Provide a dynamic, group-focused approach to learning that’s fun, engages imaginations
and draws students into the experience of writing and communicating.
TheatreMoves' Art of Collaboration provides students of all ages with a fun, theatrical experience that develops teamwork and literacy skills while enhancing social/emotional growth. Through a unique series of scaffolded workshops that emphasize group interactive work, agreement and trust are established as students are exposed to and practice a new way of writing and communicating. This ‘physicalization of language’ is particularly supportive of multi-language learners (MLL) populations.
CLICK BELOW TO PLAY
Our lessons start with foundational skills and build towards collaborative storytelling and finally, performance. These workshops are available to every student in the school "in-person" or, if required, can be shared through teacher screen sharing via a smart board and by providing login information in which students can view videos independently.
Each workshop states the instructional goal (concentration, cooperation, collaborative storytelling, etc.) providing an opportunity to focus on specific needs of the class and guided practice/modeling by Paul and Neil. Assignments are also included. The assignments encourage family participation.
THE ART OF COLLABORATION
VIEW A SAMPLE LESSON
TEAMBUILDING & FOUNDATIONAL SKILLS
To help students learn concentration, cooperation and commitment, we utilize the familiarity of children’s games, such as Red Light/Green Light and Telephone, to create a welcoming, nurturing environment.
We add specific criteria to each game, providing structure, and transforming them into performances that inspire students to practice responsible decision making and have ‘fun with control’.
Our emphasis on group work allows students to listen and watch one another with effort which gets them ready for the next Section: Collaborative Storytelling.
Having practiced agreement and trust while performing in teams, students now work in pairs to create a story. The goal is to start with a simple ‘object’ that is mimed by using hands, body and facial expressions. Partner 1 needs to demonstrate 3 essential details that bring the object to life. For example, if the object is a baseball bat, Partner 1 might hold it as if in a batting stance, swing it, and tap the mud out of their cleats. Watching carefully, Partner 2 needs to add to the story by doing something different, but it needs to make sense. Perhaps ‘throwing a ball’ towards the Partner 1 would be appropriate. Partner 1 might choose to hit the ball or miss it, and the story evolves from there as a consequence of cause and effect. Selecting essential details embedded in simple objects enables students to practice editing & revising. This story technique forces students to slow down, think clearly and practice creating a story arc together.
Students practice performing stories that are filled with action and emotion. These ensemble performances pull together all the skills learned and practiced in Sections 1 and 2.
The stories are communicated through the whole body: facial expressions, freeze, gesture, action poses and voice. Students are actively interpreting the text, expressing appropriate details and communicating clearly. And, as always, they are having ‘fun with control’.
HOW IT WORKS
Provides a safe space
Engage students’ imaginations
Group work builds self and social awareness, self-management and relationship skills
Responsible decision making
Interpersonal and communication skills
Verbal modeling: precise pronunciation, clear enunciation, fluency
Total physical response
Sequencing of story parts
Organize and translate ideas into stories
Understand and experience the story arc
Support listening, speaking, and reading language modalities
Staying on topic
Importance of details
Paul and Neil met in 1979 at Stony Brook University. Paul was pre-med, Neil was a psychology major. By chance they performed together in a mime class, and with that connection, they began their 40 year collaboration in physical, experimental theater.
As touring presented teaching opportunities, they thought long and hard, and were able to tease out the skills inherent in their partnership and weave together their physical, collaborative approach to arts education.
WHAT PEOPLE SAY
Click arrow to see more