Seeing plays and writing plays
DOI link for Seeing plays and writing plays
Seeing plays and writing plays book
David Shookhoff, Education Director at The Manhattan Theatre Club, describes the multiple programs by which MTC brings high school students from across the extended New York City region with professional teaching artists. Together, they see and respond to Broadway and Off-Broadway theatre (Core Program) and write original pieces based on the study of those plays, performed by professional actors (Write on the Edge, or WrOTE Program). Shookhoff discusses his involvement in the development of the field of “aesthetic education,” shaped over time at The Lincoln Center Institute and Columbia Teachers College and influenced by educational theorists such as Maxine Greene and John Dewey. Using points of entry into the work, students create passageways between their lived experience and the images, ideas, and representations in the play. This essay demonstrates how students respond to the professional model through varied theatrical tools, from improvisation to original playwriting, and then extend the learning from the theatre into their classrooms and their lives.