Day 1 Plenary

STA “Additional Introductions” Activities

 

60 minutes on Thursday, 12/8/15, apx 11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Adapted from Cornerstone Activities designed to introduce and engage participants

 

Popcorn Activity: (Toby intro)

Duration: 10-15 minutes

We’ve been incorporating exercises from Cornerstone Theatre founded by Bill Rausch in our educational settings and artistic practices.  Here are a few of our favorite questions to ask people we collaborate with.

Instructions: Ask participants to rise from their chair if they agree with the following statements.

Prompts:

Personal (Toby) –

  • I am wearing the color blue today.
  • I live here in the Bay Area.
  • I flew into town for this conference.
  • I needed to use my passport to get here.
  • This is my first time in San Francisco.
  • I am already intimidated by San Francisco’s hills.
  • I believe a man named William Shakespeare wrote the plays we credit him with.
  • I have had to convince someone to try going to a Shakespeare play.

 

Organizational (John)-

  • Our theatre performs on an outdoor stage.
  • Our theatre performs on an indoor stage.
  • Our theatre takes its production on tours.
  • Our theatre sells tickets and subscriptions.
  • Our theatre doesn’t sell tickets or subscriptions.
  • Our theatre is affiliated with a University.
    • Scott Phillips is hosting a Lunch table for these groups.
  • Our theatre has a school tour.
  • Our theatre offers student matinees.
  • Our theatre offers classes for kids.
  • Our theatre offers classes for theatre professionals.
  • Our theatre offers classes for adults who aren’t theatre professionals.

(Tonya tags in)

  • Our theatre is based in the United States.
  • Our theatre is based internationally.
    • Mercedes is hosting a lunch table for these groups.
  • Our theatre has an endowment.
  • Our theatre has a financial reserve.
  • Our theatre has had to miss a payroll.
  • Our theatre has almost closed its doors.
  • Our theatre has produced Shakespeare’s entire canon.
  • Our theatre produces Shakespeare’s works 52 weeks out of the year.
  • Our theatre has programs that are specifically designed to reach underserved populations.
  • Our theatre has produced a Shakespeare film.
  • Our theatre produces Shakespeare in multiple countries.
  • Our theatre is the only theatre in the town in which we are based.

 

  • (Rebecca tags in)
  • Theseus in Midsummer says that “The lunatic, the lover, and the poet/ Are of imagination all compact.  Stand if you most closely identify yourself as the lunatic. Stay Standing.  Who identifies with the Lover? Stay Standing. The poet? Stand if you have parts of all of them in you?
    • Shakespeare says:

The poet’s eye, in fine frenzy rolling,

Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;

And as imagination bodies forth

The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen

Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing

A local habitation and a name.

  • We invite everyone to join us as we embark on the journey of the Poet at this conference.  Our next activity will help us suit our words to our actions…

 

Four Corners (Carl):

Duration: 20-25 minutes

Instructions: Participants are asked to choose the corner of the room that best describes them or their organization.  Facilitator either asks a follow up question to the group or asks a questions of individuals in the group.

 

Question 1:

  1. I’ve worked for Shakespeare organizations for 0-5 years.
  2. I’ve worked for Shakespeare organizations for 5-10 years.
  3. I’ve worked for Shakespeare organizations for 10-20 years.
  4. I’ve worked for Shakespeare organizations for 20+ years.
    1. Follow up: offer a piece of advice for another corner.

 

Question 2:

  1. I discovered my passion for Shakespeare as a kid.
  2. I discovered my passion for Shakespeare in my 20’s and 30’s
  3. I discovered my passion Shakespeare after my 40’s.
  4. I’m still trying to find my passion for Shakespeare.
  5. Follow up for corners 1-3. Survey who or what drew you into Shakespeare?
  6. Follow up for corner 4.  Survey the biggest barrier for enjoying Shakespeare.

 

Question 3:

  1. Our theatre owns our performance venue.
  2. Our theatre rents performance venues for our shows.
  3. Our theatre borrows or trades our performance venue.
  4. Our theatre currently rents/borrows, but is taking steps to buy a space.
    1. Follow up: what is the biggest pro and conpositive & challenge that each corner faces when they try and produce a show in their primary space?

 

Question 4:

  1. I would prefer to attend an excellent production of Hamlet.
  2. I would prefer to attend an excellent production of Midsummer Night’s Dream.
  3. I would prefer to attend an excellent production of Timon of Athens.
  4. I would prefer to attend an excellent production of West Side Story.
    1. Follow up: which show do you think your theatre would most likely stage?

 

 

Spectrum Exercise (Steve):

Duration: 20-25 minutes

Instructions: Find where you stand on the spectrum when presented with these two options.  We encourage asking the people around you about their reasoning so you can find the right place for yourself.

 

  1. Perspectives:
    1. My position at our Shakespeare organization as my sole career.
    2. I have many jobs that define my career and my position with our Shakespeare organization isn’t the primary one.
      1. Follow up:  What other positions to people hold?  Is your Shakespeare position your primary source of income? Are you a volunteer &/or a board member?

 

  1. Perspectives:
    1. The best way to teach someone about Shakespeare is bringing them to a Shakespeare performance.
    2. The best way to teach someone about Shakespeare is in an educational setting with teaching artists.
      1. Follow up: what is there an ideal middle ground these two points of view could agree upon?

 

  1. Perspectives:
    1. Shakespeare comes to life the most when it’s performed as closely to Elizabethan times as possible.
    2. Shakespeare comes to life the most when it’s restaged in a modern context.
      1. Follow up: For a.) are there any Elizabethan practices you don’t follow (gender, pronunciation, lighting)?
      2. For b.) where do you draw the line of modernizing (weapons, cutting scenes, “translating” or ad libs)

 

  1. Perspectives:
    1. Shakespeare should be performed by as many people in as many parts of the world as possible.
    2. Shakespeare should be performed by actors who are highly trained in incorporating the nuances of Shakespeare’s poetic devices.
      1. Follow up: Does Shakespeare performed by inexperienced actors hinder an audience’s ability to appreciate Shakespeare? Would more people engage with Shakespeare if it was presented by someone they knew personally?
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