Act!vated Story Theatre

Hands-On, Minds-On
InterACTive Classroom Workshops

  • Workshops are 30-45 minutes or 1 class period
  • Limited to 30 participants or one class
  • There are two workshop leaders. Venues may schedule two workshops during the same time period.
  • If tour permits, select workshops may be scheduled at venues not hosting shows. Please check the itinerary for availability in your area.
  • Workshops are included with residency programs at no extra charge
  • Deaf, Hearing-Impaired and students with other disabilities are welcome to participate.
  • Workshops fully support Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and National Theatre Art Standards

Extend the learning experience after the school assemblies with follow-up workshops that focus on specific aspects of the play. Hands-on, Minds-on Workshops are available to boost imagination, creative thinking skills and self-confidence, while helping teachers reinforce core curriculum standards and help prepare students for tests.

In addition to classroom settings, Act!vated Workshops are suitable for libraries, conventions and family groups.

Using the performance as a launching pad, either Dennis the performer/playwright or Kimberly the performer/director, will answer questions about putting together a show, performing on stage and the stories from the show. The performers Act!vate each workshop to promote learning. They draw upon extensive experience as performer/educators to make the activities fun, memorable and stimulating. Because children learn better when their senses are engaged, each workshop incorporates tangible objects and physical activity whenever possible.

NOTE: The half-hour pre-show acting workshop for up to 12 participants is included with each show at no additional charge.

Nine Workshops Options to Choose From:

1. Writing

3rd grade - Junior High

The playwright demonstrates methods for expository and/or narrative writing; focusing on priming the pump of the imagination and freeing it from self-criticism, and discovering the magic of words as dynamic tools of self-exploration.

During the session the students will learn

How to brainstorm ideas and collaborate on writing scripted scenes

Improvise to promote creativity and imagination in writing the process for turning a story into a script

K-8 Theatre Standard: Script writing by planning and recording improvisations based on personal experience and heritage, imagination, literature, and history

2. Performing Art - Physical Comedy

Preschool - Jr. High

The students participate in physical comedy exercises helping them build self-expression, self-esteem and teamwork skills. P.E. and literature arts all in one class.

Mathew Reason, author of The Young Audience, identifies the central problem facing theatre for young audiences as being "that children tend to feel disconnected from theatre: it is an aspect of cultural production that, unlike music or television, for example, is divorced from the context of their daily lives."

Through the Performance Arts workshop(s) students foster a connection to theatre, thereby developing a sense of ownership and elevating the importance theatre plays in their lives.

By the end of the workshop participants will be able to

K-4 Theatre Standard 2: Acting by assuming roles and interacting in improvisations

5-8 Theatre Standard 2: Acting by developing basic acting skills to portray characters who interact in improvised and scripted scenes

3. Performing Arts - Behind the Scenes

Preschool - Jr. High

In this 45 minute session the class gets a sneak peak at what happens backstage. One of the performer/creators will discuss the research and skills that go into creating the props, sets and costumes. The students will also see a demonstration on how the performers manage to pull off quick costume changes at lightning speed. Questions are answered and the stories are reviewed from a behind the scenes perspective.

Please note, it helps to hold this workshop in the same room as the performance before the set is struck.

Haciavat and Karagoz from the Shadow Builders - click for current show

4. Performing Arts - Dancing with the Folktale Stars

2nd Grade - Jr. High

Students explore the world of dance in connection to one of the stories. Take basic dance steps, add character, comedy and teamwork. No dance experience necessary.

Grade K-4 Dance Standard 1: Identifying and demonstrating movement elements and skills in performing dance

Grade K-4 Dance Standard 4: Applying and demonstrating critical and creative thinking skills in dance

Grade K-4 Dance Standard 5: Demonstrating and understanding dance in various cultures and historical periods

5. Storytelling / Podcasting

2nd grade - Middle School (1 to 3 sessions)

Session I: The elements of storytelling. Explore the elements of presenting a narrative in a lively, memorable fashion to an admiring audience. Learn speech and delivery techniques to keep your audience engaged.

Session II: Recording a podcast. Participants record a folktale together as a group, playing characters and improvising dialogue to bring the story to life.

Session III: Editing and producing a podcast. Participants work in teams with sound files, editing and putting the final touches on the stories recorded to complete the project. The story may be featured on the Act!vated Stories podcast. (Computers required for third session.)

6. "Hand Play" - American Sign Language

Recommended for mixed ages: Toddler - Adult

A fun, very hands-on introduction to communicating with your hands. Students quickly learn some useful signs and the basic principles of American Sign Language by means of fun stories, songs and games. (One to five consecutive sessions available for week long residency programs).

By the end of the session, students will be able to

7. History and Culture

3rd - 8th Grade

Students will examine the culture and background behind the folktales they have seen staged. Includes history, geography, culture, music, dance, art and theatre.

K-4 Theatre Standard 5: Researching by finding information to support classroom dramatizations

5-8 Theatre Standard 5: Researching by using cultural and historical information to support improvised and scripted scenes

8. Across the USA

4th grade - adult

The performers have stories to share - not just folktales, but personal accounts of history, sights, experiences and adventures of non-stop travel across America.


9. Arts and Crafts

Pre-school - Middle School

The actors visit the classroom to discuss the stories and give the students the opportunity to create a craft related to one of the stories. Such activities may include: mask or puppet making, prop building or set design. Art supplies must be supplied (common supplies that are on hand may be sufficient) or an additional supply fee may apply.

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ASL in every show