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 2019 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.


Activating Literacy Learning through Drama

Instructor: Bethany Corey-Ekin

Drama is a powerful tool for improving student literacy. Through demonstration and hands-on participatory training, this workshop will offer educators practical techniques for using drama in their classroom to develop literacy skills—including reading and narrative comprehension, character analysis, and creative writing.


Arts Integration: Creative Learning Across the Curriculum

Instructor: Tamara Goldbogen

This workshop will offer practical techniques for integrating the arts across the curriculum. Through active participation in hands-on activities, teachers will explore strategies for integrating a variety of art forms, including visual art, puppetry, drama, and music, with other core content areas such as language arts and math. No arts experience is needed to enjoy and benefit from this class.


Movement Stories: Linking Dance with Science and Social Studies Content

Instructor: Lynnette Young Overby

These workshops will explore strategies for turning science and social studies content into stories that can be embodied and remembered. For example, the story of the rainforest introduces students to the parts of the rainforest, the animals who reside in the forest, and the importance of preserving the forest. During the sessions, participants will go from experiencing various models to creating their own movement stories.



Upper Middle/Secondary Theatre

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


Analyzing and Synthesizing: The Director’s Process

Instructor: Josh Chenard

In this workshop, participants will create theatrical compositions with an emphasis on vision, story, and personal point of view. A variety of stylistic approaches—from Michael Chekhov’s imagination based improvisation and Bertolt Brecht’s epic staging to the Tectonic Theatre Project’s revelatory Moments Work—will be used to explore diverse directing experiments and methods.


Tripping Into Your Talent: Clowning For All

Instructor: Zachary Fine

In this engaging workshop, participants will join in a series of guided exercises that are designed to uncover what makes them uniquely funny, ridiculous, courageous, and sublime. Exercises will be geared toward fostering spontaneity and playfulness and widening the scope of each person’s imagination and creativity, while at the same time pursuing a structured understanding of how comedy works. The muscles of generosity and play that make a great clown are transferable to all forms of acting and performance.


Know Thy Selfie: Self-Taping for the Acting Classroom and Beyond

Instructor: Chauntee’ Schuler Irving

This rigorous and fast paced course will help teachers equip young actors the vital skill of self-taping. The practical and pedagogical exploration will include an examination of the current industry uses and standards for self-tapes, an exploration of potential tools for integration into the acting curriculum, and hands-on production training that will enable students to produce effective self-tapes for the theatre, television, and film world within the academic classroom. This accessible curriculum can be used with students of various ages and resources.