Berkeley Rep Offers Free Arts Education in Local Schools
Every year, alongside its hit shows for Bay Area audiences, Berkeley Repertory Theatre offers outreach programs that challenge thousands of local youth to explore complex ideas and universal themes - both in the classroom and in life. Even as budget battles continue to cut funds for arts education in California and across the country, this nonprofit theatre provides low-cost programs for local schools and teachers. In fact, Berkeley Rep now offers one free teaching hour to every public school in the nine-county Bay Area!"Berkeley Rep persists in its 40-year commitment to keep the arts alive for children in our community," says Rachel Fink, director of the nonprofit's School of Theatre. "Using techniques that encourage teamwork, students engage their creativity, gain self-confidence, and acquire a deeper understanding of the subject at hand. Our professional teaching artists collaborate with classroom teachers to meet the varying needs of different schools, different grades, and different students - while ensuring that the experience meets state-mandated content standards in multiple subjects." One-hour, three-hour, and ten-hour workshops are available from September 2011 through May 2012 and can serve up to 30 students at a time. The first hour is free at any public school in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma Counties (pending staff availability). Additional one-hour workshops can be arranged for $75 ($60 if paid by the teacher out of pocket). Additional three-hour workshops cost $60 per hour ($55 per hour if paid by the teacher out of pocket). Ten-hour sessions cost $55 per hour. Title I schools only pay $55 per hour for any workshop; the rate for private schools is $75 per hour.A wide range of outreach programs is now available:· Acting (grades 6-12): In this engaging workshop, students learn to express themselves while venturing into the dynamic world of acting. Using improvisation exercises and scene work, students are introduced to the elements of dramatic action, text analysis, and character development. Acting is offered as a one- or three-hour workshop. · Creating Character (grades 6-12): How do actors bring the uniqueness of their own lives into the life of a play? Learn the skills required to bring a scene to life in Creating Character. Students focus on the fundamentals of acting technique through script analysis, scene work, and character development. Using movement, dialogue, and improvisation, they develop communication skills in an artistic environment. Creating Character is available as a one- or three-hour workshop.
· Improvisation (grades 6-12): Discover spontaneity through improvisation. Using a series of theatre games, listening exercises, and narrative scenes, students learn to communicate effectively and trust their impulses. In this workshop, students open up to the kind of spontaneity that breeds better comic timing on stage, stronger reactions in rehearsals, and increased laughter in the classroom. Improvisation is available as a one-, three-, or ten-hour workshop.