203 episodes

The Drama Teacher Podcast - brought to you by Theatrefolk, the Drama Teacher Resource Company

The Drama Teacher Podcast The Drama Teacher Podcast

    • Arts
    • 4.3 • 6 Ratings

The Drama Teacher Podcast - brought to you by Theatrefolk, the Drama Teacher Resource Company

    Theatre as a Teaching Tool

    Theatre as a Teaching Tool

    Episode 214: Theatre as a teaching tool



    The drama classroom is not just a place for games and play time. You can use theatre as a teaching tool - perhaps the most important one students will ever receive. That’s the philosophy of long time drama teacher Michelle Huerta and she has grown and changed over the years as her students have grown and changed.







    Show Notes



    Drama Teacher Academy

    School Daze



    Episode Transcript



    Welcome to the Drama Teacher Podcast brought to you by Theatrefolk – the Drama Teacher Resource Company.



    I’m Lindsay Price.



    Hello! I hope you're well.



    Thanks for listening!



    This is Episode 214. You can find any links to this episode in the show notes which are at Theatrefolk.com/episode214.



    Today is a lovely conversation. It’s one of those ones that, you know, it starts in one place and ends up in another. You know, I say that and then, well, I suppose all conversations do that, don’t they?



    We don’t just stay in one place. Otherwise, all the words would just dump all on top of each other and you wouldn’t be able to understand anything.



    Now, I’m thinking about conversations that tumble on top of each other. This tangent is brought to you by Theatrefolk.com.



    Our guest today is a 30-year teacher veteran and, frankly, I love what she has to say about being a long-term teacher. I love what she has to say about 21st century students. I love her advice for new teachers and I know that you are going to love it, too.



    Let’s get to it. I’ll see you on the other side.



    LINDSAY: Hello everybody!



    I am so excited today to be talking to Michelle Huerta.



    Hello, Michelle!



    MICHELLE: Hi Lindsay!



    How are you?



    LINDSAY: Fantastic!



    First of all, please let everybody know where you are in the world today.



    MICHELLE: I am in Austin, Texas – very far southwest part of Austin, Texas.



    LINDSAY: Very nice.



    How long have you been a teacher?



    MICHELLE: I have been teaching for over 30 years.



    LINDSAY: I like the laugh before you thought. It was like, “Oh, my goodness, 30 years.”



    MICHELLE: Yeah, yeah.



    LINDSAY: Let’s talk about that for a second. That’s fantastic.



    How do you feel about teaching for 30 years?



    MICHELLE: I can’t believe that it’s been that long. It doesn’t seem like it’s been that long. But, whenever I say it, I realize that means I must be old if I’ve been teaching that long. But I love teaching middle school and I’ve been teaching middle school now for about 25 years.



    LINDSAY: Let’s talk about that for a second.



    What keeps you teaching?



    MICHELLE: The kids. I just love working with the kids.



    I think, middle school, a lot of people go, “Oh, you teach middle school? Oh, my gosh!” but I actually love middle school compared to high school because, in high school, they’re getting to that age a lot of times where they’re a little jaded. They think they’re a little bit too cool.



    In middle school, there’s still that excitement about learning new things and figuring things out. I really enjoy their enthusiasm and it makes me energized, if that makes any sense.



    I know a lot of people would think that’s crazy – that it usually makes you tired – but, their energy, I feed off of it. It’s just great.



    LINDSAY: I think that just means that you’ve actually found and lived the thing you were ...

    • 27 min
    Happy Birthday Frankenstein!

    Happy Birthday Frankenstein!

    Episode 213: Happy Birthday Frankenstein!



    It’s Frankenstein’s Birthday this month! Or more accurately, it’s the birthday of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, the author of the classic gothic romance Frankenstein. Drama teacher and playwright Laramie Dean talks about writing his adaptation of the novel (Frankenstein Among the Dead), what it’s like to take on this iconic work and writing for his students. How do you adapt it to the high school stage and high school budgets? How do you adapt it so there is more variety in the gender roles? (PS: there are great parts for girls in his play!)







    Show Notes



    Frankenstein Among the Dead

    Laramie Dean Podcast: This Place Scares Us on Frankenstein Among the Dead



    Episode Transcript



    Welcome to the Drama Teacher Podcast brought to you by Theatrefolk – the Drama Teacher Resource Company.



    I’m Lindsay Price.



    Hello! I hope you're well.



    Thanks for listening!



    This is Episode 213, and you can find any links to this episode in the show notes which are at Theatrefolk.com/episode213.



    Did you know it’s Frankenstein’s birthday this month? Happy birthday, Frankenstein!



    Well, more accurately, it is the birthday of Mary – oh, I’m going to say this so wrong – Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley – Mary Shelley – the author of the classic gothic romance, Frankenstein.



    Our guest today tackled this iconic story and adapted it into a play – a play for high schools. Not an easy feat, right? There are many movie adaptations, many parodies. “It’s Frankens-teen, not Frankenstein.” That was the worst ever, don’t you think? I think!



    Many versions of the monster. How do you make it theatrical? How do you adapt it to the high school stage and high school budget? How do you make it current to the student climate? We can’t publish a play that’s all guys and all the great parts.



    So many questions! Let’s get to the answers. I’ll see you on the other side!



    LINDSAY: Hello! Thank you everybody for listening!



    I’m here today with Laramie Dean.



    LARAMIE: Hello, Lindsay!



    LINDSAY: Tell everybody where in the world you are.



    LARAMIE: I am in Missoula, Montana.



    LINDSAY: Missoula, Montana. Very nice.



    We’re going to talk about a lot of things. We’re going to talk about you. We’re going to talk about Frankenstein Among the Dead which is this lovely – let’s see – this lovely thing. It’s a brand-new play here at Theatrefolk.



    We’re going to start with you and teaching. How long have you been a drama teacher?



    LARAMIE: I started teaching theatre in 2003 as an assistant to one of the professors of the University of Montana where I had just recently finished my bachelor’s degree in acting and I was sort of at odds. I didn’t know what I wanted to do anymore.



    Dr Jillian Campana – who is a huge influence on me and my career – asked me to come and assistant direct the university’s production of The Laramie Project. I had never directed before. She said, “Oh, you’ll be great, you’ll be great!”



    We had a freshman in the program. He was very hard to reach, and she was having trouble directing him. She said, “You work with this guy after rehearsal.” I was like, “Ah, umm…”



    I sat down with him and we talked. I gave him some suggestion and some direction. He changed for the better and, all of a sudden, I went, “Oh, my god, I can do this. I’m actually good at this.

    • 36 min
    Drama Teachers: Take back the classics

    Drama Teachers: Take back the classics

    Episode 212: Drama Teachers: Take back the classics



    Julie Hartley wants you to take back the classics. Lose the idea that Shakespeare is high brow and just for people who only have a grasp of the language. Listen in to learn a practical and classroom driven approach to a classical text.







    Show Notes



    Julie Hartley website

    Centauri Arts Camp

    Drama Teacher Academy



    Episode Transcript



    Welcome to the Drama Teacher Podcast brought to you by Theatrefolk – the Drama Teacher Resource Company.



    I’m Lindsay Price.



    Hello! I hope you're well.



    Thanks for listening!



    This is Episode 212. You can find any links to this episode in the show notes which are at Theatrefolk.com/episode212.



    Today, we are talking the classics – the “classics” with quotation marks and fancy fonts.



    For example, classics, Shakespeare!’



    Now, we’re not just talking Shakespeare, we’re not just talking the classics. We are specifically talking about taking back the classics.



    The word “classic” has such a connotation to it, right? It makes some people think of a piece that is beyond them. “Oh, it’s so uber important! Oh, it’s a classic!” Or the opposite. “It’s dusty and boring and completely irrelevant to the current times.”



    Our guest today wants you to trash both those notions. Shakespeare is current and relevant. Shakespeare should not be put on a pedestal. I love it! I love her approach, and I know you will, too!



    Let’s get to it. I’ll see you on the other side.



    LINDSAY: Hello everyone!



    I am here today, talking with Julie Hartley.



    Hello, Julie!



    JULIE: Hi!



    LINDSAY: First of all, could you tell everybody where in the world you are?



    JULIE: Physically, right now, I am in Toronto. I work generally all across Southern Ontario.



    LINDSAY: Very cool. Very cool.



    When this goes to air, it will be hopefully nice spring weather and maybe even summer weather. Right now, though, I think we’re both dealing with a little bit of winter fatigue. How was the ice storm where you are?



    JULIE: Hopefully, it’s clearing up today. It was pretty bad over the weekend, though. We’re definitely ready for spring here.



    LINDSAY: I know it, I know it.



    I know too that spring for you means something kind of exciting. We’re going to be talking about Shakespeare, and particularly how you can take classical text and really make them come alive in the classroom.



    Julie, you were many hats, and one of your great hats is an arts summer camp. Talk about that for just a second.



    JULIE: Yeah, sure!



    We’ve been doing this for the past 24 years. What we do is, every summer, we bring together up to 500 children and teenagers from all over the world. They come and join us at a big center down in the Niagara region, and we bring together arts professionals – mostly from all over Canada – who offer specialized courses for the teenagers.



    In theatre, we have everything from stage combat, clown, improvisation, comedy. We have programs that focus on scene study and other programs that focus on devised theatre. Pretty much, I guess, a child or a teenager could come to us every summer for about five to six years and never cover the same material twice. They have so many different focuses they can choose from, all of them to do with theatre.



    It’s a summer camp,

    • 26 min
    Putting together a touring high school show

    Putting together a touring high school show

    Episode 211: Putting together a touring high school show



    How do you put together a touring show with your students? Drama Teacher Mike Yoson and his advanced production class completed their first tour this past year. Listen in to hear the successes and struggles of this fabulous project.







    Show Notes



    The Bright Blue Mailbox Suicide Note



    Episode Transcript



    Welcome to the Drama Teacher Podcast brought to you by Theatrefolk – the Drama Teacher Resource Company.



    I’m Lindsay Price.



    Hello! I hope you're well.



    Thanks for listening!



    This is Episode 211. Woot, woot! And you can find any links to this episode in the show notes which are at Theatrefolk.com/episode211.



    All right. I love starting with questions. I have so many questions for you! And then, it becomes interactive. You can answer. I can’t hear you but… well, actually, yes. Yes, I can. Of course, I can. I always hear you.



    Do you have an advanced theatre class? Are you looking for a new challenge? What about a touring show? Can you imagine putting that together with your students? Eh? Yes? No? Never? Maybe?



    Well, our guest today did just that, and you – lucky you – get to find out all the successes and struggles of this fabulous project.



    So, let’s get to it. I’ll see you on the other side.



    LINDSAY: Hello everyone!



    Lindsay Price here from Theatrefolk. Thanks for joining me!



    I am talking with drama teacher – Mike Yoson.



    Hello, Mike!



    MIKE: Hello! How are you?



    LINDSAY: I’m fabulous! I’m fabulous!



    So, tell everybody where in the world you are.



    MIKE: I am in Piscataway, New Jersey. That’s the central area of New Jersey, about an hour outside of New York.



    LINDSAY: Very cool, very cool.



    How long have you been a drama teacher?



    MIKE: This is my third year – fairly new.



    LINDSAY: That’s okay. That’s all right. We know lots of people who are new.



    What was it about teaching? What drew you to teaching drama?



    MIKE: Sure.



    I grew up being the biggest drama kid ever. I actually went to school for acting. I went to school in New York for that. And then, after I lived there for four years, I came back to New Jersey and I ended up working at a school for students with multiple disabilities as an aide. It was a school that I’d worked at in the past and I ended up having a full-year job there.



    Through my time at that school, I realized, “Hey! I think teaching is a really cool thing to do and I really enjoy it.” So, I decided to combine my two passions.



    I went back to school, got my theatre ed certifications, and started teaching high school.



    LINDSAY: Have you been at the same school since you started?



    MIKE: Yes, Piscataway High School.



    LINDSAY: But it’s a very specific shift, eh?



    MIKE: Oh, yeah.



    LINDSAY: To go from “I want to be a performer” to “I want to be in the classroom.”



    What do you think it is about being in the classroom that that’s the thing that you wanted to pursue?



    MIKE: Well, I loved my high school theatre days. I look back on it so passionately. I just think it was so much fun.



    Once I started delving into the teaching, I realized how cool it was to expose kids to theatre for the first time or even develop their skills if they were “theatre kids” from birth like I was. Just to see them grow and develop and find a new passion or just find a place where they can grow more confidence.

    • 29 min
    Facilitating a student led production

    Facilitating a student led production

    Episode 210: A Facilitating a student led production



    Have you ever sat back and let your students take control of a play? How do you let students learn from the struggles throughout the process, rather than making the decisions for them?  Drama teacher Saran Hankins shares her experience facilitating a student driven production.







    Show Notes



    Shuddersome

    The Myths at the Edge of the World

    Drama Teacher Academy

























    Episode Transcript



    Welcome to the Drama Teacher Podcast brought to you by Theatrefolk – the Drama Teacher Resource Company.



    I’m Lindsay Price.



    Hello! I hope you're well.



    Thanks for listening!



    This is Episode 210, and you can find any links to this episode in the show notes which are at Theatrefolk.com/episode210.



    Today, we’re talking about student-driven work.



    Have you ever sat back and let your students take control of a play? Now, how does that make you feel? Does that make you feel excited, nervous, nauseous? How do you let students learn from the struggles that they’ll find throughout the production process rather than making the decisions for them?



    That’s exactly what our guest did with a recent production of Shuddersome, and it is a great conversation, so let’s get to it! I’ll see you on the other side!



    LINDSAY: Hello everyone! Thank you for joining us!



    I am here with Sarah Hankins.



    Hello, Sarah!



    SARAH: Hello!



    LINDSAY: So, first of all, please tell everybody where in the world you are right now.



    SARAH: I am at Clinton High School in Clinton, Mississippi.



    LINDSAY: Nice, very nice, and how long have you been at your school?



    SARAH: This is my third year teaching at Clinton High School.



    LINDSAY: Oh, and how long have you been a drama teacher?



    SARAH: This is my seventh year. I’m about to finish up my seventh year.



    LINDSAY: Very good. Okay. So, seven years in, what is the thing that keeps you teaching?



    SARAH: Honestly, the students because they change so much, and you just get to build these relationships with them that, you know, your normal classroom teachers don’t have. So, they honestly keep me coming back, day after day.



    LINDSAY: Awesome. Well, that’s good. It’s good to have something that keeps you coming back. I know that’s not the case for everybody.



    What was it that made you want to go into teaching and being a drama teacher?



    SARAH: Well, funny thing is – and I just shared this story with students earlier – I actually swore I would never become a school teacher. And then, it just kind of hit me that I would be missing something,

    • 27 min
    Page to Stage: What can you learn in 48 hours?

    Page to Stage: What can you learn in 48 hours?

    Episode 209: Page to Stage: What can you learn in 48 hours?



    What can you learn when you put up a show from page to stage in 48 hours? Teacher and playwright Scott Giessler shares his experience. If you want your students to have an immediate lesson in problem solving this is the conversation for you!







    Show Notes



    Life, Off Book

    Finishing Sentences

    Oddball



    Episode Transcript



    Welcome to the Drama Teacher Podcast brought to you by Theatrefolk – the Drama Teacher Resource Company.



    I’m Lindsay Price.



    Hello! I hope you're well.



    Thanks for listening!



    Here is the question of the episode:



    “What can you learn when you put up a play in 48 hours?”



    I’m just going to let that resonate with you. Play to stage in just two days – not two months, not a year – two days!



    So, this 48-hour play project, that’s what our guest did today with his students, and he’s going to share his experience with this great project, this great problem-solving project. Aha! Everything is a learning experience.



    Now, I have to warn you, the sound may be a little wonky. When we recorded it, there was bad weather on my end, bad weather on his end, so that’s what I’m blaming it on – weather! But what Scott has to say is so lovely. Oh, I really love this conversation, so hang in there. I’m going to hang in there. You do it, too. All right? Let’s do it.



    LINDSAY: Hello everybody!



    I am here, talking to Scott Giessler.



    Hello, Scott!



    SCOTT: Hello!



    LINDSAY: So, tell everybody where in the world you are.



    SCOTT: I am calling from very cold, Wolfeboro, New Hampshire.



    LINDSAY: I hear you. I feel you. I’m hoping that, when this goes up, maybe it won’t be so cold, but you never know!



    SCOTT: Yeah.



    LINDSAY: Scott, you are a teacher and playwright, so let’s just start with the teacher first. How long have you been a drama teacher?



    SCOTT: I’ve been doing it for 17 years, and it’s been a pretty steady job at that. I started in 2001 and I’ve been just working at it ever since.



    LINDSAY: What made you want to get into the teaching aspect?



    SCOTT: Okay. Well, I had another life before this where I was working in the commercial sector because I went to college and I wanted to be a screenwriter. After I left college, I went through several different jobs in the commercial sector, just in the entertainment biz – both in Boston. Then, I moved to LA and did a little work there.



    There was just a point where I started to realize that there was kind of that big, empty hole in my life of, you know, these jobs are interesting on some level, but I couldn’t care any less about them. And then, it all came to a head when I’d gotten laid off at a job and I just couldn’t imagine applying for any other jobs that were available.



    My wife and I sat down and sort of talked about it. We developed a plan to move back east to New Hampshire where I’d spent a lot of my summers. When I got here, as it turned out, the local high school was looking for a theatre teacher.



    So, things really kind of magically came together for me, all in the summer of 2001, and they hired me on a wing and a prayer because I had no credentials at the time. Eventually, you know, it started off as just sort of a stipend job when I was a study hall monitor, and I think I taught a theatre class in middle school whi...

    • 32 min

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5
6 Ratings

6 Ratings

Jersey Tones ,

Extremely helpful podcast

I have been an acting teacher for 30 years. For the past 14 years I have been running my own school called Actors Playground in Freehold NJ. I also run a touring social issue theater company out of the school called Playground Theatre Project in which we use a peer to peer philosophy for all grade levels. A friend of mine from Mason Gross, Mike Calderone was recently on the podcast and I’ve been listening ever since. I am always trying to pick up new exercises, new approaches, and fresh opinions. This podcast has provided all of that and much more. It’s very interesting to listen to fellow theater professionals around the country sharing their thoughts on their experiences and ambitions. What an amazing resource this is! I have added much to my curriculum from listening to this podcast. Bravo to all involved. The show has definitely made a difference in my classroom. Keep up the good work guys!

Artpopnot ,

Great Podcast

I love Theatrefolk! As a high school drama teacher, actor , and write, the resources gain by this podcast are enormous. Thank you Lindsay & Theatrefolk.

jNicShoe ,

Brief but Benign

No one is going to accuse TFP of being groundbreaking, but it has utility for beginning play writes. Although one has to suffer through the—latently dislikable—host and her frequent self-important rants, overall it's worth a listen if you've got twenty minutes and the topic catches your eye.

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