I have taught all ages in professional, educational and community based settings.
For eight years, I served as Senior Lecturer at Columbia College Chicago where I teach an innovative, interdisciplinary seminar for first year college students in the visual, performing and media arts, and collaborated with students and faculty in the theater department, on the development of new plays.
More recently, I served as Assistant Principal of Arts Education at Manatee School for the Arts in Palmetto, FL.
Click here to see video I made about new plays collaboration with college students.
Columbia College Chicago Students talk about collaborating on new plays.
I have worked with students at Cornerstone Community Outreach to create plays. The young playwrights embarked by tentatively building characters on paper. Gradually, students were drawn into the process. They became fascinated by their own creations, by the inner workings of the characters they were calling into being. As they gave “voice” to their characters, and wrote lines of a play, their imaginative worlds began to take shape. On one particular day, as I offered help to a student who was staring at a blank page, his hand flew up to stop me from speaking! With a bright light in his eyes, he whispered, “SHHH, I’m getting it! I’m getting it!” I could see that he was hooked and he didn’t want to risk losing the inspiration. He dove onto his paper, his pencil tearing across the lines on the page. I watched as his character’s words flooded his mind faster than he could write. The passion of this fifth grader writing furiously, imagining a world, and creating it, is what, I think, enrichment at HOPES is all about. Working on plays with students is different from tutoring them on their homework. While making plays utilizes the same skills of reading and writing as some of their homework, the focus is shifted away from school, and those skills become tools to open up the wild, unique, sometimes fanciful, sometimes dark, landscapes of their imaginations. This creative writing empowers students by encouraging them to put words to their feelings, wishes and fears through the characters they invent. Perhaps most significantly, playmaking is liberating – it allows students to experience the joyful freedom and hearty satisfaction of creating.