Bringing Theatre to the Community
ETC sends its teaching artists into schools, community centers and retirement homes, making theatre a much more personal experience for the participants. Going into the community also helps ETC reach underserved audiences such as low-income children and senior citizens who might not otherwise have access to arts programming.
The Creative Age Program was formed in 2009 when ETC saw an important community in need: our seniors. ETC partners with senior centers, and assisted living communities to provide engaging arts programming for seniors. Through academic lecture, reading, storytelling and more, participants explore material and themes that span the vast course of theatre history.
Creative Age offers on-site, weekly theatre workshops for people ages 55+. Seniors are taught by experienced theatre professionals who are also seasoned educators. The workshops are designed to provide the following:
• Increase mental activity
• Decrease rates of depression
• Foster positive personal reflection
• Strengthen senior living communities
Hour- long classes encourage participants to develop and expand their knowledge of theatre history and practice through three engaging and interactive models.
English as a Second Language
ETC's arts-based ESOL program uses theatre techniques to build vocabulary, fluency, and public speaking skills among young students who are learning English for the first time. ETC knows that live theatre can truly ignite the imagination, so the goal is simple: weave the arts into everyday experience and make joy, confidence, creativity, and community come to life.
Teaching artists begin the process by working hand-in-hand with onsite coordinators and instructors. The sixto-
ten week program is specifically designed to meet the needs of each individual student by using a combination of theatre exercises and storytelling that incorporate the following:
• Match State Standards of Learning
• Develop English vocabulary
• Reiterate basic grammar skills
• Demonstrate parts of a story
This work culminates in a final sharing open to the community that displays what they have learned throughout the process.
Funded by the Rheva David Logan Foundation, Devising Hope is a partnership with Street Sense, a local homeless organization that offers economic opportunities to people experiencing homelessness through media, elevates voices, and encourages debate on poverty and injustice.
As a variation on ETC’s current intergenerational programming, the 8-to-10-week class has homeless men and women exchange stories from their own lives with teenagers, prompted by themes from plays and theatre exercises. These discussions are then transformed through cooperative artistic development into devised theatre pieces performed for free to the public.