Roots to Branches Program: Day 1

August 15 – 18, 2003
Science Museum of Virginia
Richmond, VA

Day 1 Seeds: Learning to Play

Hospitality will be available in Eureka Theatre lobby from 7am until noon.

7:30 – 8:55
Registration, Coffee and Conversation in Eureka Theatre lobby.

9:00 – 9:45
Plenary Session in Eureka Theatre
Welcoming remarks and Keynote by Moses Goldberg, playwright, director, author
and innovator, on the use of developmental psychology as a tool to help formulate and create theatre pieces.

10:00 – 11:45 Concurrent Sessions


Yvonne Hudson, New Place Communications, NY
Drew Gibson, Classic Stories, Norwalk, CT

The Story in History: Solo Artists Bring the Facts to Life

Enhancing an exhibit or event may be a challenge, but solo-artists, storytellers, actors or monologists are an effective way to both entertain and enlighten your audience in diverse spaces. To illustrate ways to put "the story back into history," solo-artists Yvonne Hudson and Drew Gibson will discuss techniques used in developing their historical pieces. They will present segments from their work, which both touch upon the life of President Lincoln. Mr. Gibson appears as Abraham Lincoln's campaign manager, while Ms. Hudson takes on the role of actor-manager Laura Keene. In the second hour, workshop participants will exercise some of the presenters' concepts for themselves as they work singly and in groups to design two historical performance pieces.

Joan Leotta, Virginia
Your Roots in Stories: A Challenge

Watch the teller present at a museum exhibit and then adjourn to a classroom space to learn how folklore and other sources can be mined for stories. You will also create your own presentation units or single story --using exhibits at the museum. Ears-on, hands-on, minds-on, fun! The discussion portion will focus on using folklore, finding resources, story and craft sessions, forming original stories, "vetting" for science and historical facts, using docents to tell, teaching children to tell, and how a story can be used in exhibit floor venues as well as separate spaces.

11:45 – 1:15 Lunch on Your Own

1:15 – 3:00 Concurrent Sessions

Lynda Kennedy, Brooklyn Historical Society, NY
From Paintings to Playing

This active session offers ideas for exercises and activities that can be used in your facility to enrich the visitors' experience through creative dramatics. This session uses "art museums" as a theme for the development of exhibit-specific work. Immerse yourself in life of an artwork and the extrapolation of ideas that can come of using creative dramatics to explore the seemingly un-explorable.

Craig Johnson, Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul
Simple, Yet Elegant

Three different "readers theater" productions will be showcased to display this greatly satisfying and wonderfully cheap means of presenting scripted material at your facility. To be followed by discussion and/or a hands-on readers theater "production" using the session participants.

3:15 – 5:00 Concurrent Sessions

Paul Taylor, Absecon Lighthouse, NJ
The Germination of Creativity from Seed to Sequoia

In this workshop, a group of unrelated artists will come together to create an original piece of theatre. Using ensemble techniques, we will explore a variety of styles including movement and dance, creative drama, scripted dialogue, puppets and music. Using the Roots to Branches theme as our jumping-off point, we will follow our collective inspiration to explore a creative process that will be remarkably useful and incredibly freeing.

Jonathan Ellers, Central Park Zoo, NY
Get Started and Give it Away: Tools for Generating Scripted Materials

This session will begin by revealing the “true story” behind the mental and physical process used to develop a script at the Central Park Zoo's Wildlife Theater. This will be followed by a workshop in which participants will be divided into small groups and encouraged to follow a similar writing process. This process will begin with brainstorming and culminate in a two-minute scripted product presented by each group.

Evening Activity:
7:00 pm-- until…….

Bring it ON!

An open-mic and (maybe) a karaoke machine invite attendees to do…well…whatever! Have a seldom-used "secret talent?" Know a poem you memorized as a child? Want to teach us all the lusty songs of your homeland? Carpenter Science Theatre Company will be hosting the event, with free munchies, beer, wine and soda. Along with the open mic festivities, there will be a performance of museum theatre satires by the Not Ready for Prime Time IMTAL Board Players.

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