The Bystander: A Portrait of Apathy

By Suzanne Sweeney, MA ’01

My drama class is working on a play called “The Bystander: A Portrait of Apathy.” The play deals with teen harassment and bullying. The School Climate Committee,(an organization consisting of administrators, child study team, guidance counselors, student assistance counselor and teachers) asked them to produce this production to be viewed by other sending districts. It was reviewed  by my English supervisor and accepted into the drama curriculum. This play received a grant from the Educational Committee of Rumson Fair Haven for the royalties.

Regarding student resource support – the students were initially asked to refer to the school web page on School Climate. They were introduced to a HIB form, articles and videos dealing with the bullying and harassment as well a representative from the School Climate Committee addressing them on the subject as relating to our school environment. Other resources from a dramatic perspective were:March Cassady’s An Introduction to The Art of Theatre, Jonothan Neelands and Tony Goode’s Structuring Drama Work and Drama for Learning: Dorothy Heathcote’s Mantle of the Expert.

The class is producing the play by themselves – from casting, blocking, props, etc. Every day the class begins with a production meeting on the objectives. Theses objectives were provided by a teacher generated timeline. They play has 3 student directors which had to be interviewed by the production committee( in role). They had to present their qualifications to the class. Students selected an underscore to assist them with character development. The music is associated to the issue being performed. Every student shared their music during a production meeting. Students have also added drama conventions in the blocking- chanting, freeze frame, etc. This they believed “made the dramatic work more powerful- it sends a clear message.”  They felt that the narratives could be more interesting if they were also presented in a pantomime format.

Once the students felt comfortable with the dramatic piece, it was time for the Film Club to engage in the class and make decisions regarding the filming process – lights, camera action!! They held their own meetings with their advisor making decisions. Lastly, I would like to mention that during this whole process the students were maintaining a daily journal log. This log was divided into sections: Objective, Accomplishments and Personal Reflection.

Student and Alumni Updates

Jamie Lerner

Jamie Lerner (BS ‘15) was nominated by Professor Jess Barbagallo to be an Open Arts Research Fellow for a weekend-long workshop exploring questions and issues surrounding the arts.

 

 

 

 

Emily Schorr Lesnick's studentsEmily Schorr Lesnick (ETSS) facilitated workshops on Theatre for Inclusion with teachers from the US & India at edcamps in Ahmedabad and Mumbai while in India on an educators’ trip LINEGlobal. Participants engaged in drama work and discussed how to incorporate theatre into their classrooms. Additionally, Emily co-hosts a live variety show and accompanying podcast called The Soul Glo Project. Soul Glo features established comedic voices and up-and-comers in standup, sketch, improv, music and poetry. Previous guests include SNL writers and performers, Comedy Central performers, and high school students.

Amos MarguliesAmos Margulies (ETED ’11) is currently teaching 11th grade English at the Community School for Social Justice and extended a residency with The Moth for the third year running. He is also one of TDF’s Open Doors teachers. Their mentor is Alex Dinelaris, who this year won an Academy Award for his movie Birdman, and his new musical On Your Feet is coming to Broadway soon. Amos was recently published in the new Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in Theater (June 2015), in which he co-wrote the addendum on teaching theater to ELLs.

 

 

Kristen Tregar

Kristen Tregar (EDTC ’14) will be starting the PhD program in Drama and Theatre at University of California, San Diego this coming fall. In addition, this has been the second year of successful collaboration with Jenny MacDonald, one of the tutors from the Dublin study abroad program. Their respective students in Ireland and the US have been collaborating on devised works. In the spring, the Irish and American students came to NYU for an afternoon workshop where they had the chance to meet Nan Smithner.

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!

Check out a few of the final products at the Stuart School website

Student and Alumni Updates

Kristin R. BennerKristin R. Benner (EDTA ‘12)  received a full time drama elementary (K-2) teaching position in the Montclair Public Schools in Montclair, NJ at the Gifted and talented/performing arts magnet. She puts on three productions a year and could not be more thankful for what NYU did to prepare her for this position.

 

 

Jeanine DeFalco (EDTC ‘12) is a Doctoral fellow in Cognitive Studies at Teachers College, Columbia, on an Army Research Lab grant studying detection of engagement and affect in a simulation-based combat medic training environment. Her general focus is on embodied cognition, narrative, and creative problem solving using role play.

Mary Leigh FilipponeMary Leigh Filippone (Undergraduate ‘06) runs the Theatre Department at Springfield High School just outside Philadelphia where her production of Our Town was recently honored as Best Play of 2013 by the Greater Philadelphia Cappies. She is pursuing a Master’s degree in Arts Administration at Drexel University. Mary currently serves as the President of the Board of Governors at the Players Club of Swarthmore Pennsylvania.

 

Julianna Krawiecki (EDTC ‘12) was awarded with a State of New Jersey Commendation Citation Award for the development and performance of “Our Stories of Sandy”, a student devised performance piece that illustrated Hurricane Sandy through the eyes of a middle school student. She teaches music and theater at Manalapan-Englishtown Middle School in New Jersey.

Christina Kosyla (EDTA ‘13) has accepted a teaching position with Stuart Country Day School in Princeton, NJ. Stuart is an independent, Catholic school for girls in grades K-12. Christina will be teaching religion (K-2), drama (3-5), and directing the Upper School fall play.

Robin Levenson (PhD ‘07) is currently a Professor at City College, CUNY, in the Interdisciplinary Arts Department where teaches speech and theatre, specializing in non-native speakers and actor training. Her students won prizes for speech at LaGuardia Community College in 2011 and 2012, and first place in 2013 at the CUNY‐Wide Annual Student Speech Contest.

Alex SarianAlex Sarian (EDTC ‘07) was appointed to the newly created position of Director of Finance & New Business at Lincoln Center Institute, the education division of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.  In this role, he oversees all aspects of business development, marketing, digital/social media and consulting services for programs with an annual reach of 350,000.  He joins Lincoln Center after serving as the Director of Education at MCC Theatre and founding Affinity Arts Group, a private consulting practice.

Robert Stevenson (UG ‘13, EDTC ‘14) was one of several recipients of the Ida Bodman Service Award at the Steinhardt Baccalaureate Commencement in May. The award, recognizing his work with Uproar Theatre Corps, celebrates superlative and extraordinary service and exhibiting the highest standards of leadership in school activities.

Lantie TomLantie Tom (EDTC ‘12) has been professionally designing and building masks, puppets, and the occasional prop for theatre and education programs – sometimes with Educational Theatre alumni! Each project is unique, and she had the recent pleasure of working with Barnard-Columbia Ancient Drama Group, The Forum Project, and Paideia Institute for Humanistic Study.