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SCHOOL FOR CLASSICS


WE NEED YOUR HELP!

Our goal this year was to raise $7,500 in individual donations
for the current school year to supplement the meagre budget that the school is able to carve out for this amazing program.  The school principal has shown a tremendous commitment to keep NPTC's comprehensive Theatre Curriculum at the heart of the school's teaching, and she has in fact let some other things go to maintain it.

WE ARE ONLY $1,975 SHORT OF REACHING THAT GOAL!

Thanks to all who contributed so far!

The program year for this residency ends on June 30th, so we are hoping to receive the remaining donations before then.  To help us achieve this important goal, please make a donation now!

ALL GIFTS ARE FULLY TAX-DEDUCTIBLE!

 

2012-13 AT SCHOOL FOR CLASSICS

This September NPTC began its fourth year at SCHOOL FOR CLASSICS and we have been working since then to fully implement our Integrated Theatre Arts Program for all grade levels. While our work in these years has increased dramatically, the resources to sustain this program have not kept pace due to continued budget cuts from the Department of Education. The basic contract covers the cost of curriculum development, mentoring teachers and providing professional development support, and producing the Shakespeare production. Our main need NOW is extra funding for qualified guest artists who can work across grades and content areas so that all students are ensured in-depth and rigorous training regardless of their specific interests. Guest artist workshops include Staged Combat and other Movement areas, Commedia del'Arte, Autobiographical Writing and Devised Theatre, as well as a range of Design and Technical subjects, including Multi-media techniques.

ABOUT THE NPTC/SFC PARTNERSHIP

The primary purpose of this program is to give disenfranchised and overlooked kids the vision, the tools, and the opportunity to be active players in the world around them.

NPTC's is a full partner in the creation of the Theatre Program:

  • mentoring Theatre Teachers and providing staff development expertise
  • collaboratively developing a year-long plan for the curriculum and productions
  • providing lesson plans and in-class instruction in specific areas
  • serving as the Producer for student Shakespeare productions
  • facilitating field trips to professional theatre productions and other industry-related events
  • helping to develop additional resources--human, material goods and funding--to grow the program and support our ambitious vision for what we can accomplish in a neighborhood that is really struggling.

Our goals are the most basic--to use Theatre to motivate student attendance and use the classics to give them the tools to participate fully in the academic life of the school.  While we are providing rigourous training and standards, we are also not expecting that all students will opt for a career in Theatre.  Rather, we are using the professional skills required for successful Theatre practitioners to prepare students for a multitude of career options.

Check out some highlights and achievements!

PROGRAM HISTORY

NPTC began working with School for Classics in July 2009, assisting this new high school in East New York, Brooklyn to get off the ground and begin creating an Integrated Theatre Curriculum. 

In that first year, almost 150 9th and 10th grade students were introduced to a range of theatre classes including:

  • performance
  • design
  • stage management
  • publicity
  • documentation

supplemented with lessons on                                            

  • Improvisation
  • Vocal Technique
  • Theatre History
  • Renaissance Dance and Culture
  • Staged Combat. 

In June 2010, more than half of the students participated in a 90-minute production of Romeo & Juliet as performers, designers, stage managers, front of house staff and publicists. The script was edited from The First Folio and all students--most of whom had never uttered a word of Shakespeare before--learned how to decode this 400-year old text.

In 2010-11, we drafted a plan for Theatre Majors, so that students could select the area in which they'd like to concentrate (while still providing the options for Performance, Design, Management and Technical Theatre).  Incoming freshmen performed their own Shakespeare Vaudeville and returning 10th and 11th graders presented a full production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, again using The First Folio text as the basis of our 90-minute edit. We closed out the year with an amazing trip to WICKED on Broadway.

In 2011-12 we had a full complement of just over 300 9th-12th graders and added even more activities for these students. Freshmen performed original Hip-Hop Sonnets they created with NPTC teaching artist Devon Glover; a mix of students participated in the first Story Soiree, based on a new Storytelling class we added in collaboration with The Moth.  A second Story Soiree was presented at the end of the school year at NPTC's Studio. In May, 10th-12th graders presented a 75-minute Macbeth with students in all classes producing sets and costumes, including using multi-media tools to create Apparitions and Banquo's progeny. The newest member of the NPTC teaching team, Alicia Rodis prepared students to wield professional broadswords in the play's noted fight scenes. This was the most ambitious production to date, and the school's principal, Janice Ross declared "as the curtain opened, the music began, and I saw the set, I felt like I was at a Broadway show!"

THE INTEGRATED THEATRE ARTS PROGRAM

This year we refined the curriculum to two majors: Performance and ProductionIncoming freshmen start with Storytelling (which includes creating and performing stories and an introduction to Theatre History); in their 2nd semester they are introduced to the Production aspects of Theatre as they learn to self-produce their own Story Soiree.

10th and 11th graders then attend four semesters of sequenced classes in one of the two majors, infused with the history and practice of Theatre from the Greeks to the mid-20th Century.  The academic instruction is combined with hands-on work--in small class workshops as well as the mainstage production--in all aspects of each major.  In the 12th grade, students from both majors attend combined classes to study contemporary theatre and devise their own projects--written, performed and produced by "companies" created within each classroom. The first devised theatre projects will be presented in Spring 2013.

HOW YOU CAN SUPPORT OUR STUDENTS

  • Make a donation!  We cannot under-state the severity of school budget cuts and the difficulties we face in doing as much as we might with the kids--from additional teaching artists to more field trips
  • Come to see their work! Performances and showcases are generally posted on our website and announced in our monthly e-newsletters. Performing for audiences of more than family and friends increases their professionalism and develops their confidence for going out into the wider world.
  • Volunteer!  As a new school, we are still working through a variety of systems that will make the program strong and enduring.  We can always use extra help during rehearsals, more chaperones on field trips, and caring mentors who can provide a little extra encouragement to students who need it.