This blog post not only tells you how to bring an NBYT educational program to a school classroom—it tells you how to make that happen for FREE!
For nearly eight years, NBYT has provided educational and performance programs in schools, after school, and out of school time for children and teens from preschool through high school. The theater’s literacy-based educational programs promote social, emotional, and creative development. Programs are based upon National Core Arts Standards, and the curriculum is designed to align with the Common Core State Standards for English and Language Arts. Programs have been offered through school districts in New Britain, Bristol, Plainville, and in Hartford schools through Hartford Performs.
Bringing Books to Life!
One of our most popular classroom programs for younger students is Bringing Books to Life! This 40-60 minute program combines an introductory acting class with story-time as children engage in listening, discussing, and performing to better understand the themes of a book and how actors can bring the book’s story to life on stage. Students use their bodies, voices, and imaginations to pantomime characters and actions which are included in bringing the chosen book “to life.” The stories of Dr. Seuss—with their many wild characters and busy action—lend themselves particularly well to this program, and we book many classroom visits on and around Read Across America Day (Dr. Seuss’s birthday) on March 2.
Bringing Scripts to Life!
In this introduction to dramatic literature, students learn that plays are intended not only to be read, but to be performed! Approaching a script as an actor enhances students’ understanding of plot, themes, and the emotional journeys of the characters. The script may be one already read in class, or may be new to the students. Successful scripts used in past classrooms have been dramatic adaptations of Charlotte’s Web, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and Little Women.
Page to Stage
Students work with a Teaching Artist to create a short adaptation based upon a piece of literature or topic studied in class. The class begins by briefly discussing the creation and performance of theater, and then groups brainstorm and exchange ideas. In one or two follow-up visits, groups explore and put their ideas into presentation form, and then revise and perform their dramatic work.
Students get a basic understanding of improvisational theater concepts and are introduced to short-form improv games designed to build teamwork and have fun! Students will be able to take what they learn and use it to not only become improv performers, but also better listeners, thinkers, and speakers.
Dramatic Literature in Performance
Students explore language, characters, and themes while focusing on a specific work of dramatic literature. All or select students also get on their feet to perform selected scenes with a Teaching Artist directing. Previous classes have focused on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, or Twelfth Night, or Aristophanes’ The Birds.
To book any of these programs or to learn about others, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 860-515-8115.
Now, about those free performances in schools! Share this post on Facebook, retweet it on Twitter, or reblog it with a link back to this post, and you’ll get one entry in a contest to bring a free program to a school anywhere in Connecticut. Entries are unlimited. You must also email email@example.com with your name, the way that you shared the post (so we can confirm), and the school that you’d like to receive the program. There will be one winner for a free one-hour program (for a single classroom or grade level, to be scheduled this year subject to availability). All entries must be submitted by November 30 at midnight. No purchase is required to win, and winners will be notified early in December.