Hangar Theatre's Project 4 Continues Through March 2014

Hangar Theatre's Project 4 program celebrates its nineteenth year of introducing theatre as an educational tool in local fourth grade classrooms.

Fulfilling the company's mission to support community arts education and outreach, the Hangar collaborates with schools to establish residencies for teaching artists. These artists work with classroom teachers and students to create original plays and music based on the school's curriculum. The works are then performed for the entire school and also on the Hangar stage.

Project 4 runs now through March 28, 2014 and serves ninelocal elementary schools including Newfield, Cayuga Heights, Enfield, Caroline, Northeast, South Hill, Fall Creek, Belle Sherman, and Beverly J. Martin. The performances are free and open to the public. Visit HangarTheatre.org or call 607.273.8588 for more information. The theatre is located at 801 Taughannock Blvd., Ithaca, NY 14850.

The 2013 Project 4 performances at Hangar Theatre are scheduled as follows:

Thursday, December 5 at 12:00PM

Cayuga Heights Elementary and Enfield Elementary

Friday, December 13 at 12:00PM

Caroline Elementary and Northeast Elementary

Friday, February 7 at 12:00PM

South Hill Elementary and Fall Creek Elementary

Friday, March 28 at 12:00PM

Belle Sherman Elementary and Beverly J. Martin Elementary

Newfield Elementary recently completed its Project 4 residency, which culminated with a final performance at Hangar Theatre for family, friends, and supporters. A selection of Newfield fourth graders will reprise their original songs and present them at Cayuga Radio Group's Apple for the Teacher Banquet on November 20th.

Project 4's teaching artist residencies are holistic learning experiences comprised of three stages. First, the students and classroom teachers are taken through an introductory phase of assessment, collaboration, and skill building tailored to the needs and interests of individual classes. Next, they enter into a creative phase where they learn the different elements of playwriting and music composition, incorporating them with curriculum and a big-picture theme. Finally, it all comes together in a theatrical phase of rehearsing, directing, and performing the works that they've written together. During each phase, students are engaged in individual and group projects, exercises, and games designed to encourage learning through both traditional and nontraditional means as a supplement to build on subject matter covered in the classroom and to serve different learning styles. Simultaneously, the students are given a unique opportunity to experience various career paths in the arts. As they take their projects from start to finish, students step into the role of playwright, composer, director, stage manager, and actor. The classes are also given an in-depth tour of the theatre before they take the stage with their own original work of theatre. This year's Project 4 performances will encompass topics such as the life cycle of the brook trout, persuasive essays, and character building.

"I've had the pleasure of being both a teaching artist and overseeing Project 4 for seven years now. In that time, I have seen hundreds of students explore their theatrical side, take ownership of their academics and find their voices as writers and performers. What this program does so well is teach collaboration. The class must come together for the goal of creating the play. They succeed as a group and rely on each other's strengths to create a remarkable result in just a few short weeks. The process embraces learners of all different styles and I'm always heartened to see how sometimes the most unexpected students will rise to the occasion. I am honored to be a part of it," stated Jesse Bush, Hangar Theatre's Associate Artistic Director and Head of Education.

Hangar Theatre champions arts education through year-round programming for children and families, including: Spring Break-a-Leg, the Next Generation School of Theatre, and the KIDDSTUFF series of Live Theatre for young audiences.For information on these programs visit HangarTheatre.org or call 607.273.8588.

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