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Our Education Department Looks Forward

Photo by Brian Feinzimer.

By A Noise Within
January 27, 2021

Written by Paul Ramirez

The Monologues! The Professional Development! The Shakespeare! Oh my! We recently talked to our Director of Education and Community Outreach Alicia Green to ask how the pandemic impacted the Education Program and how the Department plans to overcome these challenges this upcoming year. 

“The night before the lockdown, our actors were rehearsing for a student matinee of The Winter’s Tale, only to discover the next day that California was under stay-at-home orders for the foreseeable future,” said Alicia. “Since then, the Education Department has pivoted to translate theatre into the digital space through streamed readings, Zoom workshops, and online activities to keep our students, teachers, and community members connected to the arts—and each other.”

Thanks to the hard work of Alicia and her team, classes and programming have been fully fleshed out for an online-only format and a COVID-19 safe hybrid format for Summer with Shakespeare. 

A teal to purple gradient backdrop. White cursive reads: Are you a lover or a fighter? We have a class for you! On the left is a book with bright red flowers bursting from its pages. Written in white cursive is Shakespeares Contradictory Views of Love. On the right is a black minimalist drawing of a horse head. Written in white cursive is Iliad Why Are We Still in Love with War?Our Spring 2021 programming begins in February and early March with two interactive classes that Shakespeare and Homer would wish they could attend. Students, teachers, and theatre lovers of all ages will be able to join theatre scholar Dr. Miranda Johnson-Haddad for in-depth discussions for Such Sweet Sorrow”: Shakespeare’s Contradictory Views of Love and Homer’s The Iliad and Peterson and O’Hare’s An Iliad: Why Are We Still in Love with War? Attend both classes for double the fun and double the learning. 

Our Virtual Spring Professional Development on March 31 will feature three different workshops for teachers and educators. Aubrey Saverino, who is herself a professional actor and teaching artist, will lead our first workshop on Acting. Our second workshop is titled Things that Matter: Voices, Spaces, and Stories and will be hosted by educator Nikysha Gilliam. Finally, Andrew Villaverde will cover all things Technical Theatre. Also included in our Professional Development day will be a Q&A with our beloved Dr. Miranda Johnson-Haddad. 

Our Education Department continues to strive to deliver students arts programs even when schools are not face to face. Director Alicia Green said: “These programs provide invaluable resources for students and teachers alike. Students are able to learn empathy, teamwork, and how to express their creativity.” With this in mind, the Education Department is busy sorting through monologues for The Show Must Go On Monologue Festival. Submissions will be open to students in grades 9–12, and the event will take place on Friday, May 14th at 5pm. Students will be able to perform their one-minute monologue for a panel of theatre professionals and receive feedback. From Shakespeare to Wilson to Miller, students can bring their best monologue performances from a variety of playwrights. 

A high school student stoops in a wide stance and spreads out both arms in the middle of a dramatic speech onstage. The student has short brown hair and wears green pants, a black shirt, and an opened collared beige shirt with rolled up sleeves. In the background, half a dozen other students in casual black and pastel colored clothes sit on a bench or on the stage slightly out of focus in the photo.Speaking of Shakespeare, as the temperature begins to rise, so will our work on transforming our Summer With Shakespeare Summer Camp into a state-of-the-art hybrid (online/in-person) program! From June 14th to July 16th, campers will be able to immerse themselves into the theatre world with swords, acting, improv, set and costume design, and all the incredible quality and fun you’ve come to know and expect from us. You will have three different age-based tracks to choose from ranging from ages 6 through 18.

These events are just the beginning of what our Education Department has planned for this year. As Alicia concluded, “Our ultimate goal is to ensure students continue to receive the highest-quality theater education experience, even in a virtual or hybrid setting.” For any questions or inquiries, be sure to contact our Education Department by emailing and stay in touch by following @anw_education on Instagram.

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