AMERICAN STAGE

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American Stage Education & Outreach Teaching Artists reach students throughout Tampa Bay with award-winning summer programs and Write On! Pinellas outreach drama clubs and playwriting residencies empowering students to be bolder, wiser and more compassionate onstage and in life. 
 
Our faculty of 25 professional Teaching Artists (TAs) work and train across our outreach and fee-based programs. Each project serves students in grades K-12 with learning objectives that empower artistic, intellectual, & socio-emotional growth. Summer Camp & Teen Institute reaches 600 students/year. Instruction, performance opportunities, and life skills enhance both academic and professional pursuits. Write On! Pinellas outreach residencies focus on playwriting and devised theatre production, occurring in 7 Pinellas County Public Schools throughout each school year.

In order to increase the impact of our TAs, we conduct professional development training with modules on teaching neurodiverse students, cultural sensitivity, and conflict resolution.  Required trainings for TAs help create accessible environments encouraging collaboration among socio-economically diverse classrooms for summer sessions/outreach residencies.

For the first time in the history of American Stage, Write On! Pinellas residencies will be led by TAs trained in inclusion facilitation.  The number of Inclusion Facilitators (IFs) increases from 7 to 9 for summer sessions, creating 2 new jobs for TAs.

Each TA works with the Director of Education/Outreach, creating a unique curriculum for each program they lead.  Before independently leading a class, every TA completes an internal certification program, requiring 24 Assistant-TA classroom hours, and curriculum development training. All TAs receive ongoing training in directing, playwriting, working with special needs, diversity, and conflict resolution.

Each season over 21,000 students and adults participate in over 60 classes/theatre experiences.  50% of TAs have been facilitating our programs for over three years.  

Providing enhanced training modules focused on accessibility & diversity across our TA Programs, ensures safe, supportive, collaborative learning environments for students. By focusing on the inclusion of neurodiverse students and building cultural appreciation, TAs break boundaries of participation. Not only does this elevate the creative, intellectual, and social development of our students, it also raises the artistic and social relevance of student work and performances.

Both 2017 Summer & Fall Teaching Artist trainings are required, and apply to all TAs, Assistant TAs, and IFs who work with us throughout the school year. The professional development training component of this project broadens the impact of our faculty year-round, as TAs lead Write On! Drama Clubs and Playwriting Residencies in the fall and spring semesters, in addition to year-round classes and summer sessions.  Trainings equip TAs through artistic and curriculum development, classroom management, working with students with special needs, and fostering culturally accepting classrooms through positive communication with students, teachers, and parents.

As students take pride in their high-quality artistic accomplishments, they too return to our programs and continue to bring their families to the theatre. This is key to future audience development while fostering an artistic and culturally aware community in Pinellas County.