Posts Tagged ‘Catherine Anderson’


Northeast Educational Theatre Festival

December 21, 2017
USM, Gorham

The Northeast Educational Theatre Festival at USM, Gorham, January 19-20, will offer a full slate of professional development workshops for teachers with some useful and exciting programs. Professional development workshops will be offered in all five sessions of the weekend, two sessions in the afternoon of Friday, January 19 and three in the morning and afternoon of Saturday, January 20.
Check out the workshop descriptions below and visit the Northeast Website for more information about the Festival, or contact Rick Osann, for more information.. Bring your students or come on your own!

Teacher Professional Development Workshops

Jim Palmarini

Advocating for Advocacy: Strategies for Achieving Positive Change
Presenter: Jim Palmarini, Educational Theatre Association
Join EdTA Director of Educational Policy James Palmarini for a discussion about the state and local policies, issues, and legislation that impact theatre education in New England and how you can build relationships with the key stakeholders and organizations that can help you effect positive change. We’ll move into a roundtable dialogue in which attendees can share their specific advocacy challenges and successes and wrap up with a “next steps for change” brainstorming exercise.

Rick Osann

Writing Meaningful Standards for Performance
Presenter: Rick Osann, Bonny Eagle High School

Having trouble writing meaningful standards that really get to the heart of what you want your students to learn? We’ll review the language in a variety of standards, performance indicators and rubrics (tasks), then observe a student performance and try to write our own language to identify what we wanted the student to learn. We’ll also try to find clear language to identify what differentiates “Meets” (3) from “Partially Meets” (the dreaded 2 or 2.5). We hope you will come out of this with some practical assessments you can use in your classroom.

Hannah Cordes


The Play’s The Thing: Acting Shakespeare
Presenter: Hannah Cordes, Portland Stage

The focus of this workshop will be activating Shakespeare’s language through play and on-your-feet activities. We will explore the use of language, status, group play, rhetoric, physical storytelling, and more!

Ovations Offstage: Tableaus of Courage: How to Help Students Engage with Complex Content through Theater
Presenter: Catherine Anderson, Portland Ovations

Catherine Anderson

Ovations Offstage Director Catherine Anderson will introduce workshop participants to Ovations Dynamic School-Time Performance Series for 2018-19, and model for teachers how to help students engage with any story, or content (fictional or not) through the use of the “tableau”. Tableau is a wordless theater activity for small groups of students that can be adapted for any age group. Participants will leave with a lesson plan with clear learning targets, and assessment criteria. Most recently Catherine presented this workshop to over three hundred eight graders at Scarborough Middle School to help students integrate and grapple with concepts of discrimination and segregation as part of their unit on Japanese Internment Camps.


Ovations Offstage

December 20, 2017

Cool stuff happening for Maine kids

I had the pleasure recently of meeting with Catherine Anderson, Ovations Offstage director at Portland Ovations. Portland Ovations is one of the Maine Arts Commission’s recipients of the Arts Learning grant for the 2017-18 school year. The programming that Ovations Offstage has in place for learners is engaging, thought provoking, and creative. It is clear that Catherine is always thinking, planning, and considering ideas that will ‘light kids up’ to learning. Catherine came to Ovations three years ago after teaching Language Arts at King Middle School for 14 years. She is energetic and clearly focuses on what is best for learning and the learner. Thanks to Catherine for providing the information and images below that paints a picture of the opportunities that took place earlier this school year.

Ovations Offstage’s Cultivating Curiosity: Story to Stage programming incorporated arts integration built around the theatrical presentation of childhood literary classics (“Guess How Much I Love You” & “I Love My Little Storybook”) to promote early passion and understanding for the performing arts and pre/early literacy skills earlier this fall. The project supported these goals through professional development for early childhood educators in the summer, in-class pre-performance workshops with several area schools and post-performance workshops with the performing artists and their magical puppets from Nova Scotia. 

Mushroom man – professional developme

The programming began with a delightful group of eager-to-play early childhood educators coming together to learn how to turn any story into a play in any classroom with even the most limited resources. We were particularly inspired by their willingness to look at stories they might be very familiar with in a completely new way.  Visiting  the classroom is always a thrill for our teaching artists. This fall’s visits to Kaler Elementary in South Portland, and the kindergarteners in North Yarmouth was no exception. Students pre-and post-assessment activities showed a rather sophisticated understanding of the similarities between an actor and character in a story!

Professional development for educators

We were very proud of our ability to place a hard copy of the book “Guess How Much I Love You” in the hands of all of the students who attended the play. Building a home library, and having an anchor-text for an entire class is so important to early literacy acquisition.  What was most challenging for us was the fact that even with the finding in place to provide the books to students we still had empty seats in the Merill Auditorium. The thought that there were many young people out there who could not attend because their teachers or administrators did not have access to transportation, or the subsidized tickets is always hard for us to accept.

Our future dreams are to provide at least three to four offerings like this with books for a full house of students from across the state and  a gaggle of teaching artists on board ready to work with any classroom ready and willing to turn their own stories into a play!

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