Announcing a New Resource for Northwest Arkansas Teachers

THEATRESQUARED LAUNCHES
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE

T2’s Free, Year-Long Workshop Series Begins Today


FAYETTEVILLE, AR—July 19, 2010—TheatreSquared (T2) launched today a free, yearlong workshop series for Arkansas educators, starting with a one-week immersion seminar for educators from throughout Northwest Arkansas. Educators hailing from Little Rock, Jonesboro, Mena, Mountain Home, El Dorado, Morrilton and throughout Northwest Arkansas arrived in Fayetteville today to take part in the Institute’s “freshman class,” beginning with thirty hours of collaborative workshops this week and continuing with full-day Saturday master classes throughout the school year. Participating teachers will bring new theatre-based techniques back to their classrooms, directly impacting more than 2,000 students in the coming year alone. The T2 Professional Development Institute is being offered free of charge in partnership with the University of Arkansas Brown Chair in English Literacy, and funded by leadership support from the Arkansas Arts Council and Land O’Frost, Inc.

“When an actor steps into a role, she uses techniques that any student or educator can apply,” said Morgan Hicks, director of education for TheatreSquared. “She breaks down language, scans for story clues, visualizes scenes, and forms opinions. These abilities are mirrored in the work of strong readers and learners. Working with educators, we can equip students with theatre-based tools that will help them to be confident and curious in the classroom and in life.” 

TheatreSquared’s outreach program, T2 for Education, is expanding quickly as the Theatre enters its Fifth Anniversary Season. In addition to designating Ms. Hicks the full-time Director of Education in 2009, the Theatre recently created the new part-time staff position of Learning Programs Manager and hired Kris Stoker, a two-year veteran of Cincinnati Shakespeare’s leading educational outreach programs, to fill the role. New arts-in-education offerings in the 2010/11 Season will include a series of free in-school workshops beginning in August 2010; a continuing residency with Fayetteville High School’s Keystone and Capstone literacy program, culminating in public readings of student ten-minute plays in May 2011;  the T2 Artist’s Forum series for lifelong learners, presented in partnership with Fayetteville Public Library and KUAF; and designated student performances for area schools offering a 75% discount on standard ticket prices.

TheatreSquared’s 2010 T2 Professional Development Institute is being developed in partnership with Dr. David Jolliffe, Brown Chair in English Literacy at the University of Arkansas and former coordinator of the writing-in-the-disciplines initiative at DePaul University in Chicago. He is co-author of ten books on writing, literacy, and other curricular subjects, and a frequent presenter at national conferences on language and communication. Dr. Jolliffe will join a group of distinguished experts and teaching artists in leading master classes and workshops for educators as part of the Professional Development Institute.

“The potential impact of this new offering is dramatic,” said Jolliffe, who is also a Board member at TheatreSquared. “One teacher can reach one hundred students over the course of a year. With comparable arts-in-education programs from coast to coast reporting measurable advances in classroom literacy, student engagement, attendance, test scores, and with the opportunity for arts educators to respond to the state’s new Common Core standards—it’s simply a terrific resource to have here in Northwest Arkansas.”

TheatreSquared is Northwest Arkansas’s professional theatre company, dedicated to creating exceptional theatre and innovative educational programs. For further information, contact TheatreSquared at 479.445.6333 or visit the Theatre's website at theatre2.org.

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TheatreSquared’s 2010/11 education programs are funded in part by Land O’Frost, Inc.

Support for the T2 Professional Development Institute is provided, in part, by the Arkansas Arts Council, an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage and the National Endowment for the Arts.