Oregon Children's Theatre

Oregon Children's Theatre's mission is to advance growth, development and creativity through exceptional theater experiences.
Jul 30, 2014

2013-14 End of Season Report

Zombie in Love
Zombie in Love

Thank you for your generous support of Oregon Children’s Theatre!

OCT closed our 2013-14 season with The Giver, Fancy Nancy, and Zombie in Love - a world premiere musical from an original script and score we commissioned. In reviewing Zombie in Love Portland Stage Reviews (by Becky Burke, 3/1/14) wrote, “I envision middle school and high school drama departments all over the country performing this musical. Everyone can relate to not fitting in, feeling like the awkward teen – OCT captured that exact feeling, and that time, and condensed it into a musical.”

Our productions were consistently recognized for their quality. OCT was honored with six Drammy Awards (Portland’s version of the Tony Awards), making OCT the second most honored organization in Portland’s 2013-14 theater season regardless of the age of the audience. The Giver earned Drammy Awards for Prop Design and Projection Design; and Zombie in Love received awards for Young Performer, Director of a Musical, Original Script, and Original Score. OCT also received three Portland Area Musical Theatre Awards: Zombie in Love and Fancy Nancy were both recognized for Young Performer, and Zombie in Love was honored as Best Original Musical.

21,000 students attended school field trip performances, and 3,900 students from economically disadvantaged schools received ticket scholarships to ensure access that would not otherwise be possible. OCT offered teachers 2 professional development workshops and 3 free preview performances that allowed them to see the play before their field trip to help with the integration of the play into their classroom plans. More than 200 teachers participated in these activities.

One of OCT’s goals is to ensure that our plays also advance curriculum-linked classroom learning for our school audiences. In addition to the professional development workshops and previews, OCT also provided resource guides with ready-to-use lesson plans that supported required curriculum across 6 subject areas and 9 grade levels (K-8). Our comprehensive surveys with teachers showed that the resource guides were valued: 96% would recommend them to their peers as a good resource, 87% said the suggested lesson plans were directly relevant to their curriculum, and 60% used the suggested lesson plans with their students either before or after their field trip. Feedback received from teachers helps demonstrate the impact of our performances and services:

“Seeing new or different presentations of ideas can help students to synthesize or express their own ideas. I think it inspires students, especially those who aren’t connecting in the classroom.”

“(The play) reinforced our experience with the book. Kids were 100% engaged and everyone, even my low readers, could participate with classroom discussions when we returned to class.”

“It is difficult to create something that fits what each school needs, but your resource guide fits the bill.”

OCT’s teacher resource guides are available for download and review at http://www.octc.org/schoolservices/resourceguides.

May 5, 2014

Charlotte's Web Project Report

Captivated
Captivated

Thank you for your generous support of Oregon Children’s Theatre!

The word is out, he’s “some pig,” “radiant,” “terrific!” A story of friendship, loss and love, Charlotte’s Web shines onstage. Intelligent, funny, and heartfelt, the book by E.B. White has captivated young readers for generations. When an affectionate pig named Wilbur is saved from slaughter and sent to live on a nearby farm, he finds a barnyard full of animals who quickly become family. But it’s the most unlikely of friends that prove to be his best — a spider named Charlotte who uses her skills to save Wilbur’s life once more, even as her own is slipping away. It’s the classic tale you know and love!

Charlotte’s Web is ranked #1 in “The Top 100 Children’s Novels” by School Library Journal.

Just over 23,000 students from 258 schools in Oregon and Southwest Washington attended a performance of Charlotte's Web. OCT provided full scholarships to 791 students. Teachers were offered a free professional development workshop in which they were able to preview the performance in advance of bringing their students and learn theater integration and skills from a classroom teacher and theater artist.

501 tickets were offered to our social service partners; Big Brothers/Big Sisters, St. Mary's Home for Boys, Friends of the Children, Shriners Hospital, Children's Cancer Association, Starlight Foundation, and Boys and Girls Clubs, DHS. These groups were also given the opportunity to participate in a backstage tour.

Seeing live theater is always a powerful experience for young people, and for many school audience members, it’s the only live arts experience they’ll have all year. Fan mail from students emphasizes the impact: “it was super fantastical—my favorite part was the whole thing.” “I did not want to leave, it was a blast.” Feedback from teachers illustrates that live theater is not only fun and engaging—it strengthens students’ appreciation of reading and language arts: “my students could not stop talking about [the play]. They were comparing their favorite parts, talking about what was funniest, and comparing it to the book.”

One of OCT’s goals as an organization is to provide school audiences with curriculum connections and opportunities for learning beyond students’ trip to the theater. Providing teachers with free resources is one of the ways that OCT deepens student experiences. Teachers receive complimentary tickets to preview performances and also attend backstage tours. Each OCT production also has a free teacher resource guide filled with discussion starters, activities tied to educational standards and learning goals, and reading resources provided by the Multnomah County Library.

Read the Charlotte's Web teacher resource guides:

http://octc.org/pdf/guides/charlottesweb_rg_before.pdf

http://octc.org/pdf/guides/charlottesweb_rg_ontheway.pdf

http://octc.org/pdf/guides/charlottesweb_rg_after.pdf

Charlotte's Web curriculum connections included:

  • Language Arts: Literature: Key Ideas and Details
  • Language Arts: Writing: Production and Distribution of Writing
  • Language Arts: Literature: Vocabulary Acquisition and Use
  • Language Arts: Literature: Craft and Structure
  • Science: Structure and Function
  • Science: Interaction and Change

Please feel free to contact us if we can provide any additional information about Charlotte's Web or Oregon Children's Theatre’s educational services for disadvantaged schools. Thank you again for your support!

 

Joy
Joy
Wilbur & Fern
Wilbur & Fern
Jazz Hands
Jazz Hands

Links:

Dec 17, 2013

Gathering Blue Project Report

Gathering blue
Gathering blue

Thank you for your generous support of Oregon Children’s Theatre!

Just over 6640 students from 105 schools in Oregon and Southwest Washington attended a school performance of Gathering Blue. OCT provided full scholarships to 187 students. Teachers were offered a free professional development workshop in which they were able to preview the performance in advance of bringing their students and learn theater integration and skills from a classroom teacher and theater artist.

Seeing live theater is always a powerful experience for young people, and for many school audience members, it’s the only live arts experience they’ll have all year. Fan mail from students emphasizes the impact: “it was super fantastical—my favorite part was the whole thing.” “I did not want to leave, it was a blast.” Feedback from teachers illustrates that live theater is not only fun and engaging—it strengthens students’ appreciation of reading and language arts: “my students could not stop talking about [the play]. They were comparing their favorite parts, talking about what was funniest, and comparing it to the book.”

One of OCT’s goals as an organization is to provide school audiences with curriculum connections and opportunities for learning beyond students’ trip to the theater. Providing teachers with free resources is one of the ways that OCT deepens student experiences. Teachers receive complimentary tickets to preview performances and also attend backstage tours with OCT’s technical director. Each production also has a free teacher resource guide filled with discussion starters, activities tied to educational standards and learning goals, and reading resources provided by the Multnomah County Library.

Curriculum Connections for Gathering Blue included the following:

The Big Ideas

 

  • It is important to use compassion and empathy to look beyond surfaces and appearances
  • Being different or an outsider can offer a unique and special perspective
  • Cultures use the arts to tell stories, preserve their history, and articulate their values and ways of life
  • Art can be used to enhance our compassion, our humanity, and to create change in our society

 

Curriculum Connections

 

  • Language Arts: novel and genre study, character development
  • Social Sciences: types of government, social contracts, social issue analysis, rights and responsibilities of citizens, free speech
  • Arts: Different kinds of media, the arts and social change

 

Resource Guide and Classroom Extras

Our teacher resource guide offers discussion starters, standards-linked activities connected to subject areas including language arts, social sciences, and arts, worksheet downloads, and a reading list from Multnomah County Library. Download the guide at www.octc.org/schoolservices/gatheringblue.

 

Please feel free to contact us if we can provide any additional information about Gathering Blue or Oregon Children's Theatre’s educational services for disadvantaged schools. Thank you again for your support!

Waiting for Gathering Blue
Waiting for Gathering Blue
For some, this is their theater experience
For some, this is their theater experience
Gathering Blue - Kira
Gathering Blue - Kira

Links:

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