Workshops are 90 minute drop-in courses available to all registered EdTA National Conference delegates.

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Breaking Down Accents, Rose

High school theatre students are frequently asked to work with accents and dialects, from main stage productions to improv clubs. Teachers often feel overwhelmed and unable to teach accents. This workshop will give teachers the tools and confidence they need to teach accents in a fun and engaging way.


Conquering Theatrical Style: Acting in Classical Theatre, Mooney

What factors make you the most powerful actor onstage? What are the two most fundamental responsibilities of the actor? Is it possible to increase your accessibility by 75 percent? What is the three-second rule? In short: How can you improve your presence? Through a series of live, hands-on exercises, Mooney explores the fundamental nature of language and bridges the gap between the classics and our modern sense of realism, demonstrating that the distinction between realism and believability, while finding the modern connection to theatrical conventions that brings them alive.”


Device Theatre: Your Phone as Rehearsal Partner, B. Moss

Students often struggle when given time to work independently. They are not sure what to do, other than run a script. This workshop will give you ideas on how to work elements of performance individually or in symphony, using any device with an audio recorder. Learn how to guide students through a process that bring detail and specificity to their independent work time.


Have Fun or Quit: Making the Conscious Choice, Hamilton

This workshop is about finding the fun in every step of your journey — as educators, artists, and beyond. This interactive class invites teachers to choose new ways to bring fun into the classroom, the theatre, and our daily lives.


Playback Theatre in the Classroom, Hensley

This interactive workshop explores Playback Theatre techniques for the classroom. Playback is an improvisation-based technique that transforms real-life stories into theatre pieces. Using National Core Arts Anchor Standards as a framework, participants will conceive, perform, understand, and relate to Playback Theatre as a teaching pedagogy and a way to develop artistic literacy. Topics include an overview of Playback, National Core Arts Standards, training in Playback techniques, and a review of how this genre connects to the Common Core.


Produce a Stress-Free Improv Show, Hoare

Produce a fast-paced, user-friendly improv show with minimum risk. Receive guidelines, show rules, marketing tips, and numerous game lists from someone who has produced more than 100 high school improv shows. Improv helps students to connect with their creativity and spontaneity, as well as to develop confidence and a sense of humor. It emphasizes cooperation and teamwork, and it trains actors to enjoy rather than fear taking risks. These same improv techniques can be used to develop comic and dramatic scripts. Improv shows can also provide a great source of additional revenue for conferences and production costs.


Side-coaching in the Classroom, Reggi

Viola Spolin coined the term “side-coaching.” It was her method of assisting her students — in the moment — while playing her Theater Games. It is as much a skill as it is an art. In addition, the side-coach has to be familiar with the advanced levels of playing. This means a good side-coach must have a substantial amount of experience playing Spolin’s Theater Games. In this workshop, we explore the art of side-coaching.


The Stanislavski Method: Finding Your Images, Hopkins

Explore the process of art and the movement of life through the lens of emotion and empathy. Engaging in activities based on the Stanislavski method, build your knowledge and repertoire with activities that teach students to connect with real emotion and portray truth onstage. In this hands-on workshop, participants will engage in a creative forum to explore human and artistic potential.


Monologue Mondays: Setting Up Your Auditions for Success, Rickman

In this workshop, you will learn ideas, plans, and activities for teaching your students how to have solid auditions. We will be handing you a nine-week plan for improving your students’ audition techniques through monologue selection, memorization, characterization, and critique. This lesson, which I incorporate year-round, has enhanced the rigor of my auditions and given my students the confidence and the tools they need to audition for college programs and be offered scholarships.



Building a Successful Arts Advocacy Day, ALN Team

Students and teachers are our most powerful advocates for theatre and other arts education. Organizing them into a grassroots movement that actively engages policy-makers and legislators can help educate decision-makers and promote access to high-quality arts education for students in districts statewide. In this session, learn how you can make a difference by launching an arts advocacy day event in your state. Members of EdTA’s Advocacy Leadership Network will introduce their recently completed online “Guide to Building an Arts Education Advocacy Day,” share their event experiences, and engage in a Q&A with attendees.


Talking Advocacy: A Dialogue with the EdTA Advocacy Leadership Network, ALN Team

In 2017, EdTA launched the Advocacy Leadership Network, an initiative to train and empower adult members in grassroots advocacy. The goal of the ALN is to create an effective network of EdTA state affiliates, with representatives who advocate for access to theatre and other arts education for all students, taught by qualified professionals. In this session, ALN members talk about the work they’ve been doing, then facilitate breakout groups for a Q&A dialogue with attendees about their state and district advocacy concerns and how other states can become members.



Put the Pro in Your Programs, Arnegger

Join Playbill’s director of education to learn the power of PLAYBILLder. Explore this online publishing tool that can help promote your productions by incorporating the Playbill brand in your arts program. Through a live PLAYBILLder demonstration, we will also discuss fundraising, advertising, sponsorship deals, and social media. Whether you’re a PLAYBILLder beginner or an expert, this workshop is the chance to explore topics that can usher in new opportunities to help build sustainability in your arts program.


Video in the Theatre Classroom, Gore

Video resources can be a powerful tool in the theatre classroom for both a student’s learning and a teacher’s professional growth, but finding videos that are standards-aligned and created specifically for the theatre classroom can be challenging. This workshop will take participants through a hands-on, interactive experience with a wide variety of theatre-related video resources and curriculum materials. A featured resource will be Educate.Today, an interactive website partnering with the EdTA to provide theatre-related video resources, print materials, and publication opportunities for elementary through high school classrooms.



What They Need to Know: From High School to College, Miller

Freshman theatre majors often experience a big shock when they arrive on campus, not only with college in general but also with theatre department classrooms, shops, and stages. Based on personal experience — and data from more than 250 students, alumni, academics, and working professionals — this workshop is a guide for high school students planning to go to college theatre programs. What critical information do students need? I will prepare you to prepare them.



Assessment Evidence: Objective Ways to Assess Progress, S. Moss

We know theatre must be assessed like any other subject, but it’s tricky to evaluate something so subjective — or is it? Learn how to create valid, strong assessments for your drama classes. We’ll dive into the pros and cons of various assessments and go through practical assessment advice in generating formal summative and formative assessments such as rubrics, tests and quizzes, worksheets, and creative interpretive writing. Take your assessments beyond the participation grade and provide tangible evidence of your students’ progression in theatre.


Collaboration: Optimal Teamwork, Maximum Success, S. Moss

There are challenges to collaboration, but it is clear that, when done right, there is success. The goal is to create an expectation of teamwork that brings together separate individuals who not only cooperate with each other but also inspire and affect each other to produce a cohesive and successful product and experience. In addition, it’s a 21st century skill we need to model and practice with our students. When we collaborate, we can join Lin-Manuel Miranda in saying, “The fun for me in collaboration is, one, working with other people just makes you smarter.”


EdTA High School Theatre Educator Evaluation Workbook, EdTA Workbook Team

Theatre educators need to be evaluated in a reliable way that promotes an understanding of their practice and defines professional development needs. Further, that evaluation needs to be based on state or national theatre standards. In this session, learn about EdTA’s recently completed Theatre Educator Evaluation Workbook, an editable online PDF guide for teachers and those who evaluate them. The presenters will begin with an overview of the purpose and value of the workbook, its format, and standards foundation. Attendees will then get a hands-on look at the guide, from both teacher and administrator perspectives. Bring your computer and be prepared to reflect and write.


Exploring Changing Policies: Advocacy in Changing Times, Vaughn

With a new chapter underway in the U.S. educational and political landscape, the arts education field is rethinking its positions in D.C., state capitals, and communities across the country. Americans for the Arts and EdTA’s Advocacy Leadership Network have been working to resist policies that may negatively impact arts education and to enhance policies that increase equity and access to high-quality arts learning experiences. Join this session to learn the latest news from the nation’s capital, trends from the states, and how you can use your voice to advance theatre education in your classrooms, statehouses, and D.C.


Managing the Chaos Together: Developing Classroom Atmosphere, Abernathy

This session will focus on developing teaching artists and classroom teachers as co-leaders by learning a common set of techniques, best practices, and language designed to manage the necessary chaos that is a drama classroom. Bonus materials include lesson planning, connecting arts and academic national standards, and self-assessment tools.


The Model Curriculum Framework Project: Defining the Framework, Bolinsky, Palmarini, Wilkerson

In 2017, EdTA received an NEA grant for the Model Curriculum Framework Project, a yearlong initiative that paired 24 theatre educators and teaching artists to create replicable high school lessons and assessments. The initiative is also working toward creating a digital framework that articulates the elements and principles of high school theatre education: the fundamental knowledge and skills that students need to know and do to achieve theatre literacy. In this focus group-style session, attendees are invited to review the framework draft presented and engage in an open dialogue about their perspectives on what it should and should not include.


The Model Curriculum Framework Project: Instructional Lessons, MCFP Team

In 2017, EdTA received an NEA grant for the Model Curriculum Framework Project, a yearlong initiative that paired 24 theatre educators and teaching artists. The teams participated in professional development focusing on a standards-based curriculum framework, instruction, and assessments, which culminated in replicable lessons addressing theatre knowledge, skill, and learning. This fall, those lessons will be tested in classrooms to gather evidence of student learning to be shared as part of EdTA’s effort to create meaningful professional development. In this session, team members will discuss their project lesson and reflect on the teacher-teaching artist collaboration, including a Q&A with attendees.


Prospero and Ariel: An Active Approach to Discovering Relationship, Giroux

This workshop will focus on uncovering the relationship between two characters. Learn strategies for getting students on their feet, engaging with Shakespeare’s text, to discover meaning, character, and the dynamics of a relationship. The session will focus on the characters Prospero and Ariel from The Tempest, but the tools used in the workshop can be applied to any play and characters.


Running a Successful Middle School Theatre Program: Fairy Lights, MTI, and Namaste, McDaniel

Middle school students are not just mini-high school students. Middle school and junior high theatre teachers unite! In this workshop, we will explore the top 10 things you will need to create or run a successful middle school theatre program. From the atmosphere in your classroom and how it affects your students daily, to choosing your musical or play, to creating additional leadership opportunities for middle school students, you are sure to walk away with some tips and tricks you can take back to your classroom on Monday.


Think Like an Artist: Using the Creative Process to Teach, Brown

This interactive workshop will explore how education at the Guthrie Theater inspires students to Think Like an Artist, encouraging them to apply the creative process to real-life situations and to inspire them to choose new pathways to success. Arts and theatre activities are often only used in language arts and drama classes, but these education tools can help teachers in many disciplines by challenging their students to approach problems and to find solutions from a different perspective.



Creating Devised Theatre, Pizzarello

Devised work has become a catchall term for student’s making their own work. In reality, though, there are very clear methods and practices that streamline this process, making the work better, easier to make, and richer. Playwright, teaching artist, and New York theatre-maker Jason Pizzarello will give you clear sequences and exercises sure to make your devising practice even better and use your students’ innate talents to their maximum.


Just Out of Sight: Creative Solutions to Epic Storytelling, PigPen Theatre Co.

PigPen Theatre Co. began creating their unique blend of performance while training together at Carnegie Mellon University. Ten years, two critically acclaimed productions, and two full albums later, they continue to focus their skills as a groundbreaking theatre company and band. In this presentation, they will walk through the importance of keeping things just out of sight in devising work for the stage. Through ensemble collaboration, music, puppetry, and imagination, PigPen will show you how they devise their original tales and use what little they have around them to tell epic and lasting stories.


Respecting, Interpreting, and Staging TextsFallon

This hands-on workshop will explore textual interpretation and staging in a fun, energetic setting. Through a series of short exercises in which groups are asked to undertake rapid interpretation and rudimentary staging of texts, we will explore many different ways in which the same text can be produced. With an approach both rigorous in its principles and highly interactive in its practice, we will awaken each other’s creative impulses while respecting the writer’s words.


A Sense of Style: Historical Plays, Daehn

This studio-style workshop focuses on how to convey the specific style of the world of the historical play based on given circumstances and social conventions of the period. Included will be on-your-feet work with text from the Greeks, Shakespeare, Molière, and high comedy like Oscar Wilde.


Shakespeare’s Nuts and Bolts for Middle School and High School, Goodchild

The idea of mounting Shakespeare can sometimes feel daunting, impossible, and just downright challenging: from the worries of accessibility and relevance, to wondering if a Shakespeare play can sell seats. Goodchild has mounted eight Shakespeare productions, knows your fears, and wants to help. Learn processes for producing and directing Shakespeare, to bring the Bard to life and to relevance for your students and audiences through carefully constructed activities and structures. By the time you finish the class, you will have a plan and the confidence to tackle any Shakespeare project.


Staging a Show: Techniques for Capturing Creativity, Whiting

Learn tips and techniques used on Broadway that simplify staging a show and capturing creativity. Director-choreographer Jeff Whiting demonstrates from his work on numerous Broadway shows (Bullets over Broadway, Big Fish, Hairspray, The Scottsboro Boys) how staging can be effectively used to tell the story in plays and musicals. Having worked alongside five-time Tony-winning director Susan Stroman for more than 11 years, Whiting shares insight and tricks used by Broadway insiders to get the most out of your staging and the best ways to save time and create an atmosphere of creativity in rehearsal.


Tell the Story: Helping Student Directors Find Their Way, Streeter

This workshop explores how to support student directors and considers strategies to help them to tell the story clearly through blocking. Using drama strategies and visual thinking techniques, we will explore the tools of directing to tell the story. The activities can be used in a theatre classroom to teach directing and support student directors in learning the craft. This workshop is participatory.


Viewpoints: A Director’s Shortcut, Hellems

This workshop is for attendees with a working knowledge of Viewpoints, a movement vocabulary that allows theatre practitioners to explore and express time and space onstage. We will help you to use Viewpoints to specifically attack challenges in staging, with either large ensembles or small groups. The first part will be a quick overview of Viewpoints vocabulary. In the second part, we will look at shorthand methods to break down any stage moment or musical number into a structure that will allow the director to use actors as collaborators in efficiently creating the staging.



Adaptive Theatre for All Abilities, Linton

Join the artistic director of Denver’s award-winning Phamaly Theatre Company to explore adaptive techniques for incorporating performers with diverse abilities in the classroom, onstage, and backstage. Re-envision disability as a creative asset and adaptive skill that can enhance American theatre.


The Socially Conscious Theatre-Maker, Kochuba

What does it mean to be a socially conscious theatre-maker? While this discussion is happening in the professional market, we believe it is imperative to also take place at the educational level, where many teachers and students are already championing for change. Join Samuel French for a conversation about what it means to make conscious artistic choices, how to achieve your goals, and more.


Teaching Diversity Through Dress-up, Daehn

This interactive workshop uses traditional diversity awareness and sensitivity exercises with Halloween-costumed characters instead of potentially awkward ethnic and racial classroom demographics.



Let’s Have a Brawl, LeClair

From the bar fight in Othello to Peter Pan’s Lost Boys taking on a crew of pirates, multi-person, hand-to-hand combat is a complex and exciting way to engage an audience in live theatre. In this workshop, participants will learn the basics of choreographing multi-person fight sequences with three or more players, throwing punches at each other safely and with great effect. These scenes can transport an audience into another world where emotions run high, but the actors are in full control.


The 12-Step Program, Curl

Musical theatre dance is made of the same basic dance steps, done in a different order with a different arm. Learn the basics of musical theatre dance that you can incorporate into your programs and musicals. Be prepared (not scared) to move and come with a willingness to participate. In this interactive class, you will learn the basics of musical theatre dance that can be configured in a multitude of ways.



Puppetry Playshop for Teachers and Directors, Baumgartner

Open new doors to creativity and connection using the magic of puppetry. As puppetry is an art and craft for all theatre-makers, all creative humans are invited. This means you. Participants will have a blast working (and playing) as they dive into puppetry basics: definition of puppetry as theatre history and global theatre; overview of the basic types of puppets; actor to puppeteer transformation exercises; transfer of energy work; puppetry manipulation skills via object puppets; ensemble puppetry through scene work. Come ready to move and play.



Social Justice Theatre: A Vehicle for Student Voices, Lane

Jo Lane will model a truncated version of the development process for Middleton High School's Social Justice Forum and Roosevelt's Social Justice Festival, then have participants create their own pieces to share, including multimedia.


Speaking Truth to Power, Sklaire Watson

Theatre has a direct link to social change as a means of communication. Ariel Dorfman’s play Voices from Beyond the Dark: Speak Truth to Power, designed for RFK Human Rights, is a tool to address human rights issues. This workshop will guide students to understand the journey of human rights defenders, from oppression to speaking truth to power. Monologues written by well-known human rights activists and everyday defenders are explored through theatrical exercises (including Role on Wall, exercises from Theater of the Oppressed, tableaus, and personal journey exploration), culminating in a presentation.



Everything You Need to Know About Licensing, Prignano

Learn everything you need to know to make your next MTI show painless, fun and affordable. We’ll address frequently asked questions about the process in a candid and supportive environment. MTI’s licensing experts will also provide tips on lowering royalties, managing your account, and understanding certain restrictions. This is an invaluable workshop, regardless of your experience as a director.


Fundraising and Grant Writing 101, Fundraising and Grant Writing team

Join us for a great forum of fundraising techniques and strategies to win grants. We will begin with a quick review of techniques and appeals that Thespian troupes and chapters are using to earn more money and increase donations for school theatre programs. Lots of fundraising channels will be discussed, including appeals, booster clubs, special events, crowdfunding, and ticket and advertising sales. We will end with a collaborative session for you to learn about finding grant opportunities and writing winning proposals. Participants will have an opportunity to search through grant databases and begin the process of grant applications.


Get the Attention You Want: Marketing Your Program, Lundgren

Leverage your brands (school, drama club, show, and International Thespian Society) to raise the profile of your program and activities. This session will provide real-world examples, hands-on learning, and templates you can take with you to promote your show and your theatre program.


Inspiration Workshop, Schultheis

In this interactive workshop, we will discover, explore, and share our curiosities. Through movement, writing, and play, we will discover ways to awaken our inspirations.


Producing the Money, Lucio

A deeper look at budgets, revenue streams, recoupment strategies, and all things financial about your production, from a Broadway producer’s perspective. This workshop looks at the numbers and emphasizes how they might empower the teacher or student producer to make better financial, marketing, and general overall decisions for their show, season, and program.


Quick and Easy Websites, DiVito

It’s never been easier to create a website for your drama club than it is today, with the many free and inexpensive resources on the internet. Learn the ins and outs of building an online home to promote your productions and communicate with your participants. The session will cover current design trends, promotional strategies, and integrating social media — a must for increasing awareness and attendance in today’s landscape. Attendees will leave with the tools to build a website with their students and how to get more traffic to increase ticket sales.


Technology Resources for Musical Theatre, Horowitz and Warner

Realtime Music Solutions is an industry leader in technology for musical theatre. In this workshop, we’ll explore resources to assist with your rehearsal process, enhance your orchestral sound, and do more with what you already have. Our experience runs the gamut from Broadway and West End producers to Cirque du Soleil to amateur and school productions on six continents. We’ll have a free form discussion of how to put on a musical when you have limited access to a band or other musical supports.



What Do All Those Knobs Do?, Fowler

This workshop focuses on the basics of an audio system, comparing it to a road trip. We will address: audio destinations (mains, monitors, effects speakers, backstage announce/monitors, and other destinations); audio sources (mikes, playback, direct inputs, and other sources); different components (mixing console, signal processing, sources, amps, speakers, and other gear); goals and responsibilities of different members of the audio crew; and the differences between analog and digital consoles. We will then see how these items combine to make a performance more enjoyable for your audience and more efficient for your performers and technicians.


Aging Made Easy, Flaharty

The hardest makeup to do is old age: learning to blend shadows and highlights to create a three-dimensional wrinkle. This demonstration will cover the different stages of aging and how to accomplish the look using new techniques on an actor of any age, on any stage. This workshop is 90 minutes long, but you could walk out 50 years older.


Navigating Theatre Safety, Tackett and Huneycutt

A look into simple, effective, and cheap ways to begin every production the correct way — safely.


Special Effects Makeup for the Stage, Flaharty

Discover the newest makeup products that will give you the best special effects onstage. We’ll look at blood products, latex, flesh gel, collodion, and more. The instructor will demonstrate on participants and share his experience working in shows with these products as well as answer questions about your productions and characters.


Sculpting Dramatic Space, Young

During this interactive session, participants will create a sculptural stage space using various easy-to-find materials. Upon completion of the project, participants will add scale figures and dramatic lighting, then photograph the projects. As a group, we will discuss how our perception of the stage environment changes, based on scale figures and lighting.


Technical Theatre Forum, Onik

This workshop allows you to discuss technical theatre issues for your space — from the space itself to specific design and construction concerns. In an informal setting, we will discuss the issues as a group and provide options or solutions that may help you as you move forward in your design, construction, and resolution phases. Group input is encouraged and promoted.



Footloose: Idea to Screen to Stage, Pitchford

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Broadway’s Footloose, award-winning songwriter-screenwriter-director-novelist Dean Pitchford will discuss the birth of the iconic film and stage musical. Sharing behind-the-scenes stories about the movie and show, Pitchford will explore his inspiration for the screenplay, his collaborations (with artists like Kenny Loggins, Sammy Hagar, and Michael Gore), the art of screen-to-stage adaptation, and the enduring success of Footloose. Pitchford will also touch upon his career as a Broadway performer, his work as lyricist of Carrie, and his recent success as an author of books for young readers.


Hip-Hop Theatre: Finding Your Voice Through Verse, Glover

Participants will be introduced to Shakespeare’s sonnets in a modern innovative way: through hip-hop. They will also be introduced to different methods of writing in verse. The workshop will conclude with a play written by the participants.


How to  Teach Plywrighting and Write When You Don’t Want To, Cariani

If you don’t like to write, this workshop is for you. If you experience writer’s block, this workshop is for you. If you think you could never help anyone write a play, this workshop is for you. This 90-minute session includes exercises to get you motivated, unblocked, unstuck, and inspired — exercises to free you from your mind and connect you to the “play” in “playwright.” It won’t teach you how to write a play, or how to teach others how to write a play, but it will teach you exercises to get you started and help you get others started.


The Sonnet Man: Hip-Hop Shakespeare Writing, Glover

Participants will be introduced to Shakespeare’s sonnets in a modern innovative way: through hip-hop. We will study the structure and makeup of a Shakespearean sonnet (their components, values, and meaning), as well as write our own. The workshop will conclude with a presentation by the participants.