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Category Archives: Teaching Artists

Being Reminded of Amazing Opportunity Creative Action Gives to Austin Artists

by Freddy Carnes, Artistic Associate

While at our teacher training this week at Scottish Rite Theater,I was reminded  why Creative Action continues to grow and attract such gifted young artists. Part of the training was to demonstrate to new teachers the power of using teacher-in-role (or acting out a character) to teach a lesson. The demonstration involved using “The Heroes/Los Heroes” show to spotlight how this technique worked. Mitch Bowman and Stephanie Chavez-Noell are the actors in the show and they performed an excerpt. It was great!

The teachers were totally engaged and played the part of Kindergarten students. The story, the humor and the scaffolding of questions built in to the show allow the actors to demonstrate to the children how to solve conflicts at school and at home.

I was so proud of Stephanie and Mitch for carrying on the tradition of “Heroes” just like other shows developed over the years to teach students about such issues as:

  • Conflict resolution,
  • World culture, and
  • Bullying

I understand their commitment to making each show fresh and spontaneous. I was fortunate to perform in “The Heroes/Los Heroes” from 2006-2010. Mitch and Stephanie have added so many nice touches to the performance that it has become uniquely their own.

Once again I was reminded of the amazing opportunity that Creative Action has given to talented Austin artists to practice their craft. Thank you Creative Action!

About The Heroes/Los Heroes

  • 97% of reporting teachers reported they had new tools to help them resolve classroom conflict
  • 60% of teachers saw an increase in students engaging in a four-step conflict resolution process during any given week since receiving the Heroes program.
  • 89% of participating teachers reported their students have been using vocabulary from the program to help them resolve conflict in the classroom

Bagavagabonds and Creative Action: “Produce with a Purpose Day” Project in Austin

Bagavagbonds artists visited Manor Middle School yesterday to work with Creative Action teaching artist Will Heath and his students on murals to be displayed at Art Migration Austin (presented by smart USA) in a couple days (read more about the Art Migration event here).

Read the rest of the article: http://bagavagabonds.tumblr.com

Using Music to Tell Stories

by Freddy Carnes, Artistic Associate

Teaching Artist positions available for Theatre Action Project

Theatre Action Project (TAP) uses the creative arts to activate the academic, social and emotional development of young people. Through interactive classroom performances, after-school residencies and community based programs, TAP’s team of professional teaching artists inspire youth to be creative artists, courageous allies, critical thinkers, and confident leaders in their community.

We are currently seeking Teaching Artists of all disciplines (theatre, dance, visual art, film, puppetry, etc.) for the 2012 – 2013 school year to work with Austin area youth in our TAP After School programming for grades preK – 12th. Applicants must have professional artistic experience and demonstrate a genuine interest in arts education. Teaching Artists (TAs) at TAP must be:

  • Highly creative
  • Energetic
  • Enthusiastic team players
  • Have experience in writing curriculum.

All TAs are hired as part-time employees for the duration of the school year, August – June. TAs are expected to have general availability between the hours of 2:00 PM and 6:30 PM Monday – Friday, although specific schedules will be determined according to school placements. Bilingual (Spanish – English) candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. TAs must be available for auditions and interviews on August 1st  or 2nd and training starting August 20.

If you are interested in this position, please email your CV or resume to sarah@theatreactionproject.org no later than July 23, 2012.

Shakespeare Stories and Greek Myth

by Freddy Carnes, Artistic Associate

This week I started a workshop for Theatre Action Project as part of World Tales and Tunes called Shakespeare Stories and Greek Myth.  This is a hybrid of storytelling and an acting class with costumes and props.

Stepping Stone School requested an interactive two-hour class for children 5-12 years old that would include famous Shakespeare stories and Greek Myth, so I combined acting classes that I have taught with the stories that I have told and added costumes and props and a backdrop.

This week I have already gone to three different Stepping Stone Schools and done 6 of these two-hour performances with 150 children.  I have gotten such good feedback from the children, teachers and directors that we have already discussed expanding the workshop to the school year!

Thank you Shakespeare and Homer for giving our children such a great gift!

Summer Pageant: Exploring How our Food Grows

by Cassie Swayze, After School Programs Associate AmeriCorps VISTA

This Saturday is our annual Summer Pageant in the Park and my second year participating in the spectacle. Exploring the idea of How Our Food Grows, we added a few new books to the Theatre Action Project (TAP) library to teach students about harvesting, planting, and exploring a wide variety of fruits and vegetables.

The Vegetables We Eat by Gail Gibbons is a straightforward approach to growing vegetables from seed to table. Gail Gibbons’ books are always educational, beautifully illustrated, and well suited for any classroom of students. Eight groups of vegetables are identified using cheerful pictures and descriptions. This book was useful to our Summer Pageant in the Park classes as they chose vegetables to create for each season that will be presented at the event. The Vegetables We Eat is a valuable educational tool for students learning about growing, harvesting, and eating healthy food.

The Reason for Seasons by Gail Gibbons provides a simple explanation of why the seasons change, how seasons are different on other sides of the globe, different types of clouds, and much more! The Reason for Seasons is more appropriate for an older group of students than The Vegetables We Eat, but its illustrations are equally colorful and engaging.

Our Summer Pageant in the Park features work from nine schools and building large-scale puppets, costumes, and masks for 180 students is no small feat! A big TAP-tastic thank you to our After-School volunteers who generously donated over 80 hours this month in the classroom preparing for this event:

  • Lucie Cunningham
  • Katie Davis
  • Margarita Hutchinson
  • Chris Ledesma
  • Kat Townsend
  • Susan Reifsteck
  • Sweta Vakani
Join this Saturday, June 23rd for Summer Pageant in the Park at 10 a.m. Students will gather at the Sustainable Food Center Farmers’ Market Downtown to march in a grand procession of the year’s seasons, bringing all their puppets together culminating in a visual and aural spectacle. The public is invited to join the parade. The FREE family event will be followed by fun watermelon-eating and seed-spitting contests hosted by the Farmer’s Market as part of the Watermelon Festival.

P.S. I never went to summer camp growing up, but my favorite summertime memory was playing on the beach in San Diego with my sisters. We went every day all summer for twelve years!

Summer Camp Teaching Artists

Now that school is coming to an end, Theatre Action Project (TAP) teaching artists (TA’s) are gearing up for TAP Summer Camp. But this year is different because TAP now has 4 camp locations whereas in the past there was only 1 camp, which means there will be a few more teaching artists working this summer.

This summer features the following TA’s:

  • Amy Downing
  • Aron Taylor
  • Caroline Reck
  • Freddy Carnes
  • Ignacio Cruz
  • Kate Shaw
  • Keri Boyd
  • Lillie Hollingsworth
  • Marcelo Teson
  • Maya Berry
  • Meg Greene
  • Mitch Bowman
  • Natalie Goodnow
  • Sevylla del Mazo
  • Stephanie Chavez-Noell
  • Taylor Harrison
  • Tonya Lyles

To see the full list of our wonderful TA’s that work year-round, visit the TAP Teaching Artists page. For more information on camp, see our TAP Camps page.

See you this summer!