Show your students how to make their mark on the stage with featured resources that explore stagecraft, playwriting, performance, and creative expression. Ignite their interest with Spark video segments profiling performance artists creating puppetry, improvisational theater, and intersecting sculpture and performance.
Shadowlight Production: Theater (Shadow Puppetry) Grades 6-13 | Video | Culture and Theater
In this Spark video follow puppet master Larry Reed as he and the Gamelan Sekar Jaya orchestra prepare for a performance. Wayang kulit, or Balinese shadow puppet theater, is a tradition that has been passed down through generations for more than 1,000 years. Mythic tales and archetypal characters are played out, blending high drama, improvisation and slapstick comedy.
Sha Sha Higby: Performance Art Grades 6-13 | Video | Art & Theater
In this Spark video get a glimpse of Sha Sha Higby’s creative process, a process that has wandered through time, leaped over oceans and slowly grown by accretion. Each individual costume that is used in performance can take years to make and is informed by a lifetime of experience. The semi-abstract nature of Higby’s costumes allows viewers to color the experience with their own imagination — one might end up in a place far away that the artist herself may not have imagined. With her art, Higby has found her journey and achieved her escape
3 For All: Theater (Improvisational) Grades 6-13 | Video | Society & Theater
In this Spark video free fall with the improv group 3 For All as they hit the floor with no script, no format, no preconceptions, and no safety net. Students learn about the art of improvisational theater and its relationship to broader social themes.
Ledoh Salt Farm: Performance Art (Butoh) Grades 6-13 | Video | Dance & Theater
In this Spark video the dancers of the Salt Farm Butoh Dance Company and their artistic director Ledoh work on a new piece called “River of Sand,” an exploration of Ledoh’s birthplace, Burma. As participants in the HCA’s resident artist program, the Salt Farm members have been working on the costuming, set design, lights and music and sharing the activities of their daily lives.
What Does a Producer Do? Grades 4-12 | Video | Production, Theater
Introduce your class to a Broadway producer and find out how she has helped to take the musical ANNIE from pre-production to the stage. Producer Arielle Tepper Madover discusses everything from clearing the rights to the play and hiring a director, to how she balances her roles as producer and Mother.
Broadway or Bust Grades 6-12 | Collection | Performance, Theater
Take a peek behind the curtain with this dynamic look at the development of a live musical theater performance. Although there are varied approaches to managing stage fright, a common theme in the comments from coaches and students is that confidence as a performer comes from practice and from thoroughly knowing the material you are going to perform. In this video from the Broadway or Bust website, students and coaches, including Broadway actor and coach Michael McElroy, discuss what causes stage fright and ways to approach it.
Chicago Youth Tackle Difficult Issues Through Theater Grades 7-12 | Lesson Plan | Speaking & Listening
See how these young people are using theater as a way to deal with tough issues in their lives and humanize their experiences for outsiders. Lesson Plan on how the arts empowers young people and helps them to deal with the challenges they face.
A Raisin in the Sun Revisited: Introduction Grades 6-12 | Video | Society & Theater
Ask students to analyze A Raisin in the Sun and determine how this play has advanced the discussion of race in America. This clip from A Raisin in the Sun Revisited, introduces three potent plays, A Raisin in the Sun, Clybourne Park, and Beneatha’s Place, showing how these three plays all advance the discussion of race in America and alluding to how issues surrounding race in America both have and have not changed since A Raisin in the Sun debuted on Broadway in 1959. Clybourne Park and Beneatha’s Place were performed in repertory as The Raisin Cycle at Baltimore’s CenterStage in the spring of 2013.
The Hollow Crown Grades 9-12 | Collection | Shakespeare’s Plays
Students can deep dive into Shakespeare’s most gripping history plays using this collection from the PBS series, The Hollow Crown. The interactive and video resources in this collection are designed to aid teachers in exploring these complex plays with their students. Use the viewing guide, supplemental teaching tips, discussion questions, background essays, and activities to analyze and compare the films with Shakespeare’s original text, discover major themes, and delve deeper into the stories’ historical backgrounds.