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APPLIED THEATRE AT THE ALLEY EDUCATION & COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT 2 015 - 2 016 Annual Report


ALLEY THEATRE MISSION Produce great theatre that embodies the Resident Company. Values § Creative Excellence: Artistic innovation and the highest professional standards § Alley Company Artists: Resident acting company and continued relationship with select writers, directors and designers

§ Community Engagement: Sharing and instilling a passion for the theatre with audiences, patrons and Houston’s diverse community

§ Applied Theatre: Integrating drama in education, community or therapeutic context

APPLIED THEATRE MISSION Gather / Support / Nurture / Engage / Educate

Applied Theatre at the Alley is a national driving force for innovative arts education. We pioneer arts integration, cultivate the next generation of theatre artists, and foster community discourse.

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Alley Theatre Education & Community Engagement Annual Report 2015-2016


2014-2015

2015- 2016

STUDENTS REACHED

18% GROWTH

67,102

79,177

TEACHERS

10% 3,288

GROWTH

3,630

CONTACT HOURS

67% 338,277

GROWTH

563,332

“Nothing compares to the extremely high level of work I observed today as I watched your two Teaching Artists. Not only did they have complete control of the classroom, but the content and the level of complexity were amazing!!!” – Joe Clark, Director of Performing and Visual Arts, Spring ISD

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FROM THE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

A

cting and teaching—they originate from the same impulse. It follows then that the Alley Theatre’s Hubbard and Neuhaus Theatres, by their very nature, are spaces where both of these civilizing, complex actions can take place. As one of the nation’s premier resident acting companies that brings life to the words of our culture’s greatest playwrights, our artists can be thought of as teachers who represent our deepest needs, struggles, dreams, and humanizing ideals. An extraordinary and beautiful relationship is created when this ancient art, full of new ideas and vivid stories, is offered to students. It creates a way of teaching that goes far beyond sitting at a desk devouring facts. It brings those facts to life and ignites the imagination of a child. It helps fresh minds play and find language for their deepest yearnings. It can spark metaphors that just might motivate their future choices. And on the everyday level, as studies are now showing, theatre arts in education is a stepping stone to the much talked about social emotional competencies and executive functions highly sought after by employers—these are the same abilities any child needs to succeed in life. We graciously thank you for helping us create great theatre. And your support is doubled when the youngest members of our community experience the beauty of engaging with an art form that has the ability to deeply impact and help change a child’s life.

Gregory Boyd

Even if your goal is only to improve academic achievement, the best way to achieve that is not to focus narrowly on academics alone but to address children’s emotional, social, and physical development – as do music, dance, circus, theatre, and positive sports. – Adele Diamond, Neuroscientist and 2016 Houston Arts Partners Conference guest speaker at the Alley Theatre

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Alley Theatre Education & Community Engagement Annual Report 2015-2016


THANK YOU! The Alley Theatre’s education programs would not be possible without the generous support of our donors.

BBVA Compass Foundation Deloitte Wayne Duddlesten Foundation ENGIE George and Mary Josephine Hamman Foundation William E. and Natoma Pyle Harvey Charitable Trust Houston Arts Alliance Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™ The Kennedy Center VSA Program Kinder Morgan Foundation Macy's Marathon Oil Corporation Immanual & Helen B. Olshan Foundation Inc. John and Charlene O'Shea Family Foundation C. Howard Pieper Foundation, Inc. The Powell Foundation Rally for the Alley Campaign Donors Shawcor Shell Oil Company Texas Commission on the Arts Theatre Forward Wells Fargo Debbie Wernet

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FROM THE EDUCATION DIRECTOR “Growth” has been our motto this year. Staging STEM grew from 39 to 65 residencies. Our high school programs—including Slam Poetry, Aristotle, and our new personal narrative program, First Draft—more than doubled last year’s activity, serving 12,147 students. Our summer programs are reaching more students than ever before. To gather inspiration, I re-read the President’s Council on the Arts and Humanities report, “Reinvesting in Arts Education—Winning America’s Future through Creative Schools.” These 100 pages of comprehensive research outline practical ways to bolster creativity and innovation in schools. Though there is talk of less multiplechoice, high-stakes testing, we continue to sacrifice subjects and activities that encourage students to use their creative imaginative thinking. For some students, the ineffable spirit of innovation and imagination that is central to being American becomes unobtainable, particularly when attending low-income schools.

Your ability to act on your imagination is going to be so decisive in driving your future and the standard of

If we score ourselves on meeting the top five recommendations for actions that advance arts education and help build creative schools, we hit our marks this year:

§ Building collaborations between arts specialists, classroom teachers, and teaching artists;

§ Growing the field of arts integration by strengthening teacher practice;

living of your country. So the

§ Expanding the role of teaching artists, in partnership with arts specialists and

school, the state, the country that

§ Utilizing government policies to reinforce the place of arts in K-12 education;

empowers, nurtures, enables imagination among its students and citizens, that’s who’s going to be the winner. –Thomas Friedman, The New York Times

classroom teachers, through sustained engagement in schools;

§ Widening the focus of evidence gathering about arts education. This year, with the expansion of our standards-based arts integration curriculum, abundant offerings for professional development, rigorous training of more teaching artists, refined assessment tools, and flourishing school partnerships, we have taken up the charge—the charge to help our schools and teachers spark students’ imaginations, encouraging thriving minds and successful futures. I am so proud of the Alley Theatre’s investment and commitment to education and community engagement, and I hope in reading this report that you are encouraged by our stories. Sincerely,

Mary Sutton 

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Alley Theatre Education & Community Engagement Annual Report 2015-2016


59

Navasota

45

105

Conroe

OVERVIEW Magnolia 290

Cleveland

IN OUR SCHOOLS The Woodlands § Staging STEM

§ Partner School Program

Tomball

Prairie View

§ Slam Poets @ Alley Theatre § Alley Shows for Kids

290

§ Professional Development IN OUR THEATRE

Bellville

8

6 290

Sealy 10

Brookshire

Humble

§ Student Matinees § Backstage Tours 90

IN OUR COMMUNITY

§ Kennedy Center’s VSA Playwriting Discovery Program

§ First Draft

Katy

Baytown

TRAINING THE NEXT GENERATION

§ Alley Jr. & Sr. Conservatory Pasadena 610§ Alley Play Makers § HYPE (Houston Young

Sugar Land

La Porte

Playwrights Exchange)8

§ Internships

Pearland

288 COMMUNITY DISCOURSE

59

264 schools and 27 independent school districts were served by Alley Theatre Education and Community Engagement Programs in 2015-2016.

60

§ TalkBacks/Alley in Context § School Nights/Partnership

45

145

Ticket Program

§ Alley Student and Educator

Alvin

Savings Program

288

Wharton

6

35

59

West Columbia

60

71

Van Vleck

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STAGING STEM Our arts integration program, Staging STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), has grown exponentially since our 2013-2014 pilot year. We began by offering seven residencies at five schools, covering topics from landforms to place value. In 2015-2016, we implemented 65 residencies at 50 schools across Aldine, Alief, Fort Bend, Spring, and Houston Independent School Districts, a growth of more than 65% over our 39 residencies in 2014 -2015. Staging STEM curriculum blends theatre arts skills with core STEM concepts such as food chains, strategies for math operations, and Earth’s processes, and we have also covered literacy topics to improve reading comprehension. Each piece of curriculum is designed specifically for the individual school, based on chosen core academic standards. Pre- and post-assessments are created using STAAR-based questions to evaluate knowledge and vocabulary retention. The resulting assessment data is shared with each campus team and used to improve future curriculum.

I have seen students respond to the Teaching Artists who haven't been able to answer my questions all year! – Adelia Cooper, 5th Grade Teacher, Thompson Elementary, Spring ISD During a two-week residency in Fort Bend ISD, five 2nd grade classes learned about space science. Students created constellations using their bodies and string, while practicing spatial awareness. After reviewing pre- and post-assessments, overall content knowledge retention increased by almost 31% and relevant vocabulary retention increased by 51%. The data shows that when properly implemented, high quality theatre arts integration programs have a powerful impact on young learners.

75,816

CONTACT HOURS STUDENTS

6,318

TEACHERS

308

RESIDENCIES

65

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Alley Theatre Education & Community Engagement Annual Report 2015-2016


SPOTLIGHT ON GOODMAN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL We began a great partnership this year with Goodman Elementary School, a Fort Bend ISD campus that shows commitment to their students in academics as well as the arts. Our successful implementation of their first Staging STEM residency with five 5th grade classes will grow exponentially to four residencies across 2nd-5th grades in 2016-2017. Principal Levy-David has been extremely supportive of our work. Her team noted that participating students demonstrated growth on academic science assessments due to increased focus, engagement, and learning interest. Teachers observed decreased disruptive behavior, greater use of positive social skills, and improved collaboration amongst peers. We look forward to continuing our work on this engaged, exciting campus.

“When comparing this year’s student assessment data to last year’s, current students outperformed last year’s cohort in life science. Teachers also noted increased depth and complexity in the level of student questions. Students were able to make better connections due to the improvisational skills obtained from Staging STEM. [This program] fills a gap that is often overlooked in education.” – Carmela Levy-David, Principal, Goodman Elementary, Fort Bend ISD

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PARTNER SCHOOL PROGRAM This year, we more than doubled contact hours provided to our 15 partner schools. These in-depth, multi-residency partnerships serve public and private Middle and High schools across the Houston area. Guided by the Alley Theatre’s education staff, school partners’ Drama and English departments craft an arts education action plan that complements and enhances academic curriculum. Schools have access to an exclusive broad slate of workshops such as the 360° Residencies in Shakespeare, Movement, Playwriting and Slam Poetry, and Post-Modernism, as well as Aristotle. Alley Teaching Artists work closely with school leaders to design and assess the progress of each partnership. Our work helps students build self-confidence and hone skills they will use for the rest of their lives: effective communication, working as a team, problem solving, and conflict management. To reach more students with our expert programming we also offer non-partner schools access to these residencies.

PARTNERSHIP NON-PARTNERSHIP TOTAL

Contact Hours

317,377

Students

10,264

41,297 358,674 1,015 11,279

Classroom Hours 1,534

82 1,616

Teachers

12 165

153

2015-2016 PARTNER SCHOOLS Academy of Choice (Spring Branch ISD)

The interactive program

The Briarwood School (Private) George Bush High School (Fort Bend ISD)

was really useful in getting

Carnegie Vanguard High School (Houston ISD)

the students involved in the

Cornerstone Academy (Spring Branch ISD)

learning. We covered some important information in a unique way, and I’ve continued to use some of the techniques modeled by the educator. – Will Burke, 8th grade English Teacher, St. Francis

Furr High School (Houston ISD) Gregory Lincoln Middle School (Houston ISD) High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA) (Houston ISD) The Joy School (Private) Kleb Intermediate School (Klein ISD) Pasadena High School (Pasadena ISD) Reagan High School (Houston ISD) St. Francis Episcopal Day School (Private) Sharpstown High School (Houston ISD) Waltrip High School (Houston ISD)

Episcopal Day School

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Alley Theatre Education & Community Engagement Annual Report 2015-2016


SPOTLIGHT ON SHARPSTOWN HIGH AND JULIO MORALES Julio Morales, Theatre Director at Sharpstown High School, a long-time partner school, has been instrumental in making sure the Alley Partner School Program reaches as many students as possible. He has brought Slam Poetry, Shakespeare 360°, Play Writing 360°, Voice 360°, Monologues 101, and Theatre through the Ages to the students of Sharpstown. He also makes sure his students have the opportunity to see as much live theatre as possible by bringing them to every school night performance we have offered this season, the Alley All New student matinee of Syncing Ink, and the Play Writing 360° Showcase.

My students were able to work with professionals and create some amazing works of art. Our partnership with the Alley Theatre has allowed me to grow our theatre program by giving my students a deeper insight into their characters and creativity. The playwriting unit allowed my students to tell a story special to them. They created characters, situations, dialogue... giving them a voice. – Julio Morales, Theatre Director, Sharpstown High School

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SLAM POETS @ ALLEY THEATRE Our popular Slam Poetry Artist-in-Residence Program helps teens tell their stories. When shared, these stories enhance mutual understanding and spark community discourse. Our goal is to teach students the vital skills necessary to nurture and discover their own dynamic voices. We want to instill in students the courage to articulate and defend their most personal ideas and experiences in a public forum. In doing so, the Alley Theatre helps students to become effective and creative communicators throughout their lives. Slam Poets @ Alley Theatre Poetry Slam, held in the Alley’s Neuhaus Theatre, gives our student poets the opportunity to showcase their work and compete for coveted spots on state and national Slam Poets teams.

142,167 CONTACT HOURS

3,047 STUDENTS

378 CLASSROOM HOURS

Spotlight on Addison Antonoff

Addison Antonoff was the 1st Place winner of the Slam Poets @ Alley Theatre 2015 fall slam and Sacrificial Poet for the 5th Annual Bayou City Grand Slam at the Alley Theatre. She is a freshman at the High School for Performing and Visual Arts and has participated in many of our in-school partnership residencies.

Thank you so much for providing the poetry workshops in the schools. It has opened up a whole new world for my daughter Addison at HSPVA. The students were so energized and inspired by these workshops. Thank you to the Alley and all the opportunities this partnership has given to the students. – Aintre Antonoff, mother

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Alley Theatre Education & Community Engagement Annual Report 2015-2016

46 TEACHERS


Bayou City Slam

The Alley took a giant step forward in our community engagement activities by partnering with Savannah Blue Arts & Outreach to bring the 5th Annual Bayou City Poetry Grand Slam into the Neuhaus Theatre on November 21. This event brought 20 award-winning poets from around the nation into the Alley for the first time. There was not an empty seat in the house and we had people cheering as they watched the monitor in the lobby. As part of the day’s events, Individual World Slam Poetry Champions Seth Walker and Ed Mabrey offered free workshops to the general public and Alley Partner School students, reaching a total of 65 emerging poets.

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ALLEY SHOWS FOR KIDS The OSKAR Character Education Series

The Alley was proud to offer Greater Houston area elementary schools two Alley Shows for Kids during the 2015-2016 Season. For National Bullying Prevention Month in October, the Alley remounted its popular tour of Oskar and the Big Bully Battle!, which helped students understand the multiple perspectives involved in an escalating bullying incident. Developed specifically for Houston schools, Oskar and the Curiously Colorful Clash! returned in the spring to help students understand and embrace diversity. In the show, Oskar must learn to develop empathy skills and appreciate others for their differences as he is chosen to team up with a new student for the town’s annual contest. To meet the ever-growing demand for Alley Shows for Kids, a new play has been developed for the 2016-2017 Season: Oskar and the Big Bully Battle: Part 2!

STUDENTS

ASSEMBLIES

Big Bully Battle 23,370

58

38

Curiously Colorful 15,761 Clash

46

29

TOTAL

39,131 104

The actors were extremely adept at engaging the students’ interests and the story line fits hand in glove with the terms we use to inform students about bullying. It showed me how much they connected emotionally to the material presented. – Dana Towse-Paulk, Lemm Elementary Counselor (Oskar and the Big Bully Battle!)

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SCHOOLS

Alley Theatre Education & Community Engagement Annual Report 2015-2016

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BACKSTAGE TOURS With the Alley’s return to 615 Texas Avenue this season, we were able to reinstate two popular programs: Backstage Tours and Student Matinees, welcoming dozens of schools for interactive tours that showed students in Kindergarten through college the ins-and-outs of life at the Alley. Tours not only include exciting sneak-peeks at “restricted” areas, they provide insight into the important history of the Alley Theatre and a broader understanding of the career opportunities within the theatre. Many schools also use their time on-site to participate in a workshop with one of our talented Teaching Artists.

STUDENT MATINEES to hear one artist’s coming-of-age story. Following the success of the Broadway hit Hamilton, many artists have been looking for ways to bring hip-hop to the stage. Syncing Ink playwright NSangou Njikam has done this in a way that speaks to high school students and addresses the issues they face as they find their voices As part of the first annual Alley All New Festival, we had a special opportunity to host and seek their own way in the world. We a free student matinee of Syncing Ink for more were especially excited to share this new work with our young slam poets so that than 200 partner school students. they could see how spoken word can be The matinee provided an exciting opportunity incorporated into theatre. for students from a variety of backgrounds During the 2015-2016 season, the Alley presented 10 student matinees for A Christmas Carol and one for Around the World in 80 Days. Each supported its own Alley ReSourced website, and post-matinee talkbacks with actors and production staff.

Backstage Tours Student Matinees

CONTACT HOURS 584 21,610

SCHOOLS

TEACHERS

STUDENTS

13 36 451 111 721 8,644

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FIRST DRAFT & PROJECT GRAD Personal Narratives for Schools and Communities

First Draft—Alley Theatre’s newest arts integration program for high school students and community members—addresses multiple objectives to aid participants interested in giving voice to their personal narratives. First Draft creates a platform for students to practice life-changing executive functions and master the Eight Studio Habits of Mind, and helps students write a truly relevant, impassioned personal narrative. This year, we held three pilot programs before we even attempted to lead students through the process. Over spring break we partnered with Houston’s Project GRAD to test out the curriculum with a small group of GRAD Scholars and their AmeriCorps coaches at Project GRAD’s Café College Center. As a result, each student left with an outstanding personal narrative ready to insert into their college application forms. The program, which can be easily adapted to serve multiple populations, is also being offered at Bethesda Lutheran Communities for adults with disabilities. The program was so well received that next year, the Alley and Project GRAD will continue their partnership to integrate our First Draft curriculum with their college readiness program, pilot that curriculum, and assess the program for social and emotional learning.

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Alley Theatre Education & Community Engagement Annual Report 2015-2016


HOUSTON YOUNG PLAYWRIGHTS EXCHANGE HYPE cultivates and showcases talented local teen playwrights. In the summer of 2015, 50 students submitted plays and six young women from varied economic backgrounds were selected. We kicked off the program by bringing our playwrights together with our conservatory actors. For the first week, the playwrights learned from the actors and vice versa. Next, the students met for intensive classes with local professional playwrights Brendan Bourque-Sheil and Elizabeth Keel. The chosen playwrights also participated in conversations about gender parity in theatre with women who work in the theatre. Each of the students developed original 10-minute plays throughout the course of the three-week intensive. HYPE culminated with workshop performances of the students’ works, directed and performed by working theatre professionals.

I loved HYPE. We wrote entire plays and were continuously revising day after day. This experience taught me to follow my instincts and to keep working and changing things until satisfied with the final product. – Olivia Cardenas, HYPE 2015 Playwright 2015 HYPE PLAYWRIGHTS

Olivia Cardenas, Gunnin’ Bridget Fenner, Hemispheres Jasmine Games, What to Do with Dirty Laundry Katya Gustafson, Hello Emily Hallmark, Stealing Time Suzanna Joya, The Bull Is the Killer

6 Students 3 Weeks 570 Contact Hours

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ALLEY CONSERVATORY There will never be another "Synthetic Bloom" like the Alley Conservatory 2015! We all spent time digging deep into our imaginations, pulling our pre-existing characters out, and breathing life into them. It is such a unique and beautiful project. It reminds us of how

In its third year, Alley Conservatory brought together a select group of middle and high school artists from the Houston area to learn about performance through the devised-theatre process. These 30 promising young artists auditioned with monologues and discovered for the first time the rigor that five weeks of intense training in acting, voice, movement, and playwriting can instill. Guiding students through the writing, refining, and production process, Conservatory instructors trained the next generation of theatre artists to examine their views of society and the world around them. The perspectives shared by the ensemble were as diverse as the members themselves, reflecting different socio-economic backgrounds and family situations. In addition to refining theatre skills, Conservatory students had a chance to meet and be mentored by Alley Theatre Resident Artists. The Conservatory culminated in an original production, Synthetic Bloom, that was inspired by one question: What was music like 50 years ago?

blessed we all are to be able to do anything that we set our minds to. – Kat Morrison, Conservatory 2015 Student

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30 STUDENTS

5 WEEKS

5,673 CONTACT HOURS

Alley Theatre Education & Community Engagement Annual Report 2015-2016


ALLEY PL AY MAKERS Alley Play Makers is a creative drama and playwriting camp for Kindergarten through 8th grade students. Campers learn from professional teaching artists as they rotate through classes in movement, acting, playmaking, and crafts. Our model strives to bring playwriting skills and science concepts to life as campers create plays based on curricular themes such as the food chain and the four seasons. In one camp session, students created a story called “Time Machine Rock,” in which they imagined using a time machine to view the rock cycle of a rocky cliff, but had to think fast when their time machine got stuck in fast-forward and the cliff started to erode beneath them. Of the parents who took our survey, 84% of parents said this was their child’s first time coming to camp; 92% said they were likely to sign their child up for Play Makers camp in the future and would

recommend it to other families. 100% of parents rated the quality of the camp as good, very good, or excellent. Our camp staff works to foster a safe and fun environment that encourages campers to go home each day and share their new kinesthetic understanding of vocabulary words and a growing comprehension of the social emotional skills inherent in theatre. During Spring Break in 2016, we introduced our Play Makers camps to Fort Bend ISD, with a satellite location hosted at Quail Valley Middle School. Following the success of that pilot camp, we expanded with a two-week offering in the first summer session.

380 CAMPERS

8 WEEKS

21,750 CONTACT HOURS

Advanced Alley Play Makers student performs a Commedia Dell'arte piece with a mask she created.

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COMMUNITY PROGRAMS In 2015 -2016, Alley ECE took a major step forward in our community programming efforts. While continuing our valuable work with the Kennedy Center’s VSA program, we also initiated exciting partnerships with Project GRAD and The Telling Project, and worked with the Alley’s production of Around the World in 80 Days to provide special opportunities for Alley families.

VSA Texas: Opening Minds, Opening Doors

VSA Texas's Opening Minds, Opening Doors program enables individuals with both cognitive and physical disabilities to combine storytelling, acting, and public speaking skills. The aim of the program is to develop selfadvocates that can bring their stories to the general public. In two, eight-week long residencies, Alley Theatre Teaching Artists worked directly with students to write and perform personal stories, culminating in a powerful and heartfelt showcase presented at the Alley Theatre for family, friends, and community members.

3 TEACHING ARTISTS 13 STUDENTS 360 CONTACT HOURS

VSA Playwright Discovery Program

In 2015-2016, the Alley Theatre again partnered with the Kennedy Center’s VSA Playwright Discovery Program to find a creative outlet for students with disabilities. For the 2nd year in a row, we encouraged students at Reagan High School, Briarwood School, and The Joy School to develop, write, perform, and edit their own scripts – this year, for film! At Reagan High School, both disabled and general population students in a blended theatre class used Alice in Wonderland as source material to create a "fish-out-of-water” scenario, which provided a metaphor for disabled students to describe their own journeys. The students–many of whom had never taken classes together–developed deep compassion for each other. At the beginning of the semester, the students seemed like two separate groups, but by semester’s end, they were a cohesive team. Many of the main stream students discovered a capacity for leadership and took on the role of ensuring total inclusion of the group; they learned to communicate with each other and ask for feedback from everyone. The biggest surprise was when one non-verbal student, after developing a friendship with three other students, decided to speak for the first time in years!

5 TEACHERS

64 CLASSES

86 STUDENTS 5,024 CONTACT HOURS 18

Alley Theatre Education & Community Engagement Annual Report 2015-2016


THE TELLING PROJECT TELLING: HOUSTON GIVES VETERANS A VOICE

8 PERFORMERS 593 AUDIENCE MEMBERS 1,186 CONTACT HOURS

In March 2015, the Alley welcomed a unique community partner, The Telling Project, a nationally recognized arts organization dedicated to staging veterans’ stories, to present Telling: Houston. The play provided seven veterans and one military spouse with an opportunity to share their service experiences over six performances. Telling: Houston created a forum for performers and audiences to grapple with the good and the bad of military service. Veterans shed light on the often overlooked issues—including PTSD, sexual harassment, and homelessness—they have experienced as a result of their military service.

I was humbled and truly felt that each person’s delivery of their own story was cathartic. We were witnesses to something that was so raw and unfiltered. . . . Bottom line, you are helping in a big way by allowing the participants to be heard, move on, claw through, and possibly resolve some of the horrible baggage they keep stored away in their heads as a result of their experiences while serving the country. – Audience Member

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AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS FAMILY OFFERINGS In conjunction with our production, kids ages 6 -14 and their families joined Alley Teaching Artists in the Texas Room to explore storytelling from Jules Verne’s 1872 point of view. At this pre-show event, kids entered a room containing signs saying that their cell phones, cars, and TV’s had not yet been invented. They received a passport and were encouraged to create an itinerary as a group. They then embarked on their own fantastic adventure, using the acting style and theatrical conventions of the play in fun and creative ways. In addition to the special pre-show event, every child attending a performance also received a passport in their Playbill full of activities and context related to the play. These passports were developed to help kids explore Around the World in 80 Days' history and ideas at home with their parents. As we had hoped, the passports greatly improved engagement for our youngest audience members.

Top photo: Evan Zes Left Photo: Todd Waite and Emily Trask

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Alley Theatre Education & Community Engagement Annual Report 2015-2016


ALLEY RE-SOURCED Interact with the lessons and history of Alley Theatre productions In 2013-2014, we launched AlleyReSourced.com, a digital educational dramaturgy platform. This first-of-its-kind website was originally dedicated to helping students explore in-depth Alley Shows for Kids—The OSKAR Character Education Series. In 2015-2016, we expanded our guides from two to six, adding our first Re-Sourced sites for A Christmas Carol, All the Way and Around the World in 80 Days. Our audience members found it the perfect complement to attending the play and preparing for “Alley In Context,” our audience talkbacks. While the average time spent on a webpage today is 15 seconds, Google Analytics reveals that our average user spends more than three minutes on the site, with almost 300 users staying for more than 10 minutes. During the 2015-2016 season, a total of 1,551 users accessed Alley Re-Sourced 1,968 times. Through these sessions, 9,206 pageviews were generated.

All the Way was outstanding as usual! And all the background material on the website was really helpful. I read it aloud so that we could both refresh our memories of the events. – Martha Marberry, Alley Theatre patron

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AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT In addition to our exceptional theatre productions, the Alley Theatre provides a forum for theatre’s original purpose: discussion. We invite audiences to join us at select performances for a series of deep-dive dialogues about our work on stage. Two types of post-show discussion were offered during the 2015-2016 Season.

Artist TalkBacks

At select performances, Alley patrons can attend post-show TalkBacks with the cast and members of the artistic staff. These question-and-answer sessions are held immediately after the performance in the theatre. This season’s Artist TalkBacks included conversations with Playwright Sharr White (The Other Place); Playwright Jennifer Haley (The Nether); and Artistic Directors Gregory Boyd (Alley Theatre) and Kevin Moriarty (Dallas Theater Center), who discussed theatre in Texas and the United States, the relevance of All the Way in today’s environment, and the importance of a resident company.

Alley In Context

Alley In Context is a post-show panel featuring civic leaders, distinguished physicians or professors, and area pastors and professionals discussing the themes of a play and how they are reflected in our lives today. Among topics discussed were Alzheimer’s treatment and research for The Other Place, drone warfare and PTSD for Grounded, and leadership and organized religion for The Christians.

TALKBACKS

22

7,457 ATTENDEES

Alley Theatre Education & Community Engagement Annual Report 2015-2016


INTERNSHIPS The Alley Theatre is committed to workforce training and development, particularly for young artisans seeking to grow in their chosen craft within a professional environment. This season, we hosted 25 interns in various departments, including Costumes, Scenery, Lighting, Literary Management, Development, Marketing, Education, and Finance. Interns had opportunities to gain valuable insight and experience for their future careers in the theatre.

25 INTERNS

8 DEPARTMENTS

3,595 CONTACT HOURS

ARTS ACCESS INITIATIVE In 2015, the Alley worked in tandem with over 20 Houston arts organizations, including Houston Ballet and Houston Symphony to brainstorm and launch an important partnership with HISD. The goal of the Arts Access Initiative (AAI) is to provide equitable arts access to all HISD students. The Alley has been participating in the planning stages of the collective impact effort. We eagerly shared our resources with six of 11 participating schools whose student enrollment consisted of 70% Hispanic, 20% African American, 50% English language learners and 90% economically disadvantaged. The AAI is a member of the Any Given Child program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, which selects communities because of their demonstrated commitment to the improvement of education in and through the arts. We are excited to participate more fully as the collective grows.

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PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT – CHANGING THE FACE OF EDUCATION Growth in Professional Development

School districts across the area are looking to the Alley for teacher professional development. We presented three workshops on a variety of topics to over 150 attendees at the Houston Arts Partners conference in September. A cohort of theatre educators from several KIPP campuses spent two days learning about the origins of Greek Theatre, as well as voice and movement techniques for the K-12th grade classroom. Fifty music and fine arts teachers from Spring ISD worked with us on bringing core content into their classrooms. With the increasing demand for on-campus professional development, we expect continued growth in this area, starting with our work in Fort Bend ISD.

Launch of Fort Bend ISD Arts Integration Network (AIN)

Two campuses in Fort Bend ISD: Brazos Bend Elementary and Quail Valley Elementary, participated in faculty-wide arts integration training. Eighty teachers on the two campuses completed an initial session in which they observed and practiced activities they could implement directly in their classroom. In a follow-up session, teachers expressed the effectiveness of those activities in their own classes and were able to collaborate on future use. These sessions are setting the stage for the pilot year of our Arts Integration Network (AIN), a collaborative effort between Alley ECE and the Fort Bend ISD Fine Arts Department, to offer in-depth training to a small group of motivated educators. During our first summer camp session, specially selected teachers will experience group lecture and discussion, observe teaching artists at work, and have a chance to try their hand at leading. We expect the growth of this program to be exponential, as each trained teacher implements these strategies in their own classrooms and shares them with colleagues.

417 TEACHERS 24

26.5 HOURS

2,342 CONTACTS

Alley Theatre Education & Community Engagement Annual Report 2015-2016

2,836  CONTACT HOURS


Photos by: Christopher Diaz Photography, John Everette, Josh Hardcastle, Cressandra Thibodeaux, and Cristina Vaglienty.

EDUCATION & COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT Mary Sutton, Director Cathy Bencivenga, Executive Manager Sarah Bassinger, Staging STEM Manager Michelle Edwards, In-School Programs Manager Mara McGhee, Community Programs Coordinator Sarah Beckham, Staging STEM Coordinator Josh Hardcastle, Dramaturg & Curriculum Specialist Dancy Lukeman, Sales & Marketing Coordinator Luis Galindo, Master Teaching Artist

TEACHING ARTISTS:

Brendan Bourque-Sheil Elspeth Brodie Zach Bryant Jason Duga Nick Farco Scott Gibbs Cara Goodman Dan Gordon Philip Hays Scott Jackman Robin Johnson

Elizabeth Keel Dayne Lathrop Susan Ly Katie Maddox David Matranga Jasminne Mendez Darin Montemayor Rebecca Narrowe Alex Odom Carian Parker Whitney Zangarine


Applied Theatre at the Alley education@alleytheatre.org 713.315.5424

Applied Theatre at the Alley, 2015-16 Annual Report  

Check out the depth and breadth of the Education and Community Engagement Department of the Alley Theatre.

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