Playmaking at the New England Theater Conference

Posted 1 November 2012 12:00 AM by Rachel Rhoades, Education Programs Manager

Last Friday, I had the honor to attend the 61st Annual Convention of the New England Theatre Conference in Natick, Massachusetts. This year’s theme aligned perfectly with Citi Center Education Department’s programmatic focus on social change: Re-Invigorating the Art: Adapting Our Theatre for a Changing World. At the Master Class I attended, Something to Say: Playmaking with High School Students, I met with teachers from throughout the state and exchanged ideas on how to create impactful performances that provided empowerment for the youth as well as education for community audience attendees. Led by Bethany Nelson, Emerson College Theatre Education professor and urban youth drama specialist of over 25 years, the workshop examined best practices in creating original works by students in high school and in younger grades.

I look forward to integrating many of the devising techniques in curriculum development for our various programs. It is particularly relevant and exciting to add more teaching tools as we continue to expand. For instance, this fall we widened our focus to include literacy in our Target Arts programs. The Education Department continues our dedication to youth producing their own performances around issues of social change. The elementary school students have decided to focus on bullying and on how to deal with hard situations as individuals and in social settings.

In the coming spring and summer, we will be working with elementary, middle and high school students, as well as incoming college students. I am always eager to see what these Citi Center youth participants generate. It is an honor to be part of the playmaking process and to guide young people to fulfill their imaginative, academic, and artistic potential.

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