Theatre Sessions

The theatre component of the Academy combines practical and creative elements to expand the teacher's ability to interpret curriculum in exciting new ways. Arts Integration, Creative Drama, and Movement is the focus area for the K – 6 elementary/lower middle theatre sessions. Each day participants will take classes in three areas of study that are especially designed for classroom generalist teachers, librarians, special education, physical education and gifted teachers. Arts Integration will help facilitate the learning process in traditional subject areas. Creative drama will focus on improvisational and non-performance aspects of theatre. A final daily class in movement and dance will be offered. All elementary theatre participants will attend all three classes. The upper middle/secondary theatre sessions (7 – 12) include unique sessions each year in at least three of the following areas: acting, directing, improvisation, criticism, movement, playwriting, and technical theatre. Instructors from around the country provide stimulating class sessions that reflect a mix of stage and performance techniques coupled with current trends and the latest research in arts education.  In addition to the theatre sessions, all participants attend performances, musings, special events and other activities.

Please check back regularly for updates and information about the 2021 Tennessee Arts Academy.

Elementary/Lower Middle Theatre

Focus Areas: Arts Integration, Creative Drama, and Movement

Every day, participants will attend each of the classes listed below.


Strategies for Success: Incorporating Movement and Dance into the Curriculum

Instructor: Deborah Damast

Participants will explore a variety of dance styles, themes, and best practices that connect dance with literacy, math, geography, and other curricular themes. No dance experience is needed to enjoy this interactive and fun workshop focused on creating, collaborating, and connecting.


Collaborative Storytelling: Active Engagement in Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

Instructor: Rachel Hamilton

Participants in these sessions will learn how to create and use original stories to help develop and enhance the communication skills and social intelligence of their students, while incorporating standard-based objectives in their classrooms. Practical modes of incorporating storytelling into everyday curricula will be shared and practiced together.



Upper Middle/Secondary Theatre

Every day, participants will attend each of the classes listed below.


Foundations of Michael Chekhov Technique for Stage and On-camera Performance

Instructor: Margaret Laurena Kemp

How will theatre performance and training shift to incorporate everything learned during the pandemic? In this hands-on workshop, participants will be immersed in aspects of the Michael Chekhov Technique for both live performance practices and on-camera acting. The exploration will emphasize the following elements of the technique: Three Sisters (sensations), Atmospheres, and Polarity. Participants should memorize five lines of meaningful text (which can be spoken or sung text) to play with during the workshop.


We're All in This Together: Musical Theatre Directing Strategies to Expand Your Process

Instructor: Rob Roznowski

This hands-on and practical workshop will provide participants with a variety of exercises and strategies to help them expand their approach to directing a high school musical. In addition to presenting unique ways to look at musical theatre projects, new and creative perspectives on the staging of solo and group numbers, musical punctuation, and emblematic action will be explored.