What Were They Thinking?

What Were They Thinking?

How can drama add detail and elaboration in student writing? How does rehearsal improve fluency? How can students gain focus and control for drama in the classroom? How can we assess learning through drama? This residency integrates Theatre, English (literature, reading, fluency, writing, speaking & listening), and/or History. Before the residency, Ms. Kerrigan meets with teachers to plan the focus of the residency, and students in groups research key figures they are studying in History or Literature. During the residency, Ms. Kerrigan leads students through dramatic explorations of the historical context and issues, providing them with details and elaboration for their writing. Students write, in the voice of their historical or literary figure, a letter, or argument, or another form, that explains the who, when, where, why, and how of their character. They rehearse and perform their writing. (W.1 Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons.)

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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