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Playwriting, Acting, and Directing

Offerings Education Main 34
  • Culture | Cross Culture, American History
  • Format | Workshop, After School Program
  • Discipline | Theatre, Literary Arts
  • Level | Grades 3 to 5, Grades 6 to 8, Grades 9 to 12

Experience the process of writing, staging, and acting out a scene. Students collaborate in pairs to develop a short scene featuring real or fictional characters set in a historic period or current event. They are coached during the playwriting session with specific attention to detail and clarity in the written word, and its ability to communicate the intention clearly. Once the scenes are written, the students take on the leadership roles of casting agents and directors. They direct the professional actors or their peers in their scenes. Teachers partner with actors to guide themes pertinent to their students’ focus in the curriculum. To achieve higher quality writing and presentation, a series of two to four workshops is recommended.

Artists

Ivy Austin

Ivy Austin is best known for her work on NPR as the vocalist and comedienne from Garrison Keillor's, "A Prairie Home Companion." After graduating from Colgate with a degree in Biology, she toured with "They're Playing Our Song" and a few years later she made her Broadway debut, in the title role of "Raggedy Ann." She has recorded over one hundred songs with The Muppets on "Sesame Street," and is particularly effective with youth and theatre in the Global Arts: cultural literacy and heritage programs.

Bill Cwikowski

Bill Cwikowski has been an actor for 40 years, and is a founding member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre. He has worked extensively for EST in several capacities, including actor, writer, teacher, producer, dramaturg, and archivist. An actor of both stage and screen, he can be seen on numerous episodes of Law & Order. Mr. Cwikowski holds a B.A. in Speech and Drama from Monmouth College and an M.F.A in Acting from Smith College.

Khris Lewin

Khris Lewin is an actor and teaching artist who has performed at some of the country’s most respected regional theatres, including Marin Theatre Company, Goodspeed Opera House, Ogunquit Playhouse, Vineyard Playhouse, Nebraska Shakespeare, among others. Mr. Lewin holds a B.A. in Drama from Duke University and an M.F.A in Acting from the National Theatre Conservatory in Denver, CO. He is an SAFD certified and recommend actor-combatant.

Vickie Tanner

Vickie Tanner is a writer and actress of stage and screen. Vickie is part of the original American cast of the critically-acclaimed STOMP, in addition to joining the National and European tours of the production. She acted in the world premiere of TANTALUS, written by John Barton and directed by Ed Hall and Sir Peter Hall. She holds a B.F.A in Theatre from the California State University at Long Beach, and studied the Meisner technique with Maggie Flanigan in New York City.

Laurine Towler

Laurine Towler is an actress and teaching artist who made her Broadway debut in Lettice and Loveage, starring Dame Maggie Smith. In addition to working on the New York and regional stages, Ms. Towler has appeared in several television shows including Law and Order: SVU, Louie, The Sopranos, St. Elsewhere, All My Children, and Daria. She received her undergraduate degree from Stanford University, and her M.F.A in Theatre from the University of California, San Diego.

Eric Poindexter

Eric Poindexter is an actor, singer, and teaching artist who joined Symphony Space’s Global Arts program in 2016. Eric specializes in afterschool programs that concentrate on theater arts. Eric is also a cast-member of the arts collective and accompanying podcast “In Your Face-New York,” as well as a member of the Yip Harburg Foundation as an actor, singer and educator dedicated to using theatre to promote education and social change.