TheatreBridge

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Vision statement

Quest celebrates the role of visual theatre to enhance learning, promote creativity and introduce people of all ages and cultural backgrounds to the artistic process. Quest builds a spirit of community through its inclusive and accessible approach to the arts.

Overview

Committed to a visual theatre, arts integration approach to teaching, TheatreBridge focuses on the use of visual theatre to enhance the learning readiness and literacy skills of children of all ages. The program employs a multi-dimensional approach involving students, teachers, teaching artists, and parents. With is school and university partners, Quest plans professional development programs, residencies, workshops, after school, out of school, and summer quality standards-based programming to support institutional and community goals.

Visual Theatre

Movement is the central organizing principle in visual theatre. Performers communicate information, relationships and emotions primarily through movement such as  mime, dance, sign language, gesture, or circus arts. Other visual theatre choices include puppetry and masks. The genre may also contain digital media or projections. Visual theatre is not necessarily silent or non-verbal. It may contain spoken word, music, or other sound. However, the essential meaning of any visual theatre piece transpires through its visual vernacular.

TheatreBridge Program Samples

Teacher/Artist Institute

The TheatreBridge Teacher/Artist Institute (TAI) process begins with a one-week summer course introducing participants to Quest’s visual theatre and arts integration approach. Teachers and teaching artists develop standards-based lesson plans that infuse visual theatre into their instructional design. During the school year, Quest staff members and TAI alumni serve as mentors for participants. As teachers and teaching artists share their classroom experiences, the TAI training also provides participants with a valuable laboratory for exploring visual theatre and its application to learning.

Fun with Fabric

Armed with just pieces of fabric, Quest artists introduce participants to a host of opportunities of creating characters, sets, props, and scenes through the use of fabric.

Family Fun

This workshop has become one of Quest’s most popular offerings. Using visual theatre games and activities, Quest artists introduce parents and children to visual communication and interaction. Children and adults become equals through this vibrant creative process. Why has this workshop become so popular? Listen to the laughter and look at the smiles on the faces of Family Fun participants, then you’ll know.

Shel Silverstein Tribute

Using visual theatre techniques, students create and perform visual adaptations of Shel Silverstein’s poetry.  [A variation on this workshop – Text Alive, where students visually interpret a text that they may be studying in class or a text provided by Quest.]

What Teachers Say

  • You have given me a whole new way of teaching and a whole new way to think about my students.
  • TheatreBridge has rekindled my passion for teaching.
  • My students are more engaged and invested in their learning.
  • My students retain vocabulary and concepts much longer using the TheatreBridge approach.

 What Students Say

  • The games are fun and they help me understand things better.
  • We are going to tableaux that, right? [The use of the tableaux is central to the TheatreBridge approach.]
  • Where can I buy that fabric?

What the Research Shows

Findings from Quest’s TheatreBridge research demonstrates:

  • students are more engaged in learning
  • students increase their theatre, communication and interpersonal skills
  • students more successfully participate in collaborative learning
  • a reduction of inappropriate student behavior and outbursts
  • students have a greater understanding and retention of content
  • teachers have more fun teaching

For more information about TheatreBridge, contact Quest Education/Outreach Coordinator, Erica Siegel at erica@quest4arts.org.

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