VSA Playwright Discovery in Your Community

DC training participants

Two of the participants at the Washington, D.C., training engage in a theater exercise.

Executing the VSA Playwright Discovery Program just got better. With the amazing team of Diane Nutting, Talleri McRae, Stephen Yaffe, and Norman Allen, VSA has developed a two-part workshop—VSA Playwright Discovery in Your Community—for educators interested in exploring the disability experience with their middle and high school students, and then creating an inclusive arts experience.

This hands-on workshop offers participants opportunities to improve their practice, and to meet the needs of students with disabilities in the classroom. In part one, the workshop delves into the historical and contemporary representations of disability in theater literature. In part two, it explores strategies to include and engage students with disabilities with accommodations that enhance the inclusive experience in both curriculum and learning environments.

Playwright Discovery in Your Community participants

Education professionals participate in the Washington, D.C., training session.

Thus far, more than 60 educators from four U.S. cities (Baltimore, Maryland; Washington, D.C.; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Providence, Rhode Island) have participated in these workshops. We are happy to report that the training has been valuable to a wide range of participants—from teaching artists and arts educators to general and special educators to school administrators. We just returned from Providence, Rhode Island, and with that experience fresh in our minds, we wanted to share some of the feedback we received:

  • This training helped me to “understand different ways to communicate an idea and also made me see (student) behavior as communication.”
  • I really appreciated the mix of attendeesmade for great creativity!”
  • So many creative options for modifying activities!
  • “Now I feel that I can advocate for shows [for the season] that accurately express the disability experience.”

Along with a dynamic workshop leader, this training provides valuable resources, handouts, and guidance to educators interested in teaching about the disability experience and getting hands-on skills for addressing the needs of students with disabilities. The two parts of the workshop are best delivered together, but can be offered individually. The training can be tailored to meet the needs of your educators.

If you are interested in hosting the Playwright Discovery in Your Community workshop in your area, contact Sonya Robbins-Hoffmann, VSA Programs Manager, at 202-416-8822, or srhoffmann@kennedy-center.org.

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