Theater For The Future

The Art in the Business of Theater – Collaboration Tools and Technology and the Storefront Theater Movement

Archive for the ‘Arts Education’

“All we can do is run out in front of it and guide people along.”

November 10, 2008 By: Nick Keenan Category: Arts Education, On the Theatrosphere

Here’s a follow up on the impetus behind the conversation about new sound technology and how it is implicitly affecting the audience over at the Reader – and why discussions like that matter right now to theaters, to schools, to everyone with access to the internet.

Will Richardson at Web-logged busts it all open for you with advice about integrating digital technology with education from George Lucas, of all people.

“We need to get kids asking ‘why does that happen?’ as opposed to ‘why am I learning this?’”…

“The system falls apart around innovation. This is going to happen because there is a disease out there called digital technology. It is going to change education. All we can do is run out in front of it and guide people along.”

When George Lucas calls digital technology a disease, well now, that makes me sit up and ask “Why does that happen?”

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1st Lesson of Driving and Socio-Political Action: Don’t put your foot on the gas and the brake at the same time

November 05, 2008 By: Nick Keenan Category: Arts Education, Community Building, On the Theatrosphere

Scott Walters (I know you’re listening) has reminded me with his comment from the last few posts that we’re already in danger of forgetting or distracting ourselves on the theatrosphere from a real and immediate touchstone document of change – Obama’s Arts Plan.

I’ve also heard from several writers today wondering what’s next, and how to engage.

We have energy now. Seriously: read it. Remember my to do list from yesterday? Same stuff. It is our list now. How best to make it happen?

Call a theater educator. You already know one. Find out what programs they’re working on right now to unite professional theater and educational programs, and find a way to both participate and improve or enrich the experience for the students.

Follow up: A lively discussion is going on about this last bit over in the comments on an earlier post.

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A little more Action

October 16, 2008 By: Nick Keenan Category: Arts Education, Community Building


This is a guest post from Marni Keenan, a reformed scenic artist, and current visual artist, illustrator and bookmaker who will someday get her shit together enough to have her own web presence.

If you haven’t been introduced to yet, it is time!  If I were Nick, I’d give you a nice long rundown of how it works and why it’s cool; but I’m not, so I’ll sum it up in one word: Aces!


The quick-and-dirty summary:

1. Teachers (generally in high-poverty areas) propose projects (anything from “my kids need pencils to do homework” to “I want to take them on a class trip to Washington D.C.”).

2. Donors find a project they are interested in, and give it a few bucks.


Why so awesome? 

– You’re not giving blindly to a big organization who will distribute their money as they choose.

  It’s tax-deductible, obviously.

  You get thank-you emails from the teachers.

  If you give $100 or more to any one project, your thank-you email will be followed in a few weeks by a big snail-mail package with thank-you notes from the kids, and pictures of them using whatever you paid for.  Tougher people than I have gotten all teary-eyed over these packages.


So what the heck has this got to do with Theater for the Future?


Well, October is Blogger’s Challenge on Donor’s Choose. It’s a big old contest where bloggers choose sets of projects and encourage their readers to chip in, even if it’s only $5. There’s a leaderboard and prizes, and it’s becoming quite a thing in certain areas of the blogosphere.


Now, we’re a bit late to the game this year, but that’s no reason not to give up one day of $4 coffee or whatever your vice is, and help some middle-schoolers in Nevada learn a little somethin’ about technical theater! They need $823, no one’s given them anything yet, and their proposal won’t expire until February 14, 2009.  Plenty of time.   


Check out the Theater for the Future Donors Choose page in the sidebar, where you can donate to one of three fundraising projects for at-risk children to participate in theater and enrich their lives. Suggest projects to us, and Nick’ll add them there as well!


Need one more reason? How about as a thank-you for me not writing some trite ‘because kids are the future’ crap? 😉

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