AACTFest 2019: Workshops

Workshops

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Surrounding the performances, the festival offers a variety of workshops. An assortment of workshop topics will be available throughout the week to give you a thorough understanding of various aspects of theatre allowing you to enrich your own theatre community.

AACTChats, a forum of brief discussions focusing on new ideas addressing the needs of theatres, include:

  • Wednesday, June 19: FUNDRAISING/FINDING MONEY IN THE SOFA CUSHIONS  Presenter: Dennis Gilmore
  • Thursday, June 20: YOUTH THEATRE/OUR FUTURE IS NOW  Presenter: Linda M. Lee
  • Saturday, June 22: VOLUNTEERS/HOW DO I GET MORE?  Presenter: Mary Jo DeNolf​​​​
  • AACTChats will take place at the Gettysburg Community Theatre from 11:30-12:45.  Box lunches will be available for purchase.

Listed below are workshops currently on the roster.


Head with gears insideAdministration


Square yellow box to mark each workshop titleAre you Ready for Disasters? The 3 Proven Strategies for Easy Preparedness

Be ready for disasters with the three proven strategies delivered by a master emergency manager.

Friday, 10:00-11:15, Stevens Room (Gettysburg Hotel)

This cutting-edge presentation, led by a Certified Emergency Manager and longtime disaster manager in the performing arts, will teach you three proven strategies for properly building and implementing a disaster program for your theatre.

Presenter: Patrick Hardy, CEO, Hytropy.com
Patrick is CEO of Hytropy.com, one of the leading disaster management companies in the United States. A Certified Emergency Manager®, Certified Risk Manager®, and a FEMA Master of Exercise Practitioner®, he has extensive experience working in the public, private, and non-profit sectors in disaster management from micro-businesses to Fortune 500 companies.


Square yellow box to mark each workshop titleBuilding A Volunteer Army

"Things may come to those who wait. But only the things left by those who hustle" Learn how to engage and retain volunteers!

Friday, 10:00-11:15, Eisenhower North (Gettysburg Hotel)

Learn how to utilize tactics that engage, increase, and retain volunteers! Participants will learn how to cultivate a comprehensive volunteer plan through a combination of new social media platforms, old-fashioned conversation, and organizational leadership strategies.

Presenters: Craig Gibson, Founding Executive Artistic Director, Premier Arts
                   Tanner Smale, Social Media Coordinator, Premier Arts


Square yellow box to mark each workshop titleEverything You Need to Know About Licensing

Learn everything you need to know in order to make your next MTI show painless, fun, and affordable!

Thursday, 10:00-11:15, Eisenhower South (Gettysburg Hotel)

A number of frequently asked questions about the process will be addressed in a candid and supportive environment. MTI’s licensing expert will provide important tips on lowering your royalties, managing your account, and understanding certain restrictions. Invaluable information geared for directors at all experience levels. Win cool prizes at the RehearScore Challenge, including a Free Standard Rental Certificate for your next MTI show!

Presenter: John Prignano, COO, Director of Education and Development, Music Theatre International

Photo of John PrignanoIn his 20 years at Music Theatre International, John has led workshops around the world and has been instrumental in creating tools that encourage meaningful dialogue and interaction between the licensing house and theatre educators.

 

 

 


Square yellow box to mark each workshop titleHow Can Broadway Help You?  Building The Bridge Between Broadway and Community Theatre

Two Time Tony Award Winning Broadway Producer, Ken Davenport, who is also Andrew Lloyd Webber's Executive Producer in North America, discusses his career path from community theater to Broadway, and encourages a discussion on how he and the Broadway community can help serve community theatres across the country

Friday, 10:00-11:15, College Room (Gettysburg Hotel)  NOTE CHANGE OF LOCATION

Presenter: Ken Davenport, Broadway Producer and Founder of Davenport Theatrical Enterprises

Photo of Ken DavenportKen Davenport is a Tony Award-winning Broadway producer whose credits include Once On This Island (Tony Award), The Play That Goes Wrong, Groundhog Day (Tony nomination), Deaf West Theatre’s Spring Awakening (Tony nomination), Allegiance, It’s Only a Play, Macbeth starring Alan Cumming, Godspell, Kinky Boots(Broadway – Tony Award, National Tour, Toronto and West End), The Visit (Tony nomination), Mothers and Sons (Tony nomination), The Bridges of Madison County, Chinglish, Oleanna starring Bill Pullman and Julia Stiles, Speed-the-Plow, Will Ferrell’s You’re Welcome America, Blithe Spirit starring Angela Lansbury (Broadway, West End and tour), and 13, as well as Daddy Long Legs, That Bachelorette Show (Creator), Altar Boyz (Co-Conceiver), My First Time (Author), The Awesome 80s Prom (Creator), and Miss Abigail’s Guide to Dating, Mating, & Marriage (Author) Off-Broadway. Ken’s productions have been produced internationally in over 25 countries around the world. In addition to his own work, Ken was recently named the Executive Producer of North America for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group.


Graphic of a puzzle pieceArtistic


Square yellow box to mark each workshop titleAudience Participation: Bringing Audience Members onto the Stage

Bringing audience members onstage can offer an element of unexpected surprise for everyone. Learn how to create those moments for your cast and your audience to increase engagement and repeat business.

Thursday, 8:30-9:45, Stevens Room (Gettysburg Hotel)

Bringing audience members onto the stage sounds scary, but learn how it can be very rewarding by creating a bond between the stories, the actors, and audiences that can foster repeat business. It also gives actors small improv opportunities to hone their skills.  Exercises during rehearsals can prepare actors to deal with the unexpected while staying in character.  This workshop will use attendees to visualize examples as it explores allowing audience members to step into minor one scene roles like the “Harbinger of Doom.”

Presenter: Ruth Comley, Assistant Professor, Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburg, PA); Creative Director, Stage and Steal Productions

Photo of Ruth ComleyRuth is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University. She is also the Creative Director of Stage and Steal Productions, a community theatre that uses Medieval/Fantasy story lines, audience interaction, stage combat, and interactive digital sets to stand out from the crowd.


Square yellow box to mark each workshop titleBridging the Gap between Community and Professional Theatre

Learn about regional/combined auditions, job fairs, and how to sell yourself to make the leap into the world of professional theatre.

Thursday, 8:30-9:45, Webster Room (Gettysburg Hotel)

Have you been in Community Theatre for years and think you'd like to give professional theatre a try? Learn ways you can make that change, how to prepare yourself for auditions, job fairs, and how to sell yourself.

Presenter: April J’Callahan Marshall, Community and Professional Actor and Director

Photo of April J’Callahan MarshallApril is the Professional Theatre Services Director for SETC and has spent over 40 years in community and professional theatre working as an actor, a director, and assisting other theatre people in getting jobs.


Square yellow box to mark each workshop titleDramatic Dreamers - Rhythm, Humor, and Pathos of Tennessee Williams

Tennessee Williams remains one of America’s greatest playwrights and one of the hardest to perform. Get inside tips to unravel his romantic language.

Wednesday, 10:00-11:15, Eisenhower North (Gettysburg Hotel)

Using the “big 3” for script material, - A Streetcar Named Desire, The Glass Menagerie, and Cat On a Hot Tin Roof - participants will work toward finding the music of the great playwright’s language. “Doing a Southern accent” is a surefire method to kill the dramatic effect and humor of a Williams play. This active workshop practices with rhythms and sounds specific to the locales, and some of Williams’ most delightful devices.

Presenter: Murray Chase, Producing Executive Director, Venice (FL) Theatre

Photo of Murray ChaseMurray has been Venice (FL) Theatre's Producing Executive Director for 23 years. During his 40-year directing career, he has directed most of Williams' famous works, including the "Big 3."  He spent much of his childhood in the Mississippi Delta.


Square yellow box to mark each workshop titleDiscovering Shakespeare

This active, hands-on workshop is designed to provide both the beginner and advanced actor with techniques to better understand Shakespeare’s work from the actor’s perspective.

Thursday, 10:00-11:15, Eisenhower North (Gettysburg Hotel)
Saturday, 8:30-9:45, Webster Room (Gettysburg Hotel)

Learn specific exercises designed to enhance the understanding of verse vs. prose, iambic pentameter, use of couplets, antithesis, alliteration, and imagery. Novices and those with experience will benefit from this practical application of techniques that unlock the mystery of acting Shakespeare. The workshop, developed over several years, has been successfully taught to a wide variety of participants including high school students, professional actors, and community theatre actors.  An expanded version formed the basis of a semester-long Honors Seminar at Montana State University.

Presenter: Joel Jahnke, Artistic Director, Montana Shakespeare in the Parks

Photo of Joel JahnkeJoel has over 50 years of experience as a director, actor, designer, producer, and teacher in both classical and modern theatrical productions. He served as the Artistic Director of the award-winning Montana Shakespeare in the Parks touring companies for 32 years.


Square yellow box to mark each workshop titleFreeing the Body to Free the Voice

Learn from a Voice and Speech Specialist how to free up your muscles to promote better breathing for a well-procured voice.

Friday, 10:00-11:15, Rehearsal Hall (Majestic Theater)

Learn to incorporate key elements of the work of Feldenkrais and Linklater to begin to attune the body to vocal needs. Experience a free and flexible voice and discover that it is at the very core of successful acting.

Presenter: Jennifer Sherron Stock, Faculty, City College of New York

Photo of Jennifer Sherron StockJennifer is a Voice and Speech Specialist with advanced training in the U.S. and U.K. with Kristin Linklater and Patsy Rodenburg. She specializes in voice production and articulation. She has served as a faculty member at City College of New York since 1999, and has a private practice in New York City, coaching Speech Tools for Success.


Square yellow box to mark each workshop titleInteractive Storytelling: Managing the Chaos of Allowing the Audience to Set the Path of the Story

Empower the audience to help make the performance unique. Through case studies and walk-throughs, explore how to unleash and control the beautiful element of surprise.

Friday, 10:00-11:15, Webster Room (Gettysburg Hotel)

Interactive storytelling empowers the audience to think that they changed the outcome of characters’ lives. In reality it is all an illusion: the author gives the audience indirect control over the storyline while carefully crafting every path that they may take. Still the illusion is powerful and creates moments of surprise for both the audience and the actors. From changing one line in the script to managing multiple endings, this workshop will examine three case studies from scripts that have branching storylines in an effort to explore ways to add interactive storytelling with minimal chaos for the actors.

Presenter: Ruth Comley, Assistant Professor, Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburg, PA); Creative Director, Stage and Steal Productions

Photo of Ruth ComleyRuth is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University. She is also the Creative Director of Stage and Steal Productions, a community theatre that uses Medieval/Fantasy story lines, audience interaction, stage combat, and interactive digital sets to stand out from the crowd.


Square yellow box to mark each workshop titlePut Your Hometown on Stage

Bring fresh theatrical material from your hometown to the stage with must-see productions based on current or historic events and personalities.

Wednesday, 8:30-9:45, Eisenhower North (Gettysburg Hotel)

Local news events, historic incidents, and hometown characters give audiences a strong reason to see theatre. In the 1930s, the WPA hired writers to present The Living Newspaper on stage. Today, journalists/playwrights are mining hidden and local histories to bring new relevance to productions. Learn how to bring custom dramas and comedies to your community in fresh theatrical experiences only you can present. Escape the same old, same old by producing stories known to many but never seen on stage. Take a page from the popularity of local podcasts to bring marriages, murders, misfits, and other mortals to your stage.

Presenter: Margaret Engel, Playwright, Journalist, Disney Author

Photo of Margaret EngelMargaret is a playwright of two successful Samuel French plays (79 productions and counting) telling the stories of true-life women. She is an award-winning journalist at the Washington Post and author of Disney’s How to Act Like a Kid.


Square yellow box to mark each workshop titleRazabox 101--Acting from the Body

Explore a physical, vocal, and spatial approach applicable to monologues, scene work, or film.

Thursday, 10:00-11:15, Gettysburg Community Theatre Stage

An introduction to a spatial and physical approach to extreme emotions based on ancient Indian principles.  Perfect for the brave, supportive, and playful actor! Helpful for scene work or monologue work alike.

Presenter: Anna Marie Kurtz, (MA, Acting, Bristol [UK] Old Vic Theatre), Professional Actor and Combat Choreographer

Photo of Anna Marie KurtzAnna Marie is a professional actor and combat choreographer, working in the Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, and Virginia areas. Discover more at annamariekurtz.com


Square yellow box to mark each workshop titleResources and Solutions for Musical Theatre

Wherever you are on your theatrical journey, MTI’s innovative resources will enhance your show experience by providing valuable solutions for your creative and production teams.

Friday, 8:30-9:45, Eisenhower South (Gettysburg Hotel)

No matter where you are on your theatrical journey, MTI’s innovative resources will enhance your show experience by providing valuable solutions for your creative and production teams. From apps and programs to assist your music director in rehearsals and performances to software to manage your marketing and sales, if you have the need, MTI has the resource. Whether you’ve used these resources before or want to try one out for the first time, this is the workshop for you. Win cool prizes at the RehearScore Challenge, including a Free Standard Rental Certificate for your next MTI show!

Presenter: John Prignano, COO, Director of Education and Development, Music Theatre International

Photo of John PrignanoIn his 20 years at Music Theatre International, John has led workshops around the world and has been instrumental in creating tools that encourage meaningful dialogue and interaction between the licensing house and theatre educators.


Square yellow box to mark each workshop titleSaying “Yes, and…” – Improvisational Techniques for the Actor

Exploring the techniques of Improvisation as practiced by AACTFest Keynote Speaker James Sherman from the time he performed with the Second City Company and through his many years of teaching.

Thursday, 8:30-11:15 (double session), Rehearsal Hall (Majestic Theater)

James will lead participants in a participatory workshop that will explore the use of Improvisation in performance and in everyday life. (Active Participants will be limited to 20.  Additional seating will be available for Observers. A break will be provided at 9:45, allowing observers to leave if they wish to attend another workshop and additional observers to join the session for the second half.) With limited seating/participation available, those interested in participating can sign up at the AACTFest Registration Table.

Presenter: Playwright and AACTFest Keynote Speaker James Sherman

Keynote Presenter James ShermanJames Sherman is the author of the plays Magic Time, The God of Isaac, Mr. 80%, The Escape Artist, Beau Jest, This Old Man Came Rolling Home, Jest a Second!, Romance in D, From Door to Door, The Old Man’s Friend,  Affluenza!, Half and Half, Relatively Close, Jacob and Jack, and The Ben Hecht Show. James currently teaches Playwriting and Improvisation at Columbia College  Chicago and DePaul University.  He has been a teacher of Playwriting and Acting on the faculties of The Second City Training Center, Chicago Dramatists Workshop, and Victory Gardens Theater.  He has been a visiting teaching artist at The Korean National University of the Arts in Seoul, South Korea, the Rose Bruford School of Drama in Kent, England, and the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. 


Square yellow box to mark each workshop titleVocal Projection for the Stage

Connecting breath support, raw sound, and the power of vowels to improve vocal projection.

Friday, 8:30-9:45, Rehearsal Hall (Majestic Theater)

This workshop is designed to develop the actor's vocal power regardless of age and experience. It begins with ridding tension from the actor's instrument, then finding and expanding the optimum pitch of the voice. Feel where sound is formed in the mask of the face, throat, and chest. Discover the connection between breath support, resonance, and increased vocal projection, all without straining the larynx.

Presenter: Ron Cameron-Lewis, Professor Emeritus, Sheridan College (ON, Canada) Music Theatre Performance Department

Photo of Ron Cameron-LewisRon’s credits include a BA from Western University in London, Ontario, and he has received training in voice and acting from the Banff Centre in Banff, Alberta, an AGSM in Speech and Drama from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, England, and a Certificate of Education, merit in Drama from the University of London, UK


Square yellow box to mark each workshop titleThe Zen of Improvisational Acting

Come play, laugh, and meet new people in a safe and supportive environment. A “hands on, heads off ” workshop for newcomers and advanced players.

Saturday, 8:30-11:15 (double session), Rehearsal Hall (Majestic Theater)

Participants will be given permission to play with abandon and to unleash their inner child. Through the use of theatrical warm-ups, exercises, games, and improvisations learn physical and emotional techniques to free, stimulate, and cultivate your creative impulses. Zen philosophy, “enlightenment by means of direct, intuitive insights,” will be applied with improvisational techniques to unlock the natural impulses that must surface to discover truth in acting. Learn to silence your inner critic, to trust your instincts, and to live in the moment. In improvisation we all start from the beginning; therefore, no previous acting experience is necessary or required. Laughter is the language of play. Let the funny unfold and come play!

Presenter: Karen Land, (M.D.S. in Drama Studies, Johns Hopkins University),  Assistant Professor, Gettysburg (PA) College and Carroll Community College (Westminster, MD)

Photo of Karen LandKaren taught at Gettysburg College for ten years and at Carroll Community College for 12 years, where she created student improv troupes, master classes, and directed main stage productions.  She has been on the faculty at Gettysburg Community Theatre for three years, specializing in improvisational acting. She is the creator and director of the GCT Improv Troupe in Gettysburg. Improvisation Acting with spiritual underpinnings is her area of expertise.


Multi-Category Education/Outreach


Square yellow box to mark each workshop titleAudio Description: the Visual Made Verbal

Learn the "Fundamentals of Audio Description” and build awareness for those with vision impairments from a leading expert and pioneer in the audio description field.

Saturday, 8:30-9:45, Eisenhower South (Gettysburg Hotel)

An overview of the “Fundamentals of Audio Description” will be presented, including how to access awareness, particularly with respect to people who are blind or have low vision. Audio Description is a translation of visual images to vivid language for the benefit, primarily, of people who are blind or have a vision impairment:  the visual is made verbal—and aural, and oral.

Presenter: Joel Snyder, Ph.D., President, Audio Description Associates, LLC(USA); Director, Audio Description Project, American Council of the Blind

Photo of Joel SnyderJoel is known internationally as one of the world’s first “audio describers,” a pioneer in the field of Audio Description. Since 1981, he has introduced audio description techniques in over 40 states and 60 countries and has made hundreds of live events, media projects, and museums accessible.  In 2014, the American Council of the Blind published his book, The Visual Made Verbal – A Comprehensive Training Manual and Guide to the History and Applications of Audio Description, now available as an audio book in English, Polish, Russian, and Portuguese. He is a long-time member of Actors’ Equity Association and AFTRA-SAG, and a 20-year veteran of work as a director and arts specialist at the National Endowment for the Arts.  He holds a Ph.D. in audiovisual translation from the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona.


Square yellow box to mark each workshop titleAvoiding Cultural Appropriation

Definitions and explorations of instances of cultural appropriation and ways to avoid offending members of our communities and audiences.

Thursday, 8:30-9:45, Eisenhower North (Gettysburg Hotel)
Saturday, 10:00-11:15, Eisenhower North (Gettysburg Hotel)

Many community theatres are not as culturally diverse as we would like - and it can be hard to know how to present other cultures on our stage. Defining/exploring instances of cultural appropriation will be followed by a discussion of ways to avoid offending members of our communities and audiences.

Presenter: Darrell Wagner, Instructor of Costume Design, Casper (WY) College

Photo of Darrell WagnerDarrell teaches costume design at Casper College in Casper, Wyoming. He has toured across the country on the costume crew and hair/makeup team for some of the biggest Broadway shows.


Square yellow box to mark each workshop titleBroadway Sr.: Transforming Senior Theatre with the MTI Jr. Series

In the United States, 300,000 people turn 65 every month. It’s time to put them on stage and in the spotlight at your community theatre. We will show you how.

Wednesday, 10:00-11:15, Eisenhower South (Gettysburg Hotel)
Saturday, 10:00-11:15, Eisenhower South (Gettysburg Hotel)

Lincoln Community Playhouse and other groups have piloted using the MTI Jr. series with senior citizen casts. Presenters will share how, with a few modifications, senior actors can perform beloved musicals in a multitude of ways. Photos and video clips from productions demonstrate how you can expand your community outreach. This easily implemented program will enrich your seniors’ lives through artistic expression and social interactions. You don’t age out of the parts in Broadway Sr. and you can now perform the musicals you have loved your whole life – for your whole life.

Presenter: Morrie Enders, Executive Director, Lincoln (NE) Community Playhouse;

Photo of Morrie EndersMorrie has been a leader of community theatres for over 31 years.

Presenter: John Prignano, COO, Director of Education and Development, Music Theatre International

Photo of John PrignanoIn his 20 years at Music Theatre International, John has led workshops around the world and has been instrumental in creating tools that encourage meaningful dialogue and interaction between the licensing house and theatre educators.


Square yellow box to mark each workshop titlePet Me Not, Nor My Dog

How do you behave with service dogs, companion animals, careless scooter drivers, runaway wheelchairs, squealing hearing aids, Tourette’s vocalizing? Bring your accessibility customer service questions!

Friday, 8:30-9:45, Eisenhower North (Gettysburg Hotel)

Here are some “best practices” suggestions and answers to your customer service questions – to help your house manager, box office, volunteer ushers, even actors know what is appropriate to do or NOT to do (“Never pet a working service dog”). Here’s an ADA 101 from planning ahead (think access policies) to improvising sensitively in that two-minutes-before opening “situation”!

Presenter: Jon Skaalen, Accessibility Coordinator, VSA Minnesota

Photo of Jon SkaalenFor 20 years, Jon has served as the Accessibility Coordinator for VSA Minnesota, the state organization on arts and disability. He has directed numerous productions of original plays including actors of various disabilities. He has facilitated meetings of artists with disabilities for 15 years and has served as chair of the AACT Accessibility Task Force.  He is a past board member of AACT and Minnesota Association of Community Theatres (MACTPLAYtime” Building Literacy in Your Community Theatre Through the Arts!


Square yellow box to mark each workshop title"PLAYtime" Building Literacy in Your Community Theatre Through the Arts!

Exploring the “ART” of story time as “PLAYtime” connects children and families to stories rich with props and music, building your theatre community, and strengthening literacy.

Saturday, 10:00-11:15, Gettysburg Community Theatre Stage

"PLAYtime" is a program written by the Outreach Education Department of The Erie Playhouse in Erie, Pennsylvania.  This program marries "The Imagination Library" with dramatic arts and music connecting your community while building literacy.  Rich theatrical story time activities and creative stage opportunities have opened up a new connection between community theatre and families with young children. Explore a program with lessons, props, and music that has been created along with organizational ideas to open doors to your youngest community members.  "PLAYtime" not only explores theatre at its core, but can serve your community as well.

Presenter: Trish Yates, Outreach/Education Consultant, PLAYtime Author

Yates, TrishTrish's theatric/musical background makes her a high-energy, entertaining speaker. For 31 years Trish has remained connected to the classroom through PLAYtime, directs local theater, writes songs, and hosts family sing-a-longs in the community. She also teaches college and coaches voice.


Square yellow box to mark each workshop titleSpecial Needs Theatre...Change Lives!

Afraid of trying a special needs theatre program? Take the leap. Change lives...yours, theirs, and your theatres. Hear about Gettysburg Community Theatre’s Penguin Project, now in its 6th year of running the program that pairs youth with special needs/disabilities and youth without special needs as peer mentors.

Thursday, 8:30-9:45, Gettysburg Community Theatre Stage

Experience Gettysburg Community Theatre's Penguin Project, that pairs youth with special needs/disabilities with youth without special needs as their peer mentors who help them throughout the production from auditions to final bow together and also create incredible relationship building and bonds through the process. GCT's Penguin Project performers with special needs, peer mentors, staff, and parents will express how this program has helped them and they will even give a special performance during the workshop, followed by Q&A time. Penguins may not be able to fly, but our penguins’ spirits certainly soar on stage through the love of theatre arts!

Presenter: Chad-Alan Carr, Founding Executive/Artistic Director, Gettysburg (PA) Community Theatre

Photo of Chad-Alan CarrChad-Alan Carr, the Founding Executive/Artistic Director of Gettysburg Community Theatre, has presented workshops for AACT at the last two National AACTFests and currently serves as a Board Member of AACT, Eastern States Theatre Association, and Pennsylvania Association of Community Theatres.


Square yellow box to mark each workshop titleThe Wonderful World of Senior Theatre: Many Ways a Community Theatre Can Involve Older Adults

Explore the many ways community theatre can involve older adults. From classes to performances, working with seniors is easy, fun, and fundable.

Friday, 10:00-11:15, Eisenhower South (Gettysburg Hotel)

When we think of seniors, we often think of them as audience members or as volunteers. But there are so many other ways that community theatre can involve older adults. This session will help you explore education, outreach, teaching in retirement settings, and more. It’s easy and fun to bring theatre to seniors, an under-served group that benefits from the arts...and it's fundable!

Presenter: Bonnie L. Vorenberg, President, ArtAge’s Senior Theatre Resource Center

Photo of Bonnie L. VorenbergBonnie has been called “The Guru of Senior Theatre” for her groundbreaking work as a nationally recognized expert and pioneer in the field. An educator, director, speaker, and author, Bonnie is the President of ArtAge’s Senior Theatre Resource Center, distributor of plays, books, and information worldwide.


Square yellow box to mark each workshop titleWhat Did You Say? – 10 Tips That Welcome People With Hearing Loss To Your Theatre

Learn ten inclusive tips to keep people with hearing loss loving (not leaving) your plays, musicals, auditions, meetings, and parties.

Wednesday, 10:00-11:15, Webster Room (Gettysburg Hotel)

There are actors, directors, staff, board, volunteers, and patrons that are losing their hearing. Some are also losing vision, mobility, and memory. Some never had any of the above. But they all love theatre. How do theatres adapt - as people must - to keep people loving (not leaving) plays, musicals, auditions, meetings, parties without feeling left out? Learn practical and technical tips - focused first on hearing - that will help.

Presenter: Jon Skaalen, Accessibility Coordinator, VSA Minnesota

Photo of Jon SkaalenFor 20 years, Jon has served as the Accessibility Coordinator for VSA Minnesota, the state organization on arts and disability. He has directed numerous productions of original plays including actors of various disabilities. He has facilitated meetings of artists with disabilities for 15 years and has served as chair of the AACT Accessibility Task Force.  He is a past board member of AACT and Minnesota Association of Community Theatres (MACT).


Image of megaphone Marketing/Development


Square yellow box to mark each workshop titleGetting Butts In The Seats: Promoting and Selling Out

Learn professional marketing strategies to increase attendance for your shows.

Thursday, 10:00-11:15, Webster Room (Gettysburg Hotel)

Learn how marketing and promotion can set you apart whether you are trying to sell tickets or promote your acting career. Realize how to create a successful communications plan incorporating generating publicity, advertising, digital and social media.

Presenter: Jason Goldstein, (BA, Theatrical Business/Communications, MBA, Marketing, Rutgers University), Performing Arts and Entertainment Producer

Photo of Jason GoldsteinJason has been a performing arts and entertainment producer/entrepreneur for over 25 years.  He has presented lectures at national conferences on theatrical marketing, brand management, publicity and advertising, graphic design, email marketing, and social and digital media design for theatres.


Square yellow box to mark each workshop titlePodcast University

Learn how hosting a podcast can increase the size of your audience ten times, elevate your status as thought-leaders and pillars in your local community, and create a brand new revenue stream.

Friday, 8:30-9:45, Stevens Room (Gettysburg Hotel)

Experience how to create a podcast. Take away an easy-to-follow Action Plan to start, grow, market, and monetize your own Podcast even if you are starting with ZERO experience!

Presenter: Chris Murphy, Digital Marketer, Host of Community Theater Heroes podcast Presenter: Sarah Nolte Fuller, Host of Community Theater Heroes podcast
Photo of Chris MurphyPhoto of Sarah Nolte FullerChris and Sarah run one of the most popular community theatre podcasts in the country, Community Theater Heroes, and use their expertise in digital marketing, web development, social media management, and project management to help community theatres thrive.

Square yellow box to mark each workshop titleSocial Media Management 101

Expand your reach in your community and increase ticket sales tenfold by applying secret tools, resources, and habits Digital Marketers are using.

Wednesday, 8:30-9:45, Eisenhower South (Gettysburg Hotel)
Saturday, 10:00-11:15, Webster Room (Gettysburg Hotel)

Take a behind-the-scenes look at setting up a Facebook Ad campaign from start to finish (Selecting one of the participating theatres as an example, at NO CHARGE!) Attendees will also receive an exclusive Social Media Marketing Checklist, a 30-Day Done-For-You Instagram Graphic Bundle, and a high-converting sales funnel (mini website).

Presenter: Chris Murphy, Digital Marketer, Host of Community Theater Heroes podcast

Photo of Chris MurphyChris is a Digital Marketer and Host of the Community Theater Heroes podcast. His article on social media strategies for theatres was recently featured in the AACT Spotlight Magazine. Chris is an actor, director, and serves on the Board of Directors at Twilight Theater Company in Portland, Oregon.


Square yellow box to mark each workshop titleThe 11 Rules of Theatre Branding

What exactly IS branding? Does your theater have a brand identity? Does it need one??

Thursday, 10:00-11:15, Stevens Room (Gettysburg Hotel)

This workshop will help you to better understand your organization’s brand and outline how to raise your theater’s visual identity to the next level by employing the 11 Rules of Theater Branding, which include Rule #6: Love Thy Website and Rule #2: Get a Damned Logo! 

Presenter: Jim Gallagher, Owner of Drama Queen Graphics (Annapolis, MD)

Photo of Jim GallagherJim Gallagher is a branding specialist who helps theaters engage with their audiences through visually creative design. He owns Drama Queen Graphics, LLC, and works with professional and non-professional theaters. With over 30 years of experience in corporate design and over 40 years as an actor/director in the theater, he provides an “insider” perspective for his clients. Clients include: The Virginia Rep, Steele Spring Stage Rights, Young Artists of America, The Center for Arts in Natick, Great Mills High School, The Colonial Players of Annapolis, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, and WSC Avant Bard.

 


Laptop computer with music coming out of itTechnical/Design


Square yellow box to mark each workshop titleCreating Food from Fabric

Create enticing “edibles” from a variety of fabric trims, foams, craft picks, and sawdust.

Thursday, 8:30-9:45, Eisenhower South (Gettysburg Hotel)

Learn how to overcome a Prop Master’s greatest challenge: When there is a need to serve a massive edible banquet, and the actor involved is vegetarian, allergic to gluten, and lactose-intolerant.  Why choose to create fake food items? Why not use the real thing? Because . . .

Presenter: Tracy Alexander, (BA, Theatre Arts, California State University, Sacramento), Production Manager, Midland (TX) Community Theatre

Photo of Tracy AlexanderOne of Tracy’s many duties is to create the props for MCT shows. She was the Props Designer for TheatreWorks in Palo Alto, California, for seven years before moving to Texas. Ms. Alexander has worked for the Sacramento Theatre Company as a Properties Manager, the Mason Gross School of the Arts as a Production Secretary, Garbeau’s Dinner Theatre as an Assistant Stage Manager and Props Designer, and Sacramento Music Circus as a Makeup Artist.


Square yellow box to mark each workshop titleUsing Game Engines to Empower Interactive Digital Scenery

Explore the possibilities that game engines, like Unity3D, bring to a community theatre to create projection effects like cueing interactive elements in a digital set.

Wednesday, 8:30-9:45, Webster Room (Gettysburg Hotel)

Digital scenery using projectors and scrims have been around for years, but today with the drop of prices in tech and the availability of digital software even a small theatre can produce visual effects it could only dream of previously. Explore the possibilities that game engines bring to a community theatre. The workshop will go through a series of examples using the Unity3D Game Engine that range from painting a digital landscape, to cueing interactive elements of a digital set, to hosting an interactive archery competition for Robin Hood. With each example, the needed assets and expertise will be discussed.

Presenter: Ruth Comley, Assistant Professor, Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University; Creative Director, Stage and Steal Production

Photo of Ruth ComleyRuth is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University. She is also the Creative Director of Stage and Steal Productions, a community theatre that uses Medieval/Fantasy story lines, audience interaction, stage combat, and interactive digital sets to stand out from the crowd.


Square yellow box to mark each workshop titleWrestling with a Monster: Costuming a Musical Review

Get techniques for costuming a musical review without going over budget... or going crazy.

Friday, 8:30-9:45, Webster Room (Gettysburg Hotel)

Illustration of techniques for costuming a musical review without going over budget, and not going crazy. Handouts and examples will be provided.

Presenter: Darrell Wagner, Instructor of Costume Design, Casper (WY) College

Photo of Darrell WagnerDarrell teaches costume design at Casper College in Casper, Wyoming. He has toured across the country on the costume crew and hair/makeup team for some of the biggest Broadway shows.


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