Devising Original Performance

Devising Original Performance
Ms. Kerrigan facilitates 6th-12th graders and at-risk youth in the creation of original performances about issues important to them. These residencies spark or renew students' interest in drama, dance, creative writing, and poetry as vital means of self-expression. Past performances have dealt with gossip, body image and the media, school issues, stereotyping, bullying, and life after death, as well as lighter subjects. We can also work with Social Studies subjects. These residencies involve up to three classes per day and last from five days to five weeks. Students practice 21st Century skills of listening, speaking, communicating, collaborating, creativity, critical thinking, and innovation, plus methods that help a group work happily together like building safety, using peaceful and supportive communication, offering positive critical response, listening deeply, and giving affirmations. A culminating performance delivers a sense of achievement and community support to the students.

Artist Background

Sheila Kerrigan has performed and taught in schools and communities in 22 states. She co-directed and performed with TOUCH Mime Theater for 17 years, and directed and performed with Jelly Educational Theater for 4. She wrote “The Performer’s Guide to the Collaborative Process.” She served with Alternate ROOTS’ Resources for Social Change and taught “Community-Based Performance, Where Art and Activism Intersect” at Duke. She works with youth-at-risk to create original performances about issues important to them. A former Fellow with the A+ Schools Program and current president of the SE Center for Arts Integration, she teaches arts integration theory & practice to teachers. She has studies teaching artistry with The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, and at Trinity College, Dublin.

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