The following workshops were presented at the 2017 National Conference.
for Advocacy: EdTA’s Advocacy
Leadership Network, Helen Duranleau-Brennan, Michael Fischer, Alison Johnson, Jennifer Morgan-Beuchat, Teri Turner, Jim Palmarini.
EdTA launched a pilot initiative this year to train and to
empower its members in grassroots advocacy of theatre and arts education. The
Advocacy Leadership Network selected 10 chapter representatives and will select
another 10 in 2018. The three-year goal is to create a self-sustaining network
of state affiliates who monitor and share arts education policies, legislation,
and advocacy successes with each other, their chapter leadership, and fellow
members. In this workshop, meet the ALN members, find out what they’ve been
doing, and share your thoughts and questions.
nexus: A Palette for Interdisciplinary Instruction, Michael Daehn
history and civics through the arts. Teaching chemistry and physics through the
arts. Teaching philosophy and math through the arts. You can teach any subject
by using the multifaceted lens of the arts to engage student interest and
achievement, emphasizing how all academic areas are interconnected with the
arts as the nexus point. Learn to effectively plan arts-based lesson or unit
plans to teach other academic content and to be better able to identify
connections between elements of the arts and non-arts content areas. This
holistic philosophy of education connects rather than isolates different
Assessments are not only the best measurements of student
learning and understanding, they are also vital to a teacher’s ability to gauge
if their instruction is effective. Good teachers know they need constant,
reliable, and varied assessments but sometimes don’t know how to tackle the
subjective nature of evaluating theatre arts or how to give their students
ownership of their learning. We will explore practical objective methods of
assessment that will provide authentic evaluation techniques for your classes,
ranging from group practice and simple writing prompts to performance rubrics
and written tests.
Hot Water while Presenting New Work, Tina Fallon
thorny issue for many educators is how to offer new works without fearing
boycotts or violating copyright. Recent stories have highlighted these risks
but offered few solutions. The Dramatists Guild has been working with LMDA,
SDC, and Actors’ Equity to create guidelines for producers to avoid these
pitfalls. Part of that process is to ask theatre educators: What challenges do
you face in choosing new works to study or
produce? What if you had easier access to playwrights for approvals of script
changes? What resources would help educate your community during a controversy?
Join this frank and open discussion of these ongoing challenges.
for Teacher Burnout, Russ
to Richard Ingersoll’s 2013 study, “Why Do Teachers Quit?,” 40 percent of
teachers leave the profession in the first five years. Theatre teachers often
experience burnout due to an emphasis on testing and accountability, a deep
personal investment to their work, and little financial compensation. Through
discussion and exercises, participants will learn how to develop coping strategies
to manage burnout, how to prevent burnout through planning and preparation, and
why rejuvenation is an integral aspect to self-care and burnout prevention.
a Sensory-friendly Performance, Lauren
Across the country, theatre companies are offering
sensory-friendly performances to include people with autism and other sensory
disabilities. This workshop coaches how to transform productions to accommodate those sensitive to light,
sound, and stimuli. Highlighting the success of sensory-friendly shows in the
Cincinnati area and across the country, this workshop will provide a
step-by-step guide toward this inclusive programming. Experience how it feels
to have sensory disabilities and learn how easily a theatre production can be
tweaked to bring art to everyone.
Safety Culture, Greg
Petruska and Bryan Huneycutt
do you create a culture of safety when we all believe that the show literally
must go on — no matter what happens? We will talk about our shared experiences
in establishing a culture of safety and health awareness, establishing an
environment where solutions are offered instead of saying no, and what to do
when the unexpected happens and the show must indeed go on — safely.
through Viewpoints, Erin
level. This workshop
provides students and teachers with new movement-based methods being developed
that can help to build life skills. By learning kinesthetic response, we can be honest with ourselves and in
our relationships as well as react honestly to the moment as a theatre artist
and as a person. By learning to create your own work while focusing on social
change, an artist earns the ability to stand on their own two feet.
Connections through Theatre
the go-to creative professional in your school by introducing non-arts teachers
to ways they can incorporate creativity and theatre arts into their curriculum
and subject areas. This workshop will show why arts matter in student learning
and will provide tools to help you assist your fellow teachers to find more
opportunities for igniting the creative mind. We will use theatre exercises to
demonstrate learning in core subjects and to practice effective classroom
strategies for elementary, middle, and high school.
Viola Spolin’s Theatre Games,
Spolin’s writings and philosophy influenced not only American theatre, TV, and
film but also the theatre classroom. Yet, few educators understand how to
decode her theatre games. In this workshop, participants will learn the key
principles behind those games and the critical role the side-coach plays in
teaching theatre. Using Experiencing Yes ... And, Give and Take, Emerging Who,
Where and What, and other games, participants will become better acquainted
with the most overlooked parts of Spolin’s pedagogy.
the Intersection of Arts and Sciences, Jeff
M. Poulin, Lucinda Presley, Jim Palmarini.
out of our silos is the trend in American education. How can the skills built
through theatre impact our future scientists, technicians, engineers, and mathematicians?
How can the principles of STEM apply to theatre? In 2013, a movement to incorporate the arts with STEM subjects began to
coalesce and became law in the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015. Join
representatives from EdTA, Americans for the Arts, and the National Innovation
Collaborative to learn more and to try your hand at developing a networked
Theatre and Collaboration,
theatre is a method of creation and collaboration growing in popularity
globally in classrooms and professional theatres. Participants in this workshop
will learn several methods of teaching devised theatre to encourage
collaboration and creativity in their theatre programs as well as across the
Toolbox: Six Basic Tools, James
level. The director
interprets the script and finds a unifying vision that brings a complete and
high-quality production to the stage. They guide the actors through the process
in which they place their imprimatur on the theatrical work of art. The
director has six basic tools to accomplish this: Self, Script, Actors, Space,
Design, and Evaluation.
Throw Away Your Shot: Blending Theatre and History, Laurilea McDaniel and Andy
will learn how to incorporate theatre into a variety of content areas.
Facilitators will give a brief overview of the process for creating scene
presentations. Participants will view videos of students performing
well-researched historical events that include sophisticated examples of
the Funny: Directing Farce,
script analysis and comedy exercises, participants will: learn to heighten and
explore the strategic make-up of a farce, discover how to map out the pre-work
to land a joke; begin to understand and recognize how comedy plays itself out
in many forms, including physical comedy, takes, facial expressions, gibberish,
and even blocking; recognize that comedy success doesn’t necessarily mean
laughs but can also mean engagement of the audience; and return to school with
tools to teach students about intention and main obstacle in comedy.
Look: EdTA’s Theatre Educator Evaluation Workbook, Jim Palmarini
educators need and deserve to be evaluated in a fair and reliable way, based on
state or national theatre standards. In this workshop, learn about EdTA’s new
Theatre Educator Evaluation Workbook, a guide for teachers and those who
evaluate them. We will review the purpose and value of the workbook, its format
and standards foundation, and its current draft status. Participants will break
into review groups with different sections and reconvene to discuss the draft
from teacher and administrator perspectives.
Princess to Gargoyle,
one 10-minute contract talk, I went from princess to gargoyle when I was still
a 29-year-old ingénue.
That was a defining moment in my career, and how I handled it made the world of
difference to the longevity of my career and reputation. Along with basic,
solid advice about the entertainment business, I will share techniques,
recommendations, and valuable information for educators to impart to their
students to enhance their skill set and empower them toward a long, fulfilling
career and a stellar reputation.
to the CORE, Kelsie
how to enhance common core subjects through the power of theatre. This workshop
is geared toward educators who desire to learn new ways to teach key subjects,
such as mathematics and language arts. Participants will leave this workshop
knowing new exercises that they may bring directly into classrooms. All grade
levels are welcome.
Project: Diversity and Inclusion,
the resources, purpose, and mission statement of The Ghostlight Project, this
workshop walks you through a rich teaching experience for your students as you
discuss issues relating to diversity, inclusion, and standing up and fighting
for what you believe in. Lively discussion based on self-reflection is a
guarantee, and you’ll be given plenty of resources to take back to your
classroom to start and to continue this essential conversation with your
to Use TIOS Month to Make a Positive Impact, Sandra Lundgren and Stacy Ardelean
about the joint effort of the American Alliance for Theatre and Education and
EdTA in growing the Theatre in Our Schools campaign to make an impact on
students, schools, and beyond. In a world of increasing need for arts
education, see how theatre educators can use TIOS in their communities for
awareness and advocacy.
Hunchback of Notre Dame,
David Scott and Matt Hagmeier Curtis
Hunchback of Notre Dame
is an epic musical filled with performing and personal growth opportunities for
high school students. Join representatives
from Disney Theatrical Group to learn tips on producing the show. The workshop
will cover exploring the themes of the show with student performers, developing
characters, developing design elements, and ideas on how to incorporate the
production into the wider school community.
Can Do That!, Shira
level. Many teachers
are expected to direct an annual musical. This workshop will focus on how to
effectively choreograph and create formations onstage when you don’t have much
(or any) dance training. You will leave knowing some basic dance movements and
how you can turn these simple steps into a variety of looks to fit your
in the Theatre: Relevant and Radical Shows, Courtney Kochuba
The issues of identity, inclusion, and
representation are ongoing issues in our theatre community. What is the best
way for a high school to approach these topics, while still being appropriate
to their audiences? Join Samuel French for a discussion about what topics need
to be seen onstage, recommended shows to achieve that goal, marketing tips, and
Bring the Car, You Bring the Lights, Aileen
Zeigler and Wade Lanum
you ever had an “I can fix that” moment in technical theatre? Do your students want to be engineers? From robotic ducks to
3-D printed jawbones, the combination of technology and fine arts can elevate
your program. Learn how basic engineering principles like problem-solving,
design, and prototyping can help you establish a long-lasting theatre program.
See how we share resources and engage our students with real-world
applications. Our project-based methodology allows for multilevel classes, and
we’ll demonstrate how we develop our curriculum and send you home with
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.
Service-Learning into Theatre, Chad
level. Have you
struggled with incorporating service-learning into your show? Would you like to
learn how to make service-learning an integral part of the process? I have been
including service-learning projects in my shows to connect with the community,
to teach our students how real people live, and to communicate and enrich the
overall process of creating theatre. Join me to discover how you can reach out
to the community with authentic projects that make a real impact and how to
bring that experience into your performances.
Belong with Batman: Improv as Life Skills, Missy Whitis
you’re waiting until the last few minutes of class, the beginning of rehearsal, or worse, the end of the
school year to teach improv, then you’re doing it wrong. Together, we’ll figure
out why to teach improv and, more importantly, how to teach improv. You’ll
participate in exercises you can use to your advantage to spark immediate
student engagement. Using improv to your advantage truly can increase the
creativity and help produce thoughtful, higher-order-thinking students and cast
members and, in turn, sophisticated performers.
JumpStart Theatre Experience,
core aspect of EdTA’s JumpStart Theatre program are the three “boot camp”
workshops in which participating teachers,
most of whom are non-arts educators, are trained in the fundamentals of
mounting a musical theatre production with students who have little or no
performing arts experience. In this workshop, master instructor Marty Johnson
will put participants on their feet and through some of the “boot camp”
exercises that prepare JumpStart Theatre teachers to cast, rehearse, and stage their
JumpStart Theatre Story,
Dee Anne Bryll, Dr. Sherry Kerr, Julie
2015, EdTA began a pilot program in three Cincinnati-area middle schools. The goal of JumpStart Theatre was to
create a sustainable musical theatre program in schools that previously had
none. Since then, JumpStart Theatre has expanded to include nine schools, and
EdTA is strategizing how to scale up the program to other cities around the
country. In this workshop, hear how and why JumpStart Theatre came into being,
how it works in the schools involved, and what two years of research data tells
us about its impact.
What We Want to Know: Planning
a Survey, Matt
Omasta and Jim Palmarini
this workshop, participants will contribute to the collaborative planning
sessions for a new national survey of theatre arts teachers and school
administrators. We will briefly review the
2012 survey results and discuss what is important to learn from a new survey.
The goal is to provide an opportunity for all to share their voices early in
the research design so the eventual survey will meet the needs of teachers and
Design for Directors,
lighting design into your staging from the start of rehearsals can be a catalyst to creative directing and can
save lots of time at tech rehearsals. This is not a workshop about watts, amps,
and bench focusing but more about concept and creating looks and moods onstage.
During the last part of the session, participants will break into small groups
to block and light a scene from a well-known play.
A to Z: Fundamental to Phenomenal, Warren
shows offering more visually iconic characters, brushing up on your makeup
skills might not be a bad idea. You will learn the basic steps to create
characters from the simplest design to breathtaking specialty makeup.
Demonstrations include character shading and countering, and how to apply a
Theatre: Past, Present, and Future,
do you have in your theatre? This workshop looks at different types of theatre
spaces and discusses recommended maintenance schedules, upgrade and replacement
timeframes, new technology upgrades, and long-term budgeting for these events.
Broadway School Editions,
Learn more about the new TRW Broadway School Edition
titles and new middle school Young@Part titles. Spamalot, Big Fish, Saturday
Night Fever, Ghost, Disenchanted! and We Will Rock You can now be
produced in your high school. Approved changes, creative casting (more girls),
resources for costumes, props, sets, SFX, performance tracks, and projections
will be discussed.
the Edge: Bladed Combat for the Stage,
level. Swashbuckling scenes done right will keep you on the
edge of your seat in the theatre. In this workshop, learn the basics of
fighting with bladed stage weapons. We will cover fighting with swords,
daggers, and knives in a safe environment. Basic form, function of
choreography, and standard positions will be taught. All weapons will be
blunted stage-safe, but the audience doesn’t have to know that. The flash of
the blade and the swish of the air will have them on the edge.
a Little, Talk a Little,
level. Building a
high school program that students flock to is a difficult task and one that
requires a lot of time and energy. After 26 years of directing, I have built a
program that produces high-quality shows that include 25 percent of the student
body. Find out some secrets and share some of your own. This workshop will
allow us all to share our successes and struggles.
101: Successful Fundraising, Sarah
Join Playbill as we explore and create new strategies to
build fundraising opportunities for your school or arts organization. We’ll
tackle platforms such as social media, program development, advertising,
sponsorship deals, and other opportunities to engage your community and help
build sustainability within your arts programs.
Shows Like on Broadway,
Jeff Tidwell and Meredith Lucio
Tony-winning producer Meredith Lucio to learn her strategies for treating your
production like a business, courtesy of ShowTix4U.com. This workshop will
concentrate on developing your show’s mission, marketing plan, production
strategies, management and organization procedures, revenue-building
techniques, and financial planning. Participants will also get to examine an
actual Tony Award.
Out to the Whole Community,
Jim Hoare, Alicia Fuss
Theatre for Young Audiences show presents a wonderful opportunity to entertain
your entire community while introducing young children to live theatre — and to
your theatre program. We will look at published versus original material,
rehearsal and performance practices, and guidelines for presenting a
sensory-friendly performance that is welcoming to children with autism and
other sensory sensitivities.
Rest of Your Life: EdTA Emeritus Members, Gai Jones
from EdTA emeritus members who have used the passion, skills, and knowledge
from their 24/7 lives as educators to develop encore careers and lifelong
volunteer roles. How does one rest after retiring? What am I passionate about?
Do I really want to direct or act? What new ventures have others found
engaging? What opportunities and programs have other emeritus members created?
How do I stay away?
dance steps in six minutes,
Dee Anne Bryll
thought of having to choreograph a section of music or to stage a number can be
daunting. Perhaps you’d like to add a dance unit to your lesson plan. There are
always the issues of limited time and students with a wide variety of training
and interest. This workshop will assist you in taking six simple steps and
putting them together into a combination that will be enjoyable and creatively
challenging for students of all levels of experience. Participants will work
together to develop a variety of lesson plans for class or rehearsal to
incorporate this exercise.
You Got Stuck with a Theatre Class, Jamie
Stephenson and Donnie Bryan
level. How do you
create a theatre program at your school? How do you start teaching theatre?
What do you need to do as a beginning theatre teacher? In this workshop, there
are tips and ideas to help you survive those first years.
Spreading the News: Student-Run Marketing
it be great if a team of 15 students were posting on Facebook, designing
flyers, shooting and editing video commercials on YouTube, and generating
articles in the local newspapers to market your productions with minimal
involvement from you? This workshop will teach you the ins and outs of
promotion and how to build a sustainable marketing team.
in the Every Student Succeeds Act, Jeff
Poulin and Jim Palmarini
people agree that incorporating the arts and other subjects brings about
creativity and innovation to increase well-rounded learning for our students.
However, transitioning from theory to policy to practice is a different story.
Put on your thinking caps and join an in-depth discussion about the federal
policies and local implementation of STEAM — from Congress to your classroom.
Be prepared with your questions and contributions.
Empowerment to Manage the Theatre Classroom, Leslie Van Leishout
today’s classroom, you can expect up to 15 percent of students to have an IEP,
about 10 percent to have 504 accommodations, 5 percent with mental health
concerns, and an ever-increasing number who seem unable to motivate themselves.
This workshop will provide teachers some tools they can use to empower
student’s behavior and academics, to be proactive on the first day of school in
decreasing problem behaviors, to increase engagement from the intentional
non-learner, and to respond with confidence to the most difficult of challenges
in today’s classroom.
Accents: Bringing the Fun, Adam
and dialects are a crucial part of the actor’s toolkit, but they also can be
terrifying. From a student’s perspective, learning accents can be boring and
tedious. This workshop will strip away your fears and show you how to teach
accents in ways that are fun and engaging. You’ll learn how to break down an
accent into key elements (mouth placement, melody, and major sound changes),
how to communicate accent ideas to your students, and how to structure a fun
and engaging practice and rehearsal program. You might even learn a new accent
across the curriculum,
is a powerful tool for teaching, but it is
too often pigeonholed as a special or non-core class. This workshop will show
you how to use your knowledge of theatre as a booster for learning across the
entire curriculum — from English to math to science and beyond. This is a
hands-on, on-your-feet, learn-by-doing workshop guaranteed to be a highlight of
Inside-Out: Playwriting and Performance in Any Subject, Kelleen Nitsch
how to easily put together group theatre projects that facilitate peer learning
and teaching and that can be applied in any classroom with any subject. Theatre
educators will also learn about ways to implement this program at their school.
Theatre Projection Design, Mitch Stark
Create magical worlds on stage. In this workshop, you'll learn all of the important tips to get started using digital animated projections in your theatre. Learn how to gather the right gear for an affordable cost and how to make it work in your unique theatrical space, be it big or small. In addition to the technical basics, you'll learn how to put your creativity to use in building a magical environment for your shows and integrating projections with your existing scenic design.
Veneris, Matt Ringrose
Learn about EdTA’s newest Next Generation Works project:
Filmworks, developed for EdTA by Chris Veneris and Matt Ringrose. Find out what
Filmworks is at ITF and what it can be for your state. Learn the rules and how
you can be a part of this exciting new project.
within the Walls, Tami
Completely royalty-free material can be completely
true. This workshop focuses on the powerful art of devising original theatre.
Using your school community as source material, this workshop will detail how
to create something original, meaningful, and powerful that speaks directly to and about your school's population.