During in-depth residencies in English, History and Economics classrooms , Epic works with classroom teachers to guide students in the exploration of the relationship between individuals and their society. Working with Epic Teaching Artists, students write and perform theatre productions that inspire and awaken civic engagement. Projects include:
After seeing an Epic performance of one of the classic plays from Epic’s repertoire, students work with an Epic artist in their classrooms to respond to the key socio-political questions of the play. They then write their own versions of the play and perform them alongside Epic’s professional actors.
Enemy of the People: Economics students at Bronx High School for Writing and Communication Arts saw a professional performance of an adapted version of Ibsen’s Enemy of the People. Working with mentor-artists, the same of the students created and produced their own response to Ibsen’s work that was performed for Juniors at the school, while others created a marketing and social media campaign for the performance and studied values & cost analysis budgeting.
Students work with Epic artists in their U.S. and Global History classrooms, using theatre-making to bring historical characters, themes and questions to life.
The Hypocrisy of the Nation: With a commission from Epic supported by the New York State Council on the Arts, Keith Josef Adkins developed The People Before the Park, a play digging into the true events that pushed the free-black and immigrant community out before the razing of Seneca Village. Using the play as inspiration, students researched and created their own work to express their own voice about past and present of eminent domain and exploration of their own heritage.
Epic artists from our Off-Broadway productions visit classrooms to prepare students to see matinee performances. In select partner schools, Epic holds rehearsals in classrooms enabling students to participate in the rehearsal process.
Measure for Measure: Participating Schools choose residencies ranging from 2 to 20 visits to surround the Measure for Measure production.
In these visits, the teaching artist will focus on using theatre exercises that uncover the meaning of Shakespeare’s text. For example, a Teaching Artist might lead students in the exploration of Measure for Measure by asking students to read a speech according to the rhythm of the heartbeat, investigating how iambic pentameter impacts the meaning of text. Each exercise builds toward a deeper understanding of Shakespeare’s language.
Longer residencies culminate in a student performance of scenes from the play. During these workshops, students will learn acting techniques to approaching Shakespeare, including the use of subtext, objectives, power words and antithesis. In some residencies, students will write monologues and scenes inspired by the questions raised in the play.
All participating schools receive a study guide that includes lessons, context and supporting materials for the study of the play.