This past weekend I was the Florida Association of Theatre Educators Conference. It took place in Melbourne FL and was RIGHT on the Atlantic OCEAN. Folks, I do not use the all caps lightly. I think about it long and hard before I switch to internet yelling. But Holy Cow, I’ve never seen the ocean before and the power of it was stunning, breathtaking and in the archaic sense of the word, AWESOME.
I experienced some great moments at the conference…..
Oh wait, you probably wanted theatre education moments. I keep getting distracted by the waves…..
Sorry, sorry, sorry. Theatre education moments. Right. I have such a soft spot for the teachers in Florida. It was the first place we really hit our stride. The teachers have always been highly supportive of Theatrefolk and of my work. The majority of all my new play testing goes on in Florida, mostly because they’re the teachers who actually express interest! They’re energetic and enthusiastic and (for the most part) love sharing theatre with students. That’s the best part. Florida has been hit with some major school cuts and it’s heartbreaking to see the distress in the faces of the teachers. Given the situation, I was rather leery about going to the conference, but still everyone was so nice and there were so many memorable moments.
- Had a wonderful talk with a teacher who started his program (as in there was no drama program before him) four years ago with Hamlette being the first play he ever directed. He asked me to sign some copies of Alice so he could send them to the two students who were in the play and were instrumental in getting the program started. I was so thrilled to play a part in the story.
- Another teacher told me that he went to his District competition for the first time this past year. He used mostly Theatrefolk material, which is great, and was told ‘this is your first time so don’t be disappointed if you don’t get anything.’ He took 13 kids and they came away with 8 Superiors!
- I got a lot of feedback on our newsletter. The newsletter is my baby and I’m always concerned that there’s not enough material, not enough practical information or exercises. It feels good to hear teachers are reading it and using it!
- Another teacher shared with me how everyone in her class interpreted the same monologue from one of our monologue books. When she asked them if they wanted to do the whole play, the whole class raised their hand.
- Had some long talks with a teacher who is testing a one act for me next month. It’s about censorship and I’m very interested to see it in action.
And lastly many many thanks to Diana Price (otherwise known as mom). There were three conferences this weekend and not enough bodies to fill them. My mom scarified herself (ok, maybe the ocean had something to do with it) and was a huge help this weekend. Thanks Mom!
I was very excited to learn the conference is going to be in the same location next year.
I don’t think I’m ever going to get my fill of looking at that water.
Simply Amazing. And Awesome. Now if only all conferences were held in a location like this……