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To Kill a Mockingbird: Contemporary Perspectives on Teaching a Classic
10:00 Registration & Welcome
10:30 Readings & Workshops
• Audrey Dwyer’s Calpurnia OR
• Rob Kempson’s Mockingbird
12:30 Lunch & Roundtable: Why To Kill a Mockingbird today? What does it offer a contemporary Canadian audience?
2:00 Matinée Performance
5:00 Post-Show Discussion
These workshops are comprised of excerpted readings of the play by professional artists, group discussion and active drama exercises as a way to explore how these contemporary pieces speak to key themes in To Kill a Mockingbird.
Led by playwright, director, actor and artist educator Audrey Dwyer.
In Calpurnia, we meet Julie, a Jamaican-Canadian screenwriter who revisits the story from the perspective of the Finch family’s maid. Is it possible for us, as Atticus says, to walk a mile in another person’s shoes? What stories should we be using to speak with young people about race and racism today?
Led by playwright, director, actor and artist educator Rob Kempson.
Mockingbird, set in a high school English department, explores what happens when innocence meets authority. How can schools be a place for transformation rather than reaffirmation? How do power and institutional dynamics influence the ways in which students and their teachers navigate systems such as education?
Encountering The Tempest: Historical, Literary and Technical Approaches
10:00 Registration & Welcome
11:00-1:30 Historical OR Literary OR Technical
1:30-2:30 Lunch (on your own)
2:30-5:00 Historical OR Literary OR Technical
5:00 Pre-Show Chat
8:00 Evening Performance
Journey into the Archives (Historical)
This hands-on workshop focuses on historical inquiry in relation to the diversity of productions of this play produced at the Stratford Festival. How have we reconceived this play, year after year? How does The Tempest take up the histories of freedom, imprisonment, colonization and reconciliation? How can we best invite students to delve into its history?
Led by Liza Giffen, Director of Archives & Stephanie Johns, Education Coordinator (Stratford Festival)
Reading The Tempest (Literary)
Written in late 1610 or 1611, The Tempest is one of the four “late romances,” plays mingling comedy and tragedy with elements of the fantastic and the supernatural that Shakespeare wrote at the end of his career. Its use of imagery, blank verse and rhetoric provide a rich text for analysis and interpretation.
What does this dramatic work – believed to have been the last play Shakespeare wrote – offer English students? If Shakespeare was always meant to be heard, how do we best study it as a piece of literature? From Neil Gaiman to Margaret Atwood, how has this play influenced new adaptations?
Led by Luisa Appolloni, Resident Teaching Artist (Stratford Festival)
Technical Tools for Creating the Storm (Technical)
This technical theatre-focused session invites participants to go behind-the-scenes to explore the iconic opening scene in one of Shakespeare’s most magical works. How do we create magic, illusion and the supernatural on our stages? How might our technical tools and approaches translate to a school context?
Led by Production Staff & Edward Daranyi, Associate Director of Education (Stratford Festival)