Professional Development Intensives

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Professional Development Intensives

PDI's are in-depth, 6 hour courses taught by experts and thought-leaders in the field of theatre education. They provide an opportunity for an educator to deepen understanding and hone skills on a specific topic. Completion of a PDI enables attendees to apply for graduate degree credit or earn continuing education credit. Preregistration is required.


Ed Reggi

Give and Take: Unpacking Spolin's Theater Games for the Classroom

Level:  All levels of experience
Category:  Curriculum/teaching techniques
Date offered: Sunday, September 16, 2018
Fee: $250
Available for graduate degree credit

Viola Spolin’s writings and philosophy influenced not only American stage but also the American classroom. Many classroom teachers have studied Spolin’s pedagogy. However, the same educators don’t fully understand how to unpack her Theater Games with their students. This confusion is in part due to Spolin’s poorly organized book, Improvisation for the Theater. In this workshop, participants will learn and explore all the essential principles behind Spolin’s Theater Games. Participants will observe and practice the critical role the Side Coach plays in Spolin’s classroom. Skills covered include: Give and Take, Yes ... And, Emerging Who, and other Theater Games.

Instructor: Ed Reggi coaches Viola Spolin Theater Games internationally. He got his start studying at Chicago’s historic Second City, then directly with its founder Paul Sills. Reggi has advised and worked for the world’s largest improv festival in Chicago. Today, he tours and performs with Paper Slip Theatre, his professional improv company that works with clients including Microsoft, Sony, Purina, Edward Jones, Monsanto, and many more. When he’s not onstage, Reggi is an acting coach for reality shows on the Oprah Winfrey Network.


The Ideal Theatre Classroom: Learning Styles and Curriculum Development

Shawnda Moss

Level:  All levels of experience
Category:  Curriculum/teaching techniques
Date offered: Thursday, September 13, 2018
Fee: $250
Available for graduate degree credit

Teachers understand that every student who walks through the classroom door is different. Is it possible to teach theatre so that every student is engaged and involved in the curriculum? It is when you understand how students learn. Recognition of different learning styles — and knowing how to teach to those diverse styles — is key to creating the ideal theatre classroom and to understanding how to work with students as performers. The best education occurs when students take ownership in their learning and help to create a positive learning environment that allows all students to contribute and share their experiences.

Instructor: Shawnda Moss teaches in the BYU theatre education program. She has received degrees in directing, theatre education, and theatre for young audiences. While teaching high school full-time, she established a theatre program that became respected statewide in theatre educator circles. She continues to work with secondary theatre students as a curriculum generator, master class instructor, and play director. She created the BYU Theatre Education Curriculum Database and manages development with that valuable resource for theatre educators. She loves to perform and can be seen acting as well as directing on local stages in plays and musicals.


Illustrating Moving Stories: An Illustrator's Guide to Unique Stage Design

Jason LeClairLevel: 201-Intermediate
Category: Tech theatre/design
Date offered: Thursday, September 13, 2018
Fee: $250
Available for graduate degree credit

Directors are illustrators. They create fantastic worlds in which ordinary events take place under extraordinary circumstances. With my experience as a professional illustrator, I have approached theatrical design and artistic direction using the tools I’ve learned in creating a visual story on paper. Since 1999, I have developed some unique methods of making magic happen onstage. This is an opportunity for you to learn some interesting concepts and outside-the-box thinking of what you can do with any theatrical space. Students will create sketches (and perhaps paper models) of a show that they are designing.

Instructor: Jason Robert LeClair has his master’s in art education from University of Florida and is an honors graduate of Massachusetts College of Art and Design with a B.F.A. in media and performing arts. Since 1999, he has been teaching all aspects of the art of theatre. Working in professional theatres as technical director, in community theatres as artistic director and consultant, and in high schools across the state, he has earned a solid local reputation for excellence. President of the Rhode Island Theatre Education Association from 2010 to 2014 and associate member of International Thespian Troupe 7444, LeClair continues to work in the realm of arts education, encouraging the collaborative nature of the theatrical arts.


Corbin Abernathy

Theatre for Social Change Through the Eyes of Bertolt Brecht

Level:  All levels of experience
Category:  Curriculum/teaching techniques
Date offered: Sunday, September 16, 2018
Fee: $250
Available for graduate degree credit

This practical PDI session will focus on the performance techniques of Bertolt Brecht and how to give your students the best opportunity to create work that explores and expresses how they view and feel about the world they inhabit and how to apply the work to theatre for social change presentations. This is wonderful work for all students due to the presentational acting style as opposed to the emotional naturalism/realism of Stanislavski.

Instructor: Corbin Abernathy is a working teaching artist, conductor, clinician, and performer based in Philadelphia with more than 25 years of experience in music and acting in the U.S. and U.K. He holds a B.M. in musical theatre from University of Miami and a M.Perf.A. (Master of Performing Arts) in Drama from Oklahoma City University, and he is grateful to have studied voice, acting, conducting, and dialects with Drew Minter, Janet B. Rodgers, David Pasto, Matthew Mailman, Beth McGuire, and Carolyn Stanford, respectively. Abernathy owns a voice, acting, accent reduction, dialects, and public speaking private studio in Philadelphia. His most recent students attend NYU Tisch School of the Arts, University of the Arts, University of Northern Colorado, and Wichita State University in musical theatre, opera, and theatre. Other students have graduated from Berklee and Peabody, among others, or are working actors in various U.S. markets.


Viewpoints 101: Creating better actors and better shows

Greg HellemsLevel: 201-Intermediate
Category: Movement/Directing
Date offered: Thursday, September 13, 2018
Fee: $250
Available for graduate degree credit

The content of this presentation is geared for attendees with intermediate experience and skills. This six-hour workshop will train you in the physical practice and use of Viewpoints, a movement vocabulary that allows theatre practitioners to explore and express time and space onstage. These practical tools will allow you to create true ensemble, improve your student’s ability to be adaptive and physically creative, and transform your actors into collaborators in the creation of staging. The first part of this session will train you in the basics of Viewpoints vocabulary and how to introduce it. With that experience, you will learn how to build staging through engagement and practice of Viewpoints.

Instructor: Greg Hellems is professor of acting and musical theatre and head of the B.F.A. musical theatre program at Wright State University. As a professional director-choreographer, Hellems works across the U.S. and Canada in regional and educational theatre and for national and international theme parks and cruise lines. He is on the faculty of Interlochen Arts Camp as director-Choreographer for the high school musical production and musical theatre intensive. He received his M.F.A. in directing from University of Cincinnati—CCM. Viewpoints training with Anne Bogart and SITI Company and with Tina Landau as assistant director on several productions.


Leadership Academy 101

EdTALevel: All levels of experience
Category: EdTA training
Date offered: Thursday, September 13, 2018
Fee: $100

Leadership Academy 101 will prepare and train future leaders to serve the Educational Theatre Association mission and membership more effectively. This leadership intensive explores EdTA codes and policies, governance principles, action planning, using SMART goals, problem-solving and knowledge-based decision-making, working effectively with others, applying EdTA’s core values, and effective leadership types and styles. The goal is to develop strong leadership practices that will transfer and apply to various levels: school, troupe, chapter, and national.


Main Stage Adjudication Workshop

EdTA

Category: EdTA training
Date offered: Sunday, September 16, 2018
Fee: Free of charge. Enrollment required.

This workshop provides emerging and experienced adjudicators a practicum in main stage adjudication for certification and recertification. It takes practice to learn how to phrase comments for directors who are highly protective of their productions. The adjudication forms include summative assessment benchmarks that provide recommendations for directors to use as lessons for future productions with their students and for EdTA staff to determine whether to invite schools for main stage production. An effective adjudicator requires: extensive knowledge of all styles and types of theatre, a sensitivity to students’ ages and abilities, an understanding of the physical theatre (including the limitations of school physical plants), and an ability to write comments that encourage qualitative improvement and progress in the art of theatre. After viewing videos of high school productions, participants will practice writing effective critiques, discuss these, and edit them based on feedback of how a director might view the comments.

Instructor: Gai Jones is founder of California Youth in Theatre and Theatre Teachers Bootcamp. She graduated from Oklahoma College for Women, which offered a specialized bachelor of arts in speech and drama, and was the first woman to complete an M.A. in theatre at CSU Fullerton. She taught theatre at El Dorado High School for 34 years. On her retirement, the black box theatre was named Gai Jones Theatre. She has served on the boards of CETA and DTASC and as chapter director of California Thespians. She now serves on the EdTA board of directors as incoming vice president/president and as co-chair of the EdTA Development Committee. She received the EdTA President’s Award and is an adjunct assistant professor at CSU East Bay, writes theatre education books, directs, and is a guest artist and inspirational speaker at various conferences as well as an arts provider and SAG/AFTRA member. 


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