Theater Residency Offerings:
• Using Theatre Games to Teach Social Emotional Literacy
• Knowledge Alive! - The Struggle for Freedom Against Slavery
• True Tales from the Underground Railroad
• Tell About a Time When: Stories One
Generation Tells Another
Storytelling: The Shared Storytelling Game
Using Theatre Games to Teach Social Emotional Literacy
(ELA, SEL for Upper Elementary, Middle and High School)
Theatre games teach students to take risks,
learn trust, communicate, collaborate and develop kindness and empathy. This series of workshops help students learn how to
recognize and understand the complex world of being a good friend, or not. Through game play students strengthen awareness
of non-verbal communication. They experience how much can be revealed and understood about another person's mindset and mood
through facial expression, body posture, tone of voice. While gaming with dialogue from popular song lyrics and slam
poetry students "play" theatrically with the many scenarios that take place in the hallways, playgrounds and cafeterias
of their schools. They create original theatre scenes in which they ask themselves: When do I step up, step in, step away?
What do I say? How do I say it? Developing social emotional skills through theatre is fun. It is play with a purpose.
Knowledge Alive! - The Struggle
for Freedom Against Slavery (URR)
(Theatre/Social Studies/ELA) (Upper Elementary
and Middle School)
Interactive storytelling engages
student interest in the topic of justice as they hear a historical fiction about the African slave trade, colonial life on
Long Island and the Underground Railroad as seen through the eyes of slave children. Students learn the actor’s trade
as they read a script out loud, sing Underground Railroad songs, and act out scenes from the play Escape to Freedom on
the Underground Railroad.
True Tales from the Underground Railroad
Studies/ELA) (Upper Elementary, Middle and High School)
Using a collection of true stories from the Underground Railroad students listen
and imagine themselves into another time and place in American history. They create “tableaux vivant” (frozen
scenes come to life) and dynamic emotional dialogue that illustrate moments in the stories they are hearing. Investigating
the character’s feelings through words and movement, students develop empathy for the suffering of others, appreciation
of perseverance in the face of fear and danger, and admiration for kindness offered by one stranger to another.
Pass-Around Storytelling: The Shared Storytelling
(ELA/Theatre) (Elementary and Middle School)
The rules are simple:
Build Upon, Add On, Leave Incomplete and Pass. An interactive oral storytelling game in which each student in turn finishes
another’s creative thought and then adds on a new creative idea, leaving it incomplete for someone else to finish. And
so it goes, round and round, until a story has been built all together. “Storystarter” cards establish theme and
suggest obstacles to be overcome by the characters. Students create, script and perform their stories for one another.
Tell About a Time When: Stories One Generation
Studies/ELA) (Upper Elementary, Middle and High School)
Many children today do not have the benefit of experiencing the wisdom of senior citizens. This intergenerational
storytelling project offers students the opportunity to develop a connection with senior citizens in their community. Seniors
have the opportunity to think about and pass on a legacy of valuable life lessons to grandchildren who are not necessarily
their own. Using the art of interview, theatre techniques and creative imagination students learn how to interview seniors,
capture the golden nugget of truth in their stories and create short drama presentations that show what they have learned.
• Your Move, My Move, Moving All Together -Dance Improvisation,
Team Building, and Trust
• Tell Me a Story, Dance Me a Dance
• Dancing Verbs, Similes, Poetry and Me
• Becoming a Classroom Community – How to be a Good Friend, or Not
• Dancing the Water Cycle
• Earth Dance – A Creative Movement Science Story
• Dancing Brains
in Action –Developmental Movement for Young Children
Your Move, My Move, Moving All Together: Dance Improvisation, Team Building, and Trust
(Dance/Character Development) (Upper Elementary, Middle and High
Dance improvisation can be a powerful,
nonverbal tool for building a sense of community among students. While making improvisational dances together using familiar
pedestrian movements such as walking, running, leaning and crawling students practice essential life skills. Students learn
to find their own starting place, initiate and focus, share and take turns, lead and follow, imitate and adapt, determine
when to step out, when to step in, sense the mood, change direction. Patience, spontaneity, risk-taking, cooperation and fun!
Group discussion supports student reflection as they come to understand the deeper meanings of the process they are experiencing.
a Story, Dance Me a Dance
(Dance/ELA) (Pre-K, Lower Elementary)
How does a good dance lesson become a good literacy lesson? Base the dance lesson on good literature. Storybooks come
to life in the imagination of a child when explored using creative dance movement. A dance can be built using the rich imagery
and thematic ideas found inside a book. Students learn to makes shapes with their bodies, use dynamics, interact with one
another and the space around them as they are led to express themselves making dances that have a beginning, middle and end.
Dancing Verbs, Similes, Poetry and Me
(Lower and Upper Elementary)
unfold when combining poetry and dance making together. Observing the movement of props such as silk scarves, rubber balls,
tops and rain sticks, inspire students to try out the movement with their own bodies. They compose similes, write group poems
which are developed into dances. Students learn that many different dances can be made to express one poem and more than one
poem can be written to describe a dance.
Spinning high and low.
Spinning fast and slow.
speed across the table we go.
Smash! We've shattered!
Swirling loosely like kites in the air
Dancers dart quickly
They glide everywhere
Rising and falling
They spin far apart
They collapse on the ground!
Becoming a Classroom Community – How to be a Good Friend, or Not
(Dance/ELA/Character Development) (Lower and Upper Elementary)
A selection of poetry focused on loneliness, mean words and friendship offers students the opportunity to
use creative dance to develop sensitivity to language and the feelings behind it. Students also develop an awareness of the
power of movement to express emotion. Exploring poetry through dance creates a sense of community in the classroom and is
a powerful tool for building friendship. Students see one another in a different light.
Poems we use:
KICK A LITTLE STONE
FIRST DAY NEW SCHOOL
(Lower and Upper Elementary)
Children enjoy the
intrigue of numbers, though some feel early on that they will never master the mystery. But numbers can be fun for children
regardless of their level of aptitude or achievement. Mathematics and Dance share the same constructs. Dance at its
most basic is set up of patterns. The most basic arithmetic skills, spatial concepts and orientation, shaping and shape relationships,
symmetry and asymmetry and fractions are all taught through dance. The student choreographer must coordinate TIME (music and
rhythmic patterns) and SPACE (how dancers orient themselves in space) with the ORDER of the sequences of movement and then
ORGANIZE it all into a coherent expression of an idea. This is the stuff of multidimensional thinking, the kind that satisfies,
engages and inspires.
Dancing the Water Cycle
The wonderful song The Wheel and the Water by singer Tom Chapin delightfully
describes the water cycle in a five part round. After discussing the water cycle, listening to the song, and experimenting
all together with movement qualities and shapes that express water’s many states, students are divided into five groups.
Each group is asked to imagine and choreograph their assigned phase of the water cycle in dance movement. Voila, the entire
class performs an overlapping dance that embodies the water cycle. Educational and fun!
Earth Dance – A Creative Movement Science Story
(Science/ELA/Dance) (Elementary K-3)
Movement is used to explore a story whose narrative begins with the formation of the earth and moves through time. From
gases, to hot lava, to cool rains, to hardened earth, formation of rivers and oceans, to the very first creatures that crawled
upon our planet, all of the way to human life. The expressive dancing that emerges is the result of evocative imagery and
exciting music that engages student kinesthetic intelligence and imagination.
Dancing Brains in Action –Developmental Movement for
(Science/Dance) (Pre-K and Lower Elementary)
How can we use developmental movement patterns to dance in ways that feel like sea creatures, land
animals, flying birds and also feel innately like ourselves? Using movement patterns from experiential anatomy as a dance
form, students wriggle, creep, crawl, roll, walk, hop, gallop, skip, run and soar as they pretend to be jellyfish, starfish,
clams, snakes, crabs, lizards, monkeys and birds both large and small. Stories and evocative music are used to help them get