ATF’s innovative in-school outreach program for middle school students brings teaching artists into the classroom to guide students in writing plays about their school subjects. This five week artist in residency program concludes with public readings of the students’ scripts using professional actors at ATF’s performance venue, The Charles R. Wood Theater.
StageWRITE allows middle school students to find their voice by writing original short plays in order to learn curriculum in a non-conventional way. Along the way StageWRITE helps students improve writing skills and has demonstrated a positive impact on attendance, while at the same time allowing the students to experience first-hand the power of live theatre. StageWRITE brings to the classroom ATF’s mission of creating new plays and engaging the community in the process. Throughout its six-year history, the program has been utilized to reinforce such diverse content areas as the Middle Ages, African-American history, poetry, astronomy or concepts in which teachers feel students need additional help/exposure.
Working with the artists and classroom teachers, the process begins with research through self-discovery and collaboration before moving into teaching playwriting techniques and vocabulary through theater games and improvisation. Students use their new knowledge to write a short play on their chosen topic. These plays are then presented as script in hand readings by professional actors. During the rehearsal process the students provide input as writers and directors alongside ATF Teaching Artists.
If you are interested in learning more about StageWRITE and how it could be used at your child’s school, please call us at 518.798.7479.