by Chad Dike, Teaching Artist at Widen Elementary School
Last weekend I made the trek back to my old home town of Washington D.C.to attend the Advancing Youth Theatre: The 2012 Summit, Defining Best Practices in the Field of Youth Theatre. The summit was hosted by American Alliance for Theatre and Education (AATE) at Imagination Stage in Bethesda, Maryland and I have spent the last year working on the planning committee for this event, but nothing could have prepared me for the weekend.
The weekend centered around creating a list of best practices for youth theatre practitioners who work with young people ages 8-18. There were sessions on positive self development, devising theatre with youths, directing scripted works, and diversity in the rehearsal process led by yours truly, with a lot of help from colleagues from Theatre Offensive in Boston and Imagination Stage. Each session’s best practices will be presented at the AATE conference in August.
The concept for the weekend was simple, put smart people who do good work in a room together, and amazing things will come out. The 30-so practitioners included teaching artists (like myself), administrators, and directors. People came from California to New York. We spent nearly 24 hours together and in the end I found that I knew most of what we talked about, but that wasn’t the important part. The important part was to TELL PEOPLE about the work we do. to SHARE the work we do not just with other practitioners, but also with the public.
So how does this relate to you, you say? “What does this do for the TAP community?” Well, I say, “Tell people.” You know the amazing work that is happening around you. Tell people. Tell everyone.
My goal for 2012 is to make sure EVERYONE I know and meet knows the amazing work that is happening right under their noses.
For more information about AATE please go to http://www.aate.com/