Theater Education for Disadvantaged Students

 
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A Year with Frog & Toad
A Year with Frog & Toad

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

Best friends Frog and Toad have been delighting young readers for more than 25 years. Outgoing and optimistic, Frog brings out the best in the reserved and cautious Toad. A Year with Frog and Toad follows the friends as they adventure through the seasons: speeding down snowy hills in sleds, planting springtime flowers, splashing in summer swimming holes, and piling up autumn leaves. Together, they bring joy and exuberance to everyday moments, encouraging each other and enjoying each other’s company through thick and thin.

Just over 17,000 students from schools in Oregon and Southwest Washington attended a performance of A Year with Frog & Toad. OCT provided full or partial scholarships to 5,137 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.

472 tickets were distributed 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 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.

A Year with Frog & Toad was full of great sciences connections, appreciation of the natural world, and scientific curiosity. Science vocabulary & concepts and curriculum connections included:

  • Metamorphosis
  • Amphibians
  • Hibernation
  • Migration
  • Habitat
  • Species
  • Ecosystem
  • Life cycle
  • Seasons
  • Needs of living things
  • Growth and change
  • Gardens and plants

In addition to the above, A Year with frog & Toad received high recognition from the theatre community and were honored with 7 Drammy awards including Best Production. Produced by the Portland Civic Theatre Guild, the Drammy Awards annually celebrates outstanding achievement in Portland Theatre. Oregon Children's Theatre was thrilled to be recognized with the highest number of awards given in 2013.

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

Read the A Year with Frog & Toad teacher resource guide http://www.octc.org/pdf/guides/stinkycheeseman_rg.pdf

On Stage!
On Stage!
Jazz Hands!
Jazz Hands!
Hooray!
Hooray!

Links:

The Stinky Cheese Man & Other Fairly Stupid Tales
The Stinky Cheese Man & Other Fairly Stupid Tales

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

Run, run as fast as you can – you can’t catch me I’m…. The Stinky Cheese Man (and Other Fairly Stupid Tales).  No cherished children’s story or famous fairy tale is precious enough to be spared from the witty sarcasm of author Jon Scieszka and his narrator, Jack. Lampooning childhood fables and poking fun at the theater business are all part of the script—which no one seems to be following! Chicken Licken is running around like a…well…you know, the ugly duckling grows up to be an ugly duck, the Giant eats the Little Red Hen, and the rest of the cast are wreaking havoc with anything that resembles structure. This weird and wacky play was rated awesome for everyone.

Just over 6,000 students from 76 schools in Oregon and Southwest Washington have attended or will attend a school performance of The Stinky Cheese Man, and Other Fairly Stupid Tales.. OCT provided full scholarships to 400 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.

The Stinky Cheese Man, and Other Fairly Stupid Tales curriculum connections included:

  • Literary Genre Study: Fairy tales and folklore
  • Language Arts: Content and Structure
  • Humor and Satire
  • Arts

Please feel free to contact us if we can provide any additional information about The Stinky Cheese Man, and Other Fairly Stupid Tales or Oregon Children's Theatre’s educational services for disadvantaged schools. Thank you again for your support!


Read the The Stinky Cheese Man, and Other Fairly Stupid Tales teacher resource guide http://www.octc.org/pdf/guides/stinkycheeseman_rg.pdf

Entering a world of magic...
Entering a world of magic...
The smile says it all....
The smile says it all....
Starlight Foundation Theatre Tour
Starlight Foundation Theatre Tour
Captivated
Captivated

Links:

Students from Rosa Parks Elementary
Students from Rosa Parks Elementary

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

OCT began the year 2013 with the classic story of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy are four ordinary children until Lucy discovers a wardrobe that is really a gateway to the enchanted world of Narnia. The siblings find themselves in a scene of dazzling snow and in the center of a great conflict. All is cold, silent, and foreboding because the evil White Witch has cursed the land with eternal winter and turned many of her enemies to stone. But with the arrival of the children, the land begins to change, mur­murs of a prophecy surface, and rumors soon spread that Aslan, the beloved lion king, is going to return. As the children help Aslan free Narnia from the Witch, they learn lessons about kindness, courage, fear, treachery, loyalty, sacrifice, and forgiveness. C.S. Lewis’ beloved classic has inspired generations of young readers for more than 60 years.

Just under 16,000 students from ---- schools in Oregon and Southwest Washington have attended or will attend a school performance of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.. OCT provided full scholarships to 1091 students and partial scholarships to 1123 students. Teachers were offered a free professional development workshop in which they were able to observe a working tech rehearsal and have a Q&A session with the OCT production staff.

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.

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe curriculum connections included:

  • Arts: Aesthetics and Criticism
  • Arts: Create, Present and Perform: Create, present and perform works of art.
  • Language Arts: Literature: Key Ideas and Details
  • Language Arts: Literature: Craft and Structure
  • Language Arts: Literature: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
  • Language Arts: Writing: Production and Distribution of Writing
  • Language Arts: Writing: Text Types and Purposes
  • Social Sciences: Historical Knowledge

The Big Ideas:

  • Courage
  • Self Sacrifice for the greater good
  • Resisting temptation and the easy way out
  • Growing up and becoming an adult
  • Learning to lead – being honest, proud, generous, forgiving, and kind

Read the The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe teacher resource guide HERE

Watch a video preview and interview with director Matthew Zrebski HERE

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

 

 

For many, this experience is a first!
For many, this experience is a first!
Ready to be transported to another world!
Ready to be transported to another world!

Links:

Students from Rosa Parks Elementary
Students from Rosa Parks Elementary

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

OCT’s 2012-2013 season has just begun with the smash hit Duck for President! Fed up with farm chores, Duck decides to challenge Farmer Brown to an election, only to discover that being in charge of the farm is hard work. So he decides to run for governor—and then president—kissing babies and hitting the late-night talk show circuit along the way. With showy campaign numbers, barnyard election antics, and nods to famous presidential moments, you’ll be ready to vote Duck for President no matter what side of the election you’re on.

Just under 10,000 students from 130 schools in Oregon and Southwest Washington attended a school performance of Duck for President. OCT provided full scholarships to 691 students and partial scholarships to 521 students. We offered teachers a free professional development workshop with OCT’s Technical Director and invited them to attend a complimentary performance to preview the play before bringing their classes.

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.”

Duck for President offered great opportunities to connect the arts to civics education and the 2012 election. 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. Duck’s quest for the presidency isn’t entirely filled with pure intentions, but it does provide ample room for discussion about what makes a good leader and citizen, fairness and democratic process, and how to achieve big change on the grassroots level—topics that directly connect to social sciences educational standards for primary grades.

The Duck for President curriculum connections included:

  • Rights and responsibilities of citizens
  • Government, democracy, and politics
  • Local, state, and national levels of government
  • Responsibility and leadership
  • Elections and politics
  • Cooperating and solving conflicts
  • Language arts: slogans and speeches, letter writing, debate, and more
  • Math: counting votes, graphing, fractions

In order to further engage students with the election, OCT also conducted presidential elections at each school matinee. Teachers were provided with voting packets in advance, they polled their students, and turned in their official classroom results to the OCT staff in the theater lobby. Results were tallied and shared with students from the stage, and cumulative results were also be shared with schools—resulting in a great way to incorporate mathematics curriculum into an arts experience.

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

Read the Duck for President teacher resource guide

Visit Duck for President's campaign website

Links:

Letter from student who attended an OCT field trip
Letter from student who attended an OCT field trip

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

We recently concluded our 2011-2012 season of plays, and we would like to take this opportunity to update our donors on the number of children and teachers from disadvantaged schools we served during the season.

47,242 students from 443 schools attended an OCT play during the 2011-2012 season. We maintained our low ticket prices for schools (just $5.75-$7.75 per seat), and offered full and partial scholarship to schools with the greatest need. 3,612 received partial scholarships to attend, and 4,541 received full scholarships.

In addition, OCT offered 5 free professional development workshops for teachers. The workshops were designed to encourage the integration of arts learning activities into classroom lessons and to demonstrate how theater and the arts can benefit student achievement. 66 teachers attended the workshops.

Teachers were also invited to free preview performances so they could see the play and the theater prior to their field trip; helping them coordinate their trip and assisting with the integration of the play into classroom activities. 193 teachers attended free preview performances.

I’d like to share some letters from students and teachers attended an OCT field trip this year. They would not have had the opportunity to attend an OCT production without your support.

 “We brought our third and fourth graders to “Locomotion” yesterday and as we teachers were talking after school we think it’s the best play we’ve ever been to. The emotion and story line both came through so well and made us all want to begin writing the instant we got back to school.”
-3rd/4th grade teacher

“That play inspired me to start writing. That notebook you gave out at the end…I filled up the whole thing.”
-Student from Portland Adventist Elementary 

“When I could tear my eyes away from the stage, I would glance at (my students), and I saw them all watching every moment. One student with autism was thrilled that the action matched the book, and he was following every move… For me, it was as good as theater gets, and my students were captivated.”
-High school teacher from a special education classroom

 “Thank you for helping me get our small kindergarten group in to see the show; it was quite a memorable way to end our school year.”
-Teacher from Cedar Hills Kindergarten & Preschool

“It was my favorite play ever!”
-3rd grade student from Rosa Parks Elementary

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

2011-2012 Annual Report
2011-2012 Annual Report
2011-2012 Contributors
2011-2012 Contributors

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Organization

Project Leader

Ruben Fonseca

Portland, OR United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Theater Education for Disadvantaged Students