Modeling Democracy: Student Voices in the Classroom & on the Stage
This master class is intended for teachers of any subject who want to showcase the voices of students in a creative fashion. “Devised theater” is an umbrella term encompassing many modes of theater-making. In this workshop we will explore a fundamentally democratic process for making theater in which a group chooses a topic (which could be a political issue or historical event) and then collaborates in creating a theatrical piece that explores and often includes multiple perspectives. No theatrical training is required for this workshop but of course theater teachers will benefit enormously. The class is in two parts. Participants will first attend the evening performance of St. Ann’s Warehouse’s production of The Fall, a piece of devised theater created by The Baxter Theatre Centre at the University of Cape Town, on Tuesday, March 20th. The master class workshop itself will take place three days later, on March 23rd during the day. Participants will learn about devised theater from one of its leading practitioners. Then, using The Fall as a model, they’ll divide into groups, each of which will choose a topic and create a piece of devised theater to share with their colleagues.
Rinne Groff is a playwright, a performer, and a founding member of the devised theater company Elevator Repair Service. Her latest play, Fire in Dreamland, opens at The Public Theater in June. Other of her plays and musicals have been produced by Playwrights Horizons, Yale Rep, Berkeley Rep, and elsewhere. She also wrote for Showtime’s Weeds. Rinne is a recipient of a Whiting Writers Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Obie Award grant, a Rita and Burton Goldberg Playwriting Award, and two NYSCA Individual Artist grants. She teaches at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.