Teaching Drama

Links Craig Likes – 9/25/11

Here’s my weekly list of links around the Internet that I think you’ll like!

BlogCEA (from the Connecticut Education Association) has posted some links to NEA resources you might find handy. The resources include Discipline Tips for Drama Teachers, as well as some current grant opportunities

Check it out here.

Theatre and Education Partnership a Win-Win

Problem 1

The Vancouver School Board has an excess number of buildings, including one recently gutted by a fire.

Problem 2

Theatre in Education company Green Thumb Theatre needs a new home.

The Solution!

Green Thumb Theatre will renovate the school to create a new home for themselves, creating a unique partnership.

This is a fantastic use of resources on both sides and will surely benefit everyone.

Should the theatre company be successful in raising the requisite funds, it plans to repair the roof of the school house and renovate the building to make use of two rehearsal halls, washroom facilities and six parking spots. A nearby outbuilding will be renovated to be used for administrative offices.

Once the buildings have been upgraded, Green Thumb Theatre is planning to hold drama workshops with neighbourhood students. The close proximity of Green Thumb’s rehearsal space will allow classes to visit actors to learn more about educational theatre production.

Read about this new partnership here.

Wall Street Journal: “A Matter of Voice”

The Wall Street Journal posted a fascinating article about Cicely Berry, the Royal Shakespeare Company’s voice director for the past 42 years.

It’s important to note that the techniques referred to in the article don’t just apply to seasoned professionals, they can also apply to actors at all levels – even middle school and high school.

Ms. Berry’s objective: to help actors meld their voices with Shakespeare’s. Her methods: varied. She’s been known to ask would-be Hamlets to rehearse while kicking beer bottles or throwing chairs. She’s importuned performers to speak while others are impeding their movement, and to repeat certain significant words. In a final exercise before the lunch break, Fiasco member Emily Young delivered Ophelia’s monologue while desperately attempting to attract the attention and empathy of her peers, who’d all been told to shake her off and head in another direction.

“We want the modern actor to make Shakespeare sound as though it’s being spoken for now,” Ms. Berry explained over a sandwich. “But we also want to honor all the resonances, which are part of the meaning of text.”

Read about her here.

The second annual celebration of National Arts in Education Week is over, but you can still read the Americans for the Arts special series on their blog. Contributing artists were asked to write on the topic “Career Development for Students and the Role of Arts Education.”

Read the posts here.

About the author

Craig Mason