In Part One, I wrote about the reasons why improvisation is a beneficial lesson supplement in the classroom as it helps students overcome barriers. For instance, a child who feels timid and typically does not volunteer to participate or speak
I am currently working long-term as an English Language Learner teacher for first grade. I find myself constantly repeating my mantra, “It’s okay to be wrong!” These first-graders are so eager to learn, and with that drive comes the eagerness
In Part 1, I wrote about a lesson that I taught a class of second graders. The lesson was on the passage of time. Children usually learn how to tell time in first grade, which is an obstacle in itself.
I recently was faced with the challenge of teaching a classroom of second graders how to measure time. They were at a level in their learning where they were expected to know how to tell time by reading a clock,
For voice teachers like me, October is the time when students start approaching me to ask for help with their Christmas audition repertoire. My kids are singing ballads and uptempo arrangements of Christmas songs in hopes of being cast as
In my blog series, Spreading the Acting Bug, I’ve talked about my experiences working as a theatre teacher for young ones, marketing theatre classes in a non-profit atmosphere, and helping teachers find the right monologue books for actively auditioning kids.
In past Broadway Educators blogs, I’ve written about teaching students with behavior problems. While it’s never fun to have to “lay down the law” to your theatre students, especially when it’s an extra-curricular circumstance, it is fun to offer up
Last week, I shared the news of my new class for kids on Saturday mornings called The Acting Bug! The hardest part about the class is that the students don’t have any acting experience so I have to find a
I spent the last five months teaching little kids about music. I had six 45-minute time slots with 24 children in each class and it was one of the most difficult challenges I’ve ever had to deal with. It was
In college, I found that the strongest productions I took part in were the ones that started with exercises in architecture, special awareness, tempo, and topography, key elements to Anne Bogart’s philosophy of Viewpoint Composition. The reason why I enjoyed
Pocket Lines: Pulled it Right Out of Their… Pocket The first lines acting game requires a great deal of preparation from the teacher beforehand. As the teacher, you must compile a variety of numerous different brief lines that might be
There are many different ways in which instructors of all levels can help students better understand a play. Many times classroom instruction involves discussion, reading aloud, and writing a formal essay about some theme, character, or other aspect of the
One of the most difficult goals to achieve with an acting class designed for beginners is to open them up to taking risks. In essence, you’re trying to get each member of the class to be open enough to put
If you’re teaching playwriting, you may be frustrated or perhaps a bit anxiety ridden about ensuring your writers can actually create scripts. In other words, many who teach playwriting for the first time find that they have difficulty in getting
Many of us assume that powerful public speakers are simply born with a natural talent for effective presenting. While it is true that some people are better oral communicators than others, anyone can draw on theatrical techniques to improve their
If you teach acting on any level and it is related to production and casting plays, then you know that when the cast list goes up there’s bound to be elation, disappointment, anger, and jealously, as well as many other
In Part I of our three-part series on teaching theatre history, we considered some of the basic challenges that are involved in bringing and delivering what can be a very daunting curriculum to students. There are a lot of
There’s something to be said for being curious, especially in an artistic profession such as theatre. By “curious” I mean not just wanting to know something, but being driven to find the answer, no matter what roadblocks arise. Perhaps its
Theatre is an art. Although theatre is an art, it’s an art that thrives on connecting directly and immediately with audiences on various levels, including intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually. However, at times, it seems as though the theatre intimidates students,
Too often high school and college theatre students want the answers now. In other words, they want to know if they are any good at what they do, when they will finally be accomplished, and what the secrets to success
In teaching theatre history on the university level to undergraduates, we’re often challenged by feeling the need to relay a mountain of facts that students tend to fairly boring, overwhelming, and inconsequential. Along with the historical information are our primary
In Part I, of Teaching Directing: Two Different Approaches and Finding a Balance, we focused on the benefits of having directing students work from the outside in. That is, focusing on text, directing skills and techniques, and proper interpretation of
< Theme of Powerlessness The characters in Of Mice and Men are powerless due to various circumstances. For instance, Lennie, although he is employed as a ranch hand due to his physical strength, he is powerless because of his mental
Part 1 is a useful article to introduce students to the story Of Mice and Men, and help them understand more clearly the concept of the American Dream during the 1920s. Ideals of the American Dream have changed a bit
The renowned story Of Mice and Men, based on the 1937 novel by John Steinbeck, is returning to the Broadway stage in April 2014. Of Mice and Men (which is required reading in many schools) is based on Steinbeck’s own
There are various ways to teach directing to students. (That is, if directing is really something that you can actually “teach.”) Directing tends to be filled with challenges, as the stage director has to understand a script in its entirety,
Romantic Fantasy in Moonlight, Cold Reality in Daylight Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt named Act I of The Fantasticks “In the Moonlight” (due to its romantic mood) and Act II “In the Sun,” which is where the audience witnesses what
The Process Tom Jones collaborated with J. Donald Robb on a musical adaptation of Les Romanesques from 1954 to 1956 as Harvey Schmidt was in the Korean War at the time. They originally titled the musical Joy Comes to Dead
It is essential for students to learn the importance of the voice on stage. If singers cannot be heard by the audience, what is the point of having any listeners? Yes, it is a huge accomplishment to be able to
Over the years, I’ve found that many student actors at the high school and college levels have a very difficult time with their self-image, especially in terms of their physicality. Exactly what they are troubled by depends upon the individual.
Character Walks Since Commedia Dell’ Arte is a physical theatrical art form, it is essential and fun to have students experiment with various ways of moving their bodies. Have the students walk around the classroom as a character of their
A Timeless Musical The world’s longest running musical, The Fantasticks (written by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt), opened off-Broadway in 1954. It all began with the 1894 French play, Les Romanesques by Edmond Rostand, which was essentially the story of
When I was in school, I remember enjoying my Literature and English classes the most, but I especially looked forward to the classes where the teachers allowed us students to be involved creatively. Some teachers had us take turns reading
Benefits for Students Commedia dell’ Arte is an older theatre style, but it allows students the opportunity to be innovative. Commedia dell’ Arte teaches kids physical discipline, spontaneous use of their imagination, and the ability to think on their feet.
What is Character Education? Character education is a term used to describe the educating of children in a way that will help them foster the skills necessary to be morally, non-bullying, healthy, successful, and socially acceptable human beings.
Learning Through the Experience Auditioning for musical theatre can be more stressful and exhausting than preparing for a job interview. In college, I took several audition and musical theatre classes where they did their best to help prepare students for
Fathers and Sons, Mothers and Daughters, Parents and Children Based on the 1998 novel by Daniel Wallace, Big Fish The Musical is about a former traveling salesman (Edward Bloom) from the South who has a passion for storytelling. His son,
In teaching acting two important concepts that are connected to the Stanislavski method or system are the Magic If and the actors need to create the Illusion of the First Time. Understanding the Magic If can help an actor make
If you’re a teacher or director working with young actors in high school or an undergraduate college program, then chances are your actors are primarily familiar with scripts that focus overall on realism. If they do know plays that demand
In teaching acting or working with student actors on a show there are some basic techniques that should be stressed in regards to how to create a character that is actively engaged on stage at all times. An important technique