Teaching Experience

Joseph Leconte and Thomas R King Middle Schools | April-June 2010
Tutor in Math and Reading Comprehension for the LACER afterschool program 16hrs a week. Managing the Homework Club and Mac Lab computer room.

La Crescenta Middle School La Crescenta CA | March/April 2010
Four week residencies in four separate sixth grade classrooms. Introducing live theater tools and integrating theater into the curriculum ie. Presenting Ancient Greek Theater to a class studying Ancient Greek History.

St Andrews Parochial School Pasadena CA | September/October 2009
Eight week after school acting classes. Introducing live theater and the tools of live performance to children from kindergarden to third grade. Theater games and exercises leading up to a moment of individual performance for each child.

Aeolian and Santa Gertrude Elementary Schools Whittier CA | January/February 2009
Eight week after school acting classes. Introducing live theater and the tools of live performance to children from kindergarden to fith grade. Theater games and exercises leading up to fifteen minute short plays created and performed by the students.

The Childrens Storefront School, NYC | 1996-2000
Head of School: Ned O'Gorman
Drama teacher in residence. Worked with classroom teachers to incorporate theater into the curriculum. Organization of class trips to the theater. Conducted Pre-show and post-show classes with students.
Director of annual Shakespeare production.
 
ENACT Institute, NYC | 1998 to 2002
Director: Diana Feldman
Lead in-class workshops focusing on the needs of high school age students including special ed. and at risk kids. Used theater games, improv techniques and writing exercises to promote non-violent conflict resolution. Lead teacher workshops focusing on the skills teachers must develop to promote conflict resolution in their classrooms.
Conducted interviews with children at schools near the World Trade Center to create theater pieces from their recollections of the attacks on September 11th 2001. Most prominently, FINDING THE WORDS, based on the experiences of students and teachers at Leadership High, which toured the NYC public school system as well as several cultural and corporate institutions to recognize the one year anniversary of the attacks.
 
Theater For A New Audience, NYC | 1994 to 2000
Artistic Director: Jeffrey Horowitz
Education Director: Ron Russel 1997-2001
Education Director: Margie Salvante 1994-1996
Two to Five month residencies in various public schools in all five boroughs. Pre-show workshops: introduction to live theater (usually Shakespeare or Commedia Del'Arte) before students attend production.
Post-show visits: weekly visits working with classroom teachers to produce 10-15 minute scene from the show toward the culminating event.
MC culminating event: Organize several different classes from different schools in the same school district as they perform scenes. Introductions, technical logistics, sequences etc.
Actor in the New Voices program: work shopped original plays written by students who work with playwrights in residence. Introduced techniques to help students develop character, story structure, “playability”—an actor’s perspective—in their scripts.
 
The Shakespeare Theater, NYC | 1993
Artistic Director: Michael Kahn
Young company tour of MIDSUMMER NIGHT"S DREAM  (Director: Daniel Fish)
Actor: performed the role of Bottom in a tour of every public school in D.C. as well as Gallaudet University for the hearing impaired.
 
TADA! NYC | 1998 to 2000
Director: Gary Bagley
Taught introduction to acting for students 9-12. Breath and voice work, improv techniques, theater games, scene study.
 
Education | B.A., Theater

Saint Michael’s College, Colchester, VT
1986   

INTRODUCTION TO LIVE THEATER AND THE TOOLS OF LIVE PERFORMANCE
 
FIRST CLASS:
 
PERFORM-
Before even introducing yourself launch into a speech/ monologue/ soliloquy. When you are finished ask the kids what they saw. The answers you hope to elicit are simple. "You moved your hands" "You were whispering"  "You were yelling"  "You were talking to somebody". INTRODUCE THE TOOLS: BODY, VOICE, IMAGINATION.
 
THE IMAGINATION GAME: Arrange the room into a circle pick a simple object in the room. A ruler, a broom, an umbrella. Hold the object in a manner not usually associated with that object, eg. hold the broom like a baseball bat. Ask the kids what they see. "A baseball bat"  you answer "no it' s just a broom but we all agree to see the broom as a baseball bat because we are all using our imaginations. Who wants to try?" PLAY THE IMAGINATION GAME
 
THE GOLDEN HOOP: Still in a circle everybody stands up and performs a specific physical movement. Bending on one knee palms facing up rising off of the knee raising the arms and hands up to the ceiling, all performed in unison in silence. Critique the event. "Some of us went down on the wrong knee"  "Some of us raised our hands before the rest"  "Some of us brought their hands down before the rest". Then step out of the circle and ask the kids to perform this exercise without your leadership. Stand apart and observe, answer question like "How do we start" "How do we know when we are finished" Emphasize the need to work with each other to watch , listen and use imagination simultaneously. COLLABORATION
 
ZIP ZAP ZOP: Still in a circle. Someone begins by stepping forward with one foot, locks eyes with someone else in the circle points with two hands and says the word "zip"  the next person performs the same physical action and directed toward another person in the circle says "zap" the next says "zop".  This game can be played competitively with you as the judge: the criteria being eye contact, vocal projection, and physical precision and as the game progresses the speed of all these actions. This is what it is like to be on stage with another actor. CONCENTRATION, AWARENESS, BODY AND VOICE.
 
THE LYING GAME:
Tell two stories one true the other false ask the kids to vote on which one they think is true. Note what qualities in content (details, plausible events) and delivery (hesitation, body control, eye contact) informed their decision as to which story was true and which false. Let the kids play and conduct a vote after each two stories are told. Now they are truly PERFORMING LIVE
 
These are just a few of the many "Theater Games" that form the bulk of time spent in the class. As the children master these games more specific and complex concepts can be introduced including ultimately acts of LIVE PERFORMANCE. Singing, Dancing, Telling Jokes are all based on the tools of the LIVE PERFORMER: BODY, VOICE, IMAGINATION.
 
These games can be played with any age group. The explanation,  amount of modeling (showing the kids how to play) and adjustments given (criticism) are what changes from group to group age to age. There are no right and wrong answers everyone can play everyone can PERFORM.

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