the beginning of the process, they were two of numerous writers involved in the project, until Joe Barros (director) and Jason Najjoum (producer) whittled down the pool.  The musical is still a work in progress.

Nikkole Salter, playwright of Carnaval, discussed how she moved to New Jersey and discovered a theatre near her new home, Luna Stage, which accepted open submissions of new work.  She submitted Carnaval, and she and Cheryl Katz (Director of Play Development) discussed how impactful it was to have multiple readings of the work in her writing process, as well as the often surprising reaction of the predominantly blue-haired audience.  The seminar concluded with a brief question and answer session, and all of the panelists were wonderfully open in answering our questions.

In the workshop in Entry Points for Devising New Work, we learned about the various approaches to creating new theatrical work in many different settings.  These ranged from brainstorming specific topics to simply using inspiration from props.  At the end of the session, we were divided into two groups, and each group devised a brief piece about internet dating.  Both performances were indicative of a great deal of growth within the short time period.

The afternoon concluded with a Plenary Session, in which we discussed what was learned in the previous sessions.  We primarily addressed the topics of establishing rigorous, intentional new works development processes that are innovative and sustainable, holding the stakeholders accountable, and defining and measuring success in the process.  All in all, my peers and I attained a wealth of knowledge that day, and I appreciate having been given the opportunity to participate in such an enlightening forum.

Forum: Developing New Work for the Theatre

Developing New Work for the Theatre
Friday, April 26 & Saturday, April 27

Staged reading.

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:

1. How do artists establish rigorous, intentional new works development processes
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?

Schedule of Events

Register for the Forum at the Forum Registration Website.

Location: 35 West 4th Street, New York NY 10012 (Frederick Loewe Theatre and Education Building)