Blogs

 
Be the first person to recommend this.
Having met with New York Congresswoman Nydia Veláquez's Legislative Correspondent during EdTA's Arts Advocacy Day, a goal of mine was to continue to build that relationship and have an opportunity to follow up with the Congresswoman. Keeping in touch with her Legislative Correspondent, I was able to find out that she was holding a Open Forum/Town Hall in her district to speak with Millennials and how she can help at a national level as well as her constituents in her district. Being a forward thinker, the Congresswoman also had along side her a panel of Millennials who work in various fields to give their insight and knowledge to the community. The room had filled ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
September 15, 2017 Members of the Educational Theatre Association elected two board members in results announced at the annual meeting held Friday, September 15 at the EdTA National Conference. For the two positions on the Board of Directors the winning candidates are Marti Fowler and Scott Walker. Marti Fowler is from Chesterfield, Missouri. She has served on the Missouri Thespians board as secretary and conference chair and was a member of the Fine Arts Task Force with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education that developed a fifth grade fine arts test and grade-level expectations. She developed  Practical ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
September 15, 2017 Friday night lights are for more than football From the 50-yard line to front-row center, high schools are a central aspect of community life. While the identity with sports may not be surprising, the realization about school theatre may be. Thanks to an expansion of the 79-year-old annual play survey, EdTA has data on not only which plays were produced in America’s high schools but also for the first time on how many people came to see them. And that number is nearly 50 million. Over 3,000 schools responded to the survey and reported putting on an average of 10 performances each last year, with a total average audience ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
Welcome to the EdTA Advocacy Update September 13, 2017   The Advocacy Update is where you can find current national and state news concerning arts advocacy and arts education.   EdTA NEWS EdTA is Matchmaking for Disaster Relief Support In an effort to facilitate support within the school theatre community during and after a natural disaster, EdTA has made a  new response form  available to help match those who need support and those who are able to give support.   NATIONAL NEWS National Arts in Education Week Passed by Congress in 2010,  House Resolution 275  designates the week beginning with the second Sunday ...
0 comments

Time is of the Essence

1 person recommends this.
I’m a theatre guy.  I work mostly with words and pictures.  I know enough about math to get by, but my answer to most things arithmetic is “close enough”.  However, over the years of working in almost every level of educational theatre possible, I have done some calculations and come to a startling discovery:  Kids spend more time in rehearsal than in performance .   Maybe this isn’t earth shattering, but it is interesting when you begin the journey from idea to script to stage.  I have decided that, even though math is not my bailiwick, I will use it to prioritize my efforts.  Namely, I will make rehearsals more important that the performance ...
1 comment
2 people recommend this.
September 8, 2017 Statement from Executive Director Julie Cohen Theobald: We continue to extend our thoughts, concerns, and best wishes to all affected by natural disasters, from hurricanes to wildfires. We know that the true impact and need assessment is far from being realized and that the focus right now is everyone’s immediate safety. Please take care of yourselves and each other. In an effort to facilitate support within the school theatre community during and after a natural disaster, EdTA has made a new response form available to help match those who need support and those who are able to give support. There are the immediate ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
  The Cast and Crew of The Jungle Book   One of the main goals for our Theatre Education Community is to help theatre students and professionals from all over connect and identify with each other in order to build resources and support the theatre education field. We shine a spotlight on a different member every other week by conducting a simple interview.   Our latest Spotlight Member is Bill Jacobsen, an EdTA Professional Member from Canada and the drama teacher and curriculum coordinator for Red Deer Public Schools in Alberta. Bill has been teaching drama for over twenty years and regularly lends his expert advice to fellow ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
Not every musical is a Broadway hit. Even some musicals with the best of intentions are flops, never find their audience, are panned by critics, or simply never make it to Broadway. Some shows were not necessarily meant to be on Broadway, and are far more successful Off-Broadway and in Regional Theatre. Many shows that weren't critical or box office smashes find new life in Educational Theatre. Many shows are reworked and retooled in order to make them appealing to Amateur and Educational Theatre producers once their Professional Theatre lives have all but expired. Without the comparative pressures of the bottom line, schools have the freedom to take risks with ...
1 comment
Be the first person to recommend this.
Welcome to the EdTA Advocacy Update August 30, 2017   The Advocacy Update is where you can find current national and state news concerning arts advocacy and arts education.   NATIONAL NEWS Americans for the Arts Celebrates the Life, Work, and Impact of Dr. James Catterall Dr. James Catterall, Professor Emeritus and past Chair of the Faculty at the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA), founder of the  Centers for Research on Creativity  (CRoC), and author of  Doing Well and Doing Good by Doing Art: The Effects of Education in the Visual and Performing Arts ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
August 30, 2017 Statement from Julie Cohen Theobald, Executive Director: Our thoughts and best wishes are with all those in Texas and Louisiana who are affected by the devastation of Hurricane Harvey and who will continue to be impacted long after the current floodwaters recede. We know that our fellow members of EdTA , Thespians, and all in the theatre community are standing by to support our colleagues, friends, and peers during this difficult time. Experts recommend that at the present time the greatest need is for cash donations. Here are a few links we’ve found that give a variety of ways in which to donate: ·NY Times: How to Donate and Avoid ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
Long ago, I was a freshly minted “Theatre Teacher” (my degree said so) looking for a school district lucky enough and smart enough to hire me. I sent out stacks and stacks of resumes (paper ones stuffed into envelopes, if you can imagine).  I landed four interviews in literally four different directions.  I put hundreds of miles on my ‘83 Chevy Malibu.  And I began my education into teaching theatre to young people. I distinctly remember one question asked during my first interview:  “ If you could choose any script to direct, which would it be?” “It would definitely have to be Our Town ,” I answered confidently.   “Why?" ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
The arts education community lost one of its champions last week. Dr. James Catterall passed away in Los Angeles on August 23. Dr. Catterall has been called “the father of arts education research” and I don’t think that’s hyperbole. Over four decades, his landmark studies showcasing the impact of arts experiences on students has been the benchmark that advocates, policy makers, teachers, fellow researchers and a host of others have used to make the case for arts education programs in our schools and communities.  I considered him a friend and colleague, so I’m going to dispense with a formal title and say this about James: His work ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
  Long Reach High School’s production of In the Heights One of the main goals for our Theatre Education Community is to help theatre students and professionals from all over connect and identify with each other in order to build resources and support the theatre education field. We shine a spotlight on a different member every other week by conducting a simple interview.   Our latest Spotlight Member is Marla Blasko, the Director of Theatre Arts at Long Reach High School in Columbia, Maryland, home to Troupe 7481 . Marla has earned a bronze level contributor ribbon for her three years of advice and ideas contributing to our forum ...
0 comments

A Plea for Decency

3 people recommend this.
A former student invited me to see her perform tonight, as she generally does. She's performing in yet another "devised Theatre" piece that's intended to showcase students' originality and unique voices, but inevitably, and paradoxically, differs and deviates little from all the other devised pieces I've watched. Sometimes I wonder if the performers in some of these shows learn anything other than bad habits. As I sit there listening to a laundry list of topics in this kitchen sink script, I find myself cringing uncomfortably as student after student goes on explicit or profanity-laced tirades—ahem...monologues—that seem more self-serving rather than serving ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
Welcome to the EdTA Advocacy Update August 16, 2017   The Advocacy Update is where you can find current national and state news concerning arts advocacy and arts education.   EdTA NEWS EdTA National Conference Grant Recipients 2017 The Educational Theatre Association has awarded four members with the EdTA National Conference Grant for Theatre Educators in support of their professional development.   NATIONAL NEWS Federal Communication Commission to consider revised wireless microphone licensing rules   On July 13, the Federal Communications Commission took action to revise and clarify its rules to promote more ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
One of the main goals for our Theatre Education Community is to help theatre students and professionals from all over connect and identify with each other in order to build resources and support the theatre education field. We shine a spotlight on a different member every other week by conducting a simple interview.   Our latest Spotlight Member is CJ Breland, theatre teacher and troupe director at Asheville High School in Asheville, North Carolina. As a past chapter director, CJ has a world of experience helping schools and teachers in her home state, so contributing to the beta test and launch of the Community was a natural fit. Since then, she’s ...
0 comments
1 person recommends this.
We call our show telegrams “Drama Grams.”  This is probably not a new idea for most of you, but in what ways can you get more from your show telegrams?  Let's start with the basic idea. For $1, parents and fans can send a message backstage to any company member.  We provide a short template that they simply fill out that features our program and show logo.  The template is basic: to, from, and message space.  (Encourage them to include the last name of students in the “to” field in case two students share the same first name). We then use younger siblings of company members to send the messages backstage. We have a large company (140 students in our musical) ...
0 comments
1 person recommends this.
Theatre is a collaborative art, and that collaboration is strongest when it extends to the parents and guardians of your program.   Your first line of volunteers is always your current parents and guardians. Our focus as educators needs to stay on our students and at some point, we have to create a decent work/life balance, but so many times we get bogged down with the business management of our program. Let's face it, who is more likely to drop a ball: the juggler with 10 balls or the juggler with 1?  You are the juggler with 10 balls, but your parents can be the juggler with 1.  It’s time to share your juggling balls with your parents and you’ll be surprised ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
August 4, 2017 The Educational Theatre Association has awarded four members with the EdTA National Conference Grant for Theatre Educators in support of professional development. This grant was developed to: assist EdTA members in reaching a higher level of professional achievement by participating in EdTA’s National Conference; assist EdTA members with the cost of professional development and create access to valuable continuing education and networking opportunities; and enhance the knowledge and skills of experienced theatre educators so that they can better contribute to their school, students, and the profession. The following members were awarded the ...
0 comments
1 person recommends this.
I built the Theatre program at my Middle School essentially ”from the ground up.” There was no legacy, and not even any real appreciation for Theatre. I had a pool of children with ability, but no skill; I had to teach them everything I expected them to know. At the time, my experience was as a performer and playwright. I had to learn many of the technical aspects of Theatre production while on the job. The Theatre Department has since grown, and has a pretty decent standing in the small community, but it's greatest impact is on the students who participate in the program. The Performing Arts Room, and the auditorium have become a home base for the students who ...
3 comments