Utah Shakespeare Festival

Utah Shakespeare Festival

I just spent an amazing week+ at the Utah Shakespeare Festival!  

While there, I took TWO theatre classes (Theatre Methods: Secondary; Tech for Teachers) and attended the UACTT summer conference!

I learned SO MUCH from Michael Bahr and Russ Saxton and all of the amazing people who work at USF!

Theatre Methods.  

I came home with an enormous amount of ideas, collaborative measures, and a multitude of resources.  I participated in activities I know my students will love…I did.

Utah Shakespeare Festival.  Each year, the classes are taught by Michael and Russ.  However, many of the workshops we attend are taught by current USF staff. 

Theatre Methods. During the three days of Secondary Methods, we worked on a huge variety of Learning Activities we could take back to our classrooms.  We discussed the individual needs of our classrooms, collaborated with new and seasoned teachers,  learned the best way to structure our courses, and met with current actors of the productions.

Theatre Methods. This year, we met Shane Kenyon, who plays Romeo.  We got to learn a little bit about him and have a Q & A session.  Each of us, were asked to bring an activity to share.  As this is my first year teaching theatre, I was a little hesitant about having an activity to share.  However, as I got to know the other class members and talked with them, I realized I could share my knowledge about breakouts.  This class was everything I hoped it would be.  I learned the things I knew I needed to learn and came away with even more.

Utah Shakespeare Festival.

Tech for Teachers. The first day of the tech class, we were taken on a tour of the facilities just as we had for the Theatre Methods but this time, we were treated to areas of the previous outdoor theatre and current theatres patrons don’t go.  Many of these areas became our work zone for the workshops and projects. We also got to learn all about masking-making processes. We even got to make a mask during our Costume Workshop taught by Rosa Lazaro. We build a flat [I even cut, stapled and glued the wood myself!] during the Scenes Workshop taught by USF staff and even painted the flat with a variety of techniques we learned during the Painting Workshop taught by Russ Saxton. And…? We were able to take the projects home to share with our students!

Tech for Teachers. The second day, we learned all about Lighting, Sound, Hair & Makeup as well as Stage Management as taught by USF staff.  During Hair & Makeup, we learned to measure someone for a wig and how to modify an existing wig.  We had a rain day so the Lighting workshop wasn’t what staff had prepared so we went over different types of lights, asked her questions and I learned I get to do a 1 to 1 check on all of our stage and house lights to see why we haven’t been able to patch everything to the board despite our earnest efforts and assistance from district specialists. We also got to see the amazing LED lights that have started to replace many of the traditional lights. During Stage Management, we practiced marking a script and setting a stage for cues and props. I was also able to ask how to mark center on my unusual stage called a KIVA.  I learned it would be easier to triangulate the space. This will be fun!

Tech for Teachers. The third day was all about Props, PR & Networking. During a free lunch, we played STUMP the Techie! It was a chance to further our networking skills and ask questions about our individual spaces and operations.  I was very grateful for the Custodian at our school who graciously took pictures for me of EVERYTHING so I could get lots of answers.  

Utah Shakespeare Festival. A wonderful thing of both classes what the free ticket they provide the participants.  Theatre Methods sent us to Romeo & Juliet.  The tech class offered the opportunity to not only watch Shakespeare in Love but to shadow backstage/booth for As You Like It.  A last-minute decision made it even possible for me to shadow Treasure Island, where they even trusted me with a headset:)!  The staff at USF for these shows was amazing to work with and to learn from.  

In addition to the plays offered for the classes, UACCTT provided a ticket for As You Like It so I not only got to shadow, I actually got to see it.  This was especially special because I could see the changes in lighting, sound and props more than ever.   Because of all the plays I got to see as part of the classes/conference, I was able to pay for two more shows! I saw A Midsummer Night’s Dream and even one of my favorite musicals, Guys & Dolls!  What amazing experiences!!

At the tail end of the tech class, UACCTT began.  This was all about meeting and greeting and building a network with other theatre teachers.  Here too was a variety of workshops.  This time, I was able to perform Pantomime for the first time and participate in Devised Theatre.  One of the workshops was with Rosa again all about makeup and costumes on a budget.  I also got to meet with other first year theatre teachers, grab some amazing theatre resources for my students, was given my first massage and even got to take home some new (new to me anyway) stage lights!

My mind is so full of amazing ideas, my heart is so full of gratitude for the experience.  If you have never been or it has been a while, I would go to the Utah Shakespeare Festival and find something for you.  

Do you ever feel Overwhelmed? What do you do about it?

Do you ever feel Overwhelmed? What do you do about it?

I have hit the point midway through my supposed “summer” and I am feeling just a bit overwhelmed.  Do you ever feel Overwhelmed? What do you do about it? 

Let me give you some back story just in case you haven’t been following my blog since it’s inception back in March.  The past two years, I have been teaching choir full-time.  At the end of the school year, this year, I was told I couldn’t do that.  Without going into too much detail, since most of it has already blogged about, I ended up adding two Theatre classes to my schedule for next year. Do you ever feel Overwhelmed? What do you do about it? 

Now, you may be saying…SO WHAT?

Well, there’s more.  I had already started earning my Educational Technology Endorsement in January.  (I had put my name on a list last October and got selected!) I had planned on taking 4-5 MINI classes this summer to finish up all of my electives I had not already done since January.  This was along with taking one 3-credit mandatory course in January, July and the final one in September.  My goal was to be finished with all 18 credits by the end of December.  Do you ever feel Overwhelmed? What do you do about it? 

I also had started the INNOVATIVE TEACHING ACADEMY by A.J. Juliani at the end of March.  The Academy was to go for an entire year and help with additional resources for implementing innovative thinking into the classroom. Do you ever feel Overwhelmed? What do you do about it? 

Then I get the information that I will be teaching theatre!  Wow! I LOVE THEATRE!  I have been performing throughout my life. The only problem? I didn’t have a Theatre Endorsement for secondary education.  This means figuring out how to do that one too.  Except, this one is 36 credits and once I began it, I would have 2 YEARS to complete it! Do you ever feel Overwhelmed? What do you do about it? 

So…what to do?

I research and question people “in the know”. I find out that it is nearly IMPOSSIBLE to complete the endorsement in that timeframe.

I make a decision.

I have to talk to my principal and ask him what to do.

Thankfully, he has the solution!

I won’t go into the details because every state and organization are different. Despite the solution, which is a REALLY GOOD ONE, I determine that it is in my best interest to take some theatre classes this summer. Do you ever feel Overwhelmed? What do you do about it? 

So, I add FOUR class…TEN credits!

Then…I am asked to take on the responsibility of creating an online high school music appreciation class for our students that are on home and hospital. Check out the link to my post on that one.  Do you ever feel Overwhelmed? What do you do about it? 

As I have said above, I have hit the point midway through my supposed “summer” and I am feeling just a bit overwhelmed. This is because although I have completed: three elective classes; two more have been started and seem to be fairly simple and straightforward so should be easy to accomplish; I am almost halfway through completion on the music appreciation course; I started my summer 3-credit class today; I am yet to feel any calm about what is yet to come.

See, I have those theatre classes starting next week. And…although none of them are concurrent and I will be blessed to take it easy for a few days between by attending a conference that gives MASSAGES, I am OVERWHELMED! Do you ever feel Overwhelmed? What do you do about it? 

Oh…did I mention that I hurt my right knee and right shoulder so I need physical therapy for the next month? NO? Well, there it is! Do you ever feel Overwhelmed? What do you do about it? 

Now that you have heard it all.  You are probably sitting there wondering “what the HECK is she thinking?” She is CRAZY! All I can say is YEP!! Completely and totally!

What am I going to do about it?

Well, I don’t know about you, but I actually feel a bit better having put it all out there for you to see.  Talking about it, helps me.  Does it help you? Do you ever feel Overwhelmed? What do you do about it?