Posts Tagged ‘Portland Stage’

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Teachers’ Night Out

October 20, 2019

Portland Stage

Annually Portland Stage offer a Teachers’ Night Out. The evening begins with a reception in our Theater for Kids space where you will have the opportunity to learn more about our education programming, followed by a complimentary performance for you & a guest to one of our Mainstage productions.

This year the event will take place on Saturday, November 2nd. The reception will begin at 7pm for an 8pm performance. If you would like to attend, email with your name, the name of your guest (if applicable), your school, and the grade(s) and subject(s) you teach. Space is limited, so reserve your spot today!

Professional Development

Portland Stage Professional Development offerings include:
1. Theater and Literacy: using theatrical tools to enhance connections to the written word, encourage character/story recall, inspire active storytelling, and engage further with text.
2. Collaboration and Team-Building

If you have other ideas of ways that our team could connect with you through Professional Development, email us and we would love to brainstorm with you!

In-School Programs

At Portland Stage, we have developed a series of Education Programs for Elementary, Middle, and High School levels that connect to and reinforce State & National Standards. Our In-School programming focuses on building and enhancing literacy, cultural awareness, collaborative play, and creative thinking through a multidimensional approach to learning. All programs are accompanied by a comprehensive resource guide to enhance and support student/teacher engagement. To learn about our programs, click here.

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Portland Stage

October 12, 2019

Interactive Theatre for social change 

Consider providing a unique opportunity for your students to explore the intersection of art and social history? The Maine State Museum and Maine State Library invites you to join Portland Stage for an interactive Theatre for Social Change workshop exploring the images, concepts, and stories of the women’s suffrage movement. The workshop is designed to put the stories of the movement into the hands and hearts of students, allowing them to examine their personal connection to the struggles and victories of the past.  Each workshop session will begin with an educator-led introduction the museum’s exhibition Women’s Long Road – 100 Years to the Vote.

What

Theater for Social Change Workshops led by teaching artists from Portland Stage

Cost: FREE!

When

Monday, October 28 and on Tuesday, October 29 – same workshop each day, choose one date

Time

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM, schools are welcome to stay longer and use our atrium space for lunch

Where

Maine State Museum & Maine State Library both located at 230 State Street, Augusta

Who & How Many 

The workshop is designed for middle & high school students; workshops are limited to 30 students per workshop

Questions/RSVP

Joanna Torow, Chief Educator, Maine State Museum Joanna.torow@maine.gov 207-287-6608

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Theater for Social Change

March 20, 2019

Portland Stage

HIGH SCHOOL INTENSIVE: THEATER FOR SOCIAL CHANGE

Saturday, May 4 | 1PM-4PM
Grades 9-12 | $50
Join Education Director, Hannah Cordes, for a hands-on look at how to use theater tools and techniques to address difficult topics, encourage dialogue, engage communities, and create socially-driven pieces of theater.
Need-based Scholarships Available

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Portland Stage

March 15, 2019

Much Ado About Nothing

Opportunity for students in Grades 7-11!

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Arts Learning Grant Recipient

April 12, 2018

Portland Stage

Portland Stage received a Maine Arts Commission Arts Learning Grant for the 2017-18 school year. Recently I had the pleasure of visiting Lincoln Middle School in Portland where teaching artists from Portland Stage were on site working with grade 8 students. When I walked in I remembered instantly of how much I love teaching middle school. I’m so fortunate to have had this opportunity to see Portland Stage and middle schoolers ‘in action’.

Students shouted out at one another in their best Shakespeare voices: “I do not like your faults.” They attempted to beat their partner with words, to manipulate and convince them. The only rules in one of the word games: 1) be safe 2) gotta win as they learned about understanding Shakespeare. I was impressed with the engagement of the students and wowed by the teaching artists techniques. What a great way to learn about persuasive language.

Portland Stage Teaching Artists: Khalil LeSaldo, Hannah Cordes, Chris Holt, Ella Mock

Portland Stage provides excellent and age appropriate learning opportunities for these young adolescents. Thanks for your good work Hannah Cordes, Portland Stage Education Manager and the other teaching artists working at the school (and in the theatre): Chris Holt, Ella Mock, Khalil LeSaldo, and Megan Tripaldi.

The following information was provided by Hannah Cordes.

Describe the work you’ve been doing with Lincoln Middle School students. 

Every year, we bring the Directors Lab Shakespeare School Tour program to the 7thand 8th grade students at Lincoln Middle School. Students watch a shortened adaptation of a Shakespeare play performed by professional actors and then are invited to explore the story and language of the play themselves in interactive workshops in their classrooms. In these workshops, students practice effective communication, creative collaboration, rhetoric, and critical analysis. Directors Lab puts Shakespeare’s language into the hands and mouths of the students, empowering them to be the artists, directors, and ensemble with the power to interpret the text and produce meaning. We also work with the 6th grade students at Lincoln Middle school through our winter show. This year, 6th grade students came to Portland Stage to see our mainstage production of It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, adapted by Joe Landry. Prior to the performance, we did pre-show workshops in their classrooms with a focus on the play’s story arc and character development, particularly exploring the theme of how an individual can impact an entire community. We find that these workshops enhance student ownership over the language and story of the play. Additionally, many Lincoln students also participate in our In-Theater programming, through camps, after school classes, and other programming.

What language do you hope impacts these students and what language do you want them to walk away with? 

Chris Holt, teaching artist

I hope that our work helps students realize how brilliant they are at understanding and bringing Shakespearean language (and any complicated or dense language, for that matter) alive. The workshops are designed to empower students to feel a connection to the language by using their bodies, voices, and ideas to explore the text.

In terms of specific language, I would love for each student to come away knowing at least one line of text from Julius Caesar. In her feedback, Language Arts teacher Antona Bailey remarked that students were quoting the lines from the play that we used in contrapuntal arguments on the bus! So I would call that a success!

What do you want the learners to remember in the near and/or far future?

The goal of our programming is to enhance literacy and to empower students to be brave with their creativity, so that is always my number one hope of any given program. More simply than that, I hope that Portland Public School students look back on their Portland Stage experiences from K-12th grade and feel connected to art in a meaningful way. I hope that our programming inspires them to seek out theatre and other art forms, as both audience members and artists themselves. I hope that the access to art provided by Portland Stage programming will help shape future generations into people who appreciate and value artistic expression as a means of understanding and investigating the world.

What are the greatest benefits of the work with Lincoln Middle School students/staff?

Hannah Cordes

What I love most about our work with Lincoln Middle School students/staff is that we are able to continue to build relationships and build upon the work that we do both with teachers and students. We interact with students all three years of their Middle School experience, with the intent to build upon the work we have done the previous year. In 6thgrade, we focus on the elements of storytelling (characters, theme, plot, etc.) and how to bring that alive using your voice, body, and imagination. In 7th grade, we engage students with Shakespeare (often their first experience of Shakespeare’s work) through the lens of creative collaboration, exploring how to tell stories as an ensemble. Then in 8th grade, we explore Shakespeare again, this time with a focus on rhetoric and critical analysis, investigating how to make an argument, how theatre engages with its audience, and how the audience/actor interpretation impacts the content of a play. With teachers, I am grateful for the relationships we have created with Lincoln teachers. This allows us to find more and more ways in which Portland Stage can continue to support classroom teachers and how we can make our work even more impactful to teachers and students alike.

STUDENT FEEDBACK

  • “This was the best day ever”!
  • “It was so cool being Brutus, I might seriously be an actor one day”.

TEACHER FEEDBACK 

  • “We used a lot of the resource guide. The comic and synopsis were essential. The historical facts gave good background knowledge and helped kids have an in-road for the plot of the play.”
  • “The actors are so talented and committed. They are clearly present in the work and it’s so fun to see them experimenting to convey the meaning of the text, and connecting with the audience. I loved that the staging was including the audience and surprising them—reinventing how they think “the theater” should be. Their reactions to the drumming, to “Citizen 3,” were just awesome.”
  • “The multiple modalities that are included—the resource packet, the performance, the Directors Lab become a kind of perfect storm for a memorable experience. I think Shakespeare can be seen as an elitist text and this program brings equity, and equal access, to it.
    The fact that all of my students, because of this experience in a public school, will be able some day to be saying, “Oh, well, yeah,
    Julius Caesar, that was all about power and betrayal.” That is really empowering. They might shatter a stereotype of their culture or economic background because they can summarize or allude to Shakespeare. So many of them already see the relevance now, and my hope is that all of them can reach back to this experience and use it, build on it, surprise or delight someone with their knowledge about it. Also, the teaching actors are seemingly endless fonts of energy for this work. It was lovely to see them being energized by students”.

NOTE: In the fall I posted a series of blog posts on Portland Stage. You can access the series by typing in Portland Stage in the “search archives” box located on the right side of the blog.

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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, rosann@bonnyeagle.org for more information.. Bring your students or come on your own!
REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS 5 JANUARY!!

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.

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Who Are They? Portland Stage – Part 6

November 1, 2017

The Education Team and What We Value

Portland Stage, located in Portland, Maine, offers vital theater arts education to learners ages 4-18 through our In-Theater and In-School programming. All classes and workshops are taught by professionally trained Teaching Artists and focus on literacy, cultural awareness, collaborative play, and creative thinking. Our teaching philosophy highlights process over product, deepening students’ ability to analyze, synthesize, and think critically while making connections to the thoughts and ideas behind the written word. This is one of a series of 6 blog posts outlining who we are and what we do, brought to you by Hannah Cordes, Education Manager, and Julianne Shea, Education Administrator. These posts will appear September 27 through November 1, 2017, on Wednesday’s.

Education Artist in a workshop Photo by Aaron Flacke

As Portland Stage’s education program has grown over the years, so has our educational aesthetic. Thanks to the continuous work over the years by a delightful, curious, joyful, caring, and silly team of educators and administrators, our program has developed into what it is today.

All of our classes are process-based. The work is focused more on having an experience with theater rather than on the final product. Our text work is focused on bringing the text alive. We make time for scavenger hunts and theater games because we believe that these activities build theatrical skills as well as encourage collaboration, creative play, and communication.

Students drive the work that happens in the classroom. We honor and celebrate the ideas they bring to the table. For example, we talk to them about what characters and stories excite them. At the end of a class we ask them what they would like to share in their open studio. In our PLAY in Schools program, we ask students to come up with a simple movement to bring particular words in a poem to life and those become the actions we use to tell the story. In our Directors Lab program, we invite students to take ownership of Shakespeare’s language. We are always searching for ways to increase student investment and creative ownership.

Whenever possible, we work with a co-teaching model. This allows for us to have multiple people in the room cheering for each student and championing their experience! When we co-teach, we increase the likelihood that students will find a way to connect with a teacher and find an entry point into the work. As teachers, we work together and model the collaboration and problem-solving that we ask young people to participate in.

Hannah Cordes in a workshop Photo by Aaron Flacke

We consistently celebrate each other’s work! We devalue competition and focus on fostering ensemble. We invite greater and greater levels of participation in students’ work. We celebrate each seemingly small but monumental acts of bravery that are present in each classroom we enter.

The people you are most likely to see at a Portland Stage workshop are Hannah Cordes, Julianne Shea, and our two education interns. We love reading picture books, playing theater games, exploring texts, and working with young people. We are also lucky enough to have a whole team of over 35 education artists. These education artists have trained at theater companies across the nation, many have B.A.’s or B.F.A.’s in theater, others have Masters Degrees, and others teach at academic institutions. All of the people you find working in Portland Stage’s programs are practicing artists. The work they create both through Portland Stage and with other companies in Maine’s rich artistic community informs their work in the classroom. They personally know the thrill of creating art and the vulnerability it calls for. This practice allows them to excitedly create a supportive environment for students to learn about theater themselves. They understand the risks they are asking students to take because they often take risks in their own creative projects. We also make time to continue to learn new things about theater and about teaching. Notably, Portland Stage’s education team gets together one weekend every year to engage in training. For the last three years we have had Kevin Coleman, the Director of Education at Shakespeare & Company, lead our educators in a teacher training intensive. It is important for all of us to learn new skills and reinforce concepts we value. We also cherish the fact that this training allows for us all to be in the same room at the same time asking questions, getting curious about teaching practice, and sharing stories (both successes and failures).

As our program develops and we collaborate with more and more artists, we continually gather feedback and implement that into our process. We strive to learn and grow. We are grateful for the opportunity to work with so many strong educators.

Interested in learning more about this program? Email education@portlandstage.org or call 207-774-1043 ext. 104.

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