What is "Drama out of the box?" It is the method I use to encourage, motivate, and guide students through a curriculum based drama experience or an "in-role" activity. At it's core, it is improvisation. I never know exactly what will happen, as the students are the players. I provide the structure and the facilitation, but the end result comes from their ideas, thoughts and experiences. There are several ways I can go about this:
Interactive Assembly: This is an assembly designed to involve students in their learning. I can present on a variety of subjects from bullying to curriculum based subjects like the American Revolution or even a particular book that students are studying.
Classroom specific work: I come to your school and work with a smaller group (1 or 2 classes at a time) on a specific area that teachers would like me to focus on. This is much less a presentation, and much more an interactive drama experience. Since the group is smaller and more focused, we delve deeper and build upon experiences. These are typically curriculum based dramas but I could also work with a group focusing on social issues such as bullying, making friends, taking turns, etc.
Weekly Drama Classes: If you run a day care center, private school or other self-contained program, I can be booked for 5-8 week sessions offering creative drama classes for a variety of age groups from Preschool to 12th grade. These classes run anywhere from a half hour to an hour and a half and can provide a nice introduction into some basic, age appropriate, drama skills. Younger students might work on story structure, dialogue and sequencing of stories, while older students might focus more on character analysis, improvisation skills and even monologue writing and performance.
Professional Development for Teachers: I offer this workshop for groups of teachers during professional development time to introduce and answer questions about curriculum based drama work. I like to get everyone up and moving and have them experience some of the techniques, rather than me standing at the front of the room with power points and hand-outs. (don't worry, I'll make sure they get paper take-aways too, as we'll be too busy acting and doing to take notes!) No acting or performance experience is necessary; just a desire to learn some new fun ways to help students access curriculum.
I've been working as a curriculum based drama teacher at the elementary and secondary levels for over 15 years. I have a Bachelor's degree from Hofstra University in Theater with a minor in Russian and a Master's Degree in Theater Education from Emerson College. While I have certainly taught my share of "drama for drama's sake" courses and consider myself well versed in many areas of theater from performance to production, I am especially passionate about using drama as a tool to further educational practices and understanding. I believe that children learn best by doing (don't we all?) and often times the experiencing and doing is getting lost as we work harder and harder to pass tests and maintain state levels. More and more the arts and creativity are being pushed to the side as teachers struggle to help students "keep up."
That's where I come in! I work with teachers to create and implement curriculum based dramas that can complement and enhance the standards they are working on in their classroom. I also provide whole school performances that center around anti-bullying or even role-playing in connection with curriculum.