Printer-friendly version

Professional Development Intensives


The Educational Theatre Association’s Professional Development Intensives (PDIs) programs consist of one- or two-day interactive, hands-on opportunities for theatre educators to develop their arsenal of professional skills on a specific topic. Topics range from directing a musical to curriculum development to stage lighting.  

EdTA's PDI seminars also allows attendees to advance a graduate degree or earn credit required for continuing education.

The PDI program is typically run in conjunction with other Association events, such as the Thespian Festival or the National Conference. Attendees can minimize their time out of the classroom, maximize their budget for professional development, and allow for wider networking opportunities.

Professional Development Intensives will occur at:

Thespian Festival 2014

June 23 - 28
Lincoln, NE

The cycle of teaching theatre Leslie Van Leishout
Teaching theatre is more like a cyclical or recursive process than a linear one. This workshop will prepare both new and experienced teachers to leap forward from the New National Theatre Standard using their current curriculum to create observable, measureable, specific, and attainable learning objectives. Teachers will translate their updated learning objectives into scaffolded activities; create instruments of assessment for formative, intermittent, and summative measurements of students’ needs and learn how to educate administrators about your classroom.

Stages and screens, actors and players: creating the media component to your theatre program Bradley Moss
Theatre and the creation of media have in common many of the same goals and processes. Both stress creativity, collaboration, and empathy, among other things, in building and sharing narratives. Teachers who explore and understand media and how it can connect to and support theatre can expand and diversify class offerings in their programs, reach out to new students and audiences, and find new ways to engage students in theatre classes. This PDI will examine the new Core Theatre and Media Arts Standards and explore how to take what you know and what you do to develop effective media classes or to utilize media curriculum and tools to enhance learning in the theatre class.

Directing the high school play Mark Kaufmann
High school theatre is a fun and creative activity that can be rich in opportunities for learning. While not everyone in your cast and crew will continue with theatre beyond high school, all students can benefit from the teamwork that is essential to this collaborative art form. A template of tools will be discussed, any or all of which can be employed to help the director achieve success in the educational realm. The intensive will be divided into two parts: the director’s preparation (aspects of understanding and planning the play), and the play in production (what occurs from first rehearsal through opening night).


2014 EdTA National Conference

July 24 - 27
Cincinnati, OH

The cycle of teaching theatre Leslie Van Leishout
Teaching theatre is more like a cyclical or recursive process than a linear one. This workshop will prepare both new and experienced teachers to leap forward from the New National Theatre Standard using their current curriculum to create observable, measureable, specific, and attainable learning objectives. Teachers will translate their updated learning objectives into scaffolded activities; create instruments of assessment for formative, intermittent, and summative measurements of students’ needs and learn how to educate administrators about your classroom.

Directing an A+ production: bringing the perspective of an educator into the directing realm Shawnda Moss and Bradley Moss
For the theatre educator and student, the stage should be an extension of the classroom. It is important to discover how to pull student-centered learning into your directing and production work. Part of the challenge is dealing with the spectrum of needs and learning styles that exist within any cast. How can you best utilize the different personalities in your cast members to help all your performers succeed? This intensive will explore how to recognize and bring out the best assets of your actors to draw on their differences and strengths, develop a rehearsal process grounded in a variety of learning experiences, and teach your student actors how to collaborate and work together as a true ensemble.

Directing tablework: unlocking the door to the actor/director relationship Amy Feinberg
How can a director best communicate with actors to shape performances within a unified vision? In this intensive, we will explore the actor/director relationship and how to craft connection, specificity, and meaning to unlock the door to an organic process that begins with the script, works with impulses to guide blocking, and ultimately results in grounded, active, and driven performances. Directing Tablework puts the techniques of Meisner and Stanislavsky to work on the director’s side of the table, while encouraging buy-in and ownership of the work from the actors.

Lighting in the 21st century Dana Taylor and technicians
The session will explore lighting innovations of the last ten years including the advent of solid state lighting (LED fixtures) and its impact on lighting design, theatre design, and architecture. Participants will have the opportunity to use these powerful tools. Location: Vincent Lighting in Erlanger, KY.

Performance-based learning: utilizing twenty-first century tools to capitalize on class time Adam Moreno
Technology should make it easier for teachers to focus on what is truly important in theatre education: building confidence, developing creativity, collaborating with others, and creating a lifelong appreciation for theatre. Participants in this PDI will learn about free resources that will allow them to connect with other drama teachers, deepen content knowledge, and free more time for performance-based learning opportunities in the classroom. Using these tools will enhance your lesson planning, class discussions, parent communication, and student assessment. The beneficiaries: your students. Bring a laptop (preferred) or other device, along with lessons, handouts, and any other curricular artifacts with which you would like to work.

Teaching costuming: Basic design and construction techniques for your high school Terry McGonigle
Participants will develop skills in script and character analysis and figure drawing as they pertain to costume design. In this session, we will also discuss using a swatch book to teach basic sewing techniques. Lessons include: skirts in twenty minutes, vests in no time, and converting modern clothing to period looks. Participants will leave with electronic and hardcopy versions of all handouts and teaching materials.


Bios

Amy Feinberg
is a professor and the head of directing, playwriting, and production at University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and producing artistic director of The Hypothetical Theatre Company in New York City. She has directed dozens of world and New York premiere productions. She was awarded the Association for Theatre in Higher Education/Kennedy Center American Theatre Festival Innovative Teaching Prize in 2013. Directing Tablework was most recently presented as a Professional Development Intensive at the 2013 Thespian Festival.

Mark D. Kaufmann
most recently directed Painting the Clouds with Sunshine, a new musical which he co-wrote, at the Eureka Theater in San Francisco. Other shows include Sweet Adeline, Oh, Lady! Lady!, and The Cat and the Fiddle, all Jerome Kern musicals, for the 42nd St. Moon company, Coco and Hollywood Pinafore for the York Theatre Company in New York, and The Importance of Being Earnest in Los Angeles. He has taught musical theatre performance at AMDA in Los Angeles and at USC. He has worked with the Thespian Festival since 2002.

Terry McGonigle
has been a theatre arts teacher and director for four decades. He is in his fourth year at Alma High School in Arkansas. He holds a B.A. in theatre from Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas, an M.A. in technical theatre and design from Emporia State University, and a second M.A. in journalism from Pittsburgh State University. A long-time supporter of the International Thespian Society, Terry was inducted into the Educational Theatre Association’s National Theatre Educator Hall of Fame in 2008, the Georgia Thespians Hall of Fame in 2006, and the Kansas Thespians Hall of Fame in 2004. In the summer of 2012, an instructional video featuring McGonigle’s work as a costume designer and educator was released by Interactive Educational Video. Terry served as the costume designer for the National Thespian casts of Ragtime and Thoroughly Modern Millie.

Adam Moreno is a drama teacher and director at the University School of Milwaukee, a 1:1 school, and the founder of Higher Expectations Theatre. He co-moderates a Twitter chat at #VidEd and blogs about his educational theatre experiences at edbean.com. He has presented at three EdTA Conferences, at the 2013 ISACS national conference, and at Edcamp events in Chicago, Madison, and Milwaukee.

Bradley Moss
has been teaching theatre and media for the past fifteen years and holds degrees in both theatre education and media literacy education. He is currently teaching at Maple Mountain High School in Utah and serves as adjunct faculty for the Department of Theatre and Media Arts at Brigham Young University. He recently served on the NCCAS writing team creating the first ever national standards for media arts.

Shawnda Moss
manages the Theatre Education Curriculum Database at Brigham Young University, where she also teaches courses in pedagogy and methods, production, and directing, and supervises student teachers. She directs and performs for various Utah theatre companies. Previously she taught high school theatre for several years in Salt Lake City and at Maple Mountain High School in Utah.

Dana Taylor
teaches technical theatre for the Mount Vernon High School Fine Arts Academy in addition to serving as director of Vocal Music at Mt. Vernon Senior High School. Dana’s articles have appeared in Dramatics, Teaching Theatre, and Projection Lights and Staging News (PSLN). He was named Technical Theatre Educator of the Year in 2005 by Stage Directions magazine. He is a member of the Educational Theatre Association, the American Choral Directors Association, United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT), and PLASA.

Leslie Van Leishout
is currently the Theater Education Coordinator in the Department of Theater and Dance at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE). Leslie is a member of the Theatre Writing Team for the National Coalition for CORE Arts Standards (NCCAS) and a former Co-Chapter Director of Washington State Thespians. She was inducted into the EdTA National Hall of Fame in 2013.