Especially geared for youth-at-risk and reluctant writers, this residency begins with setting guidelines for behavior together. The group brainstorms and discusses hot topics for a performance. Students write short pieces on topics that are important to them in genres that make sense to them. They collaborate on taking their writings from the page to the stage. If all goes according to plan, the residency culminates in a performance conceived and created by the performers about the issues that keep them awake at night and get them out of bed in the morning.
CC English Language Arts Grades 6-8.W.1 Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence. W.3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences. Gr. 9-12.W.1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence. Gr. 9-12.W.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.
What the director of Partners for Youth (Durham, NC) said about this residency:
She was able to coordinate performances on topics including suicide, and growing up without a father….I observed students who were reticent in other settings to talk about issues confronting them, openly express their feelings through these productions. It’s Sheila’s openness and respect for young people which made them willing to share their thoughts and experiences with others.”
What the psychologist at Meadowbrook Alternative School (King, NC) said about this residency:
The response of the students was incredible, in fact much better than we had anticipated. They were involved, worked hard on the project with Ms. Kerrigan. In addition they showed improved attendance and in-class behavior in other classes as well.”
What the Hoke County (NC) High School Theatre Arts teacher said:
Keeping the focus on the students, Ms. Kerrigan had them focus on topics that really mattered to them–things like bullying, abuse, and love. Then, by some sort of magic, she was able to help the students weave a story with everyone’s ideas….They were very proud of the message they sent to the community.”
Here is a handout for a master class for high school students on creating original performance:
Here is a handout for a residency with high school students: