Strategies and Realities for Teaching Drama in a Pandemic

Teaching Drama in a Pandemic poster image
Two months into the school year, a panel of three Alberta drama teachers shared their experiences and best practices for teaching drama in these strange times.  How do you navigate both physical and online spaces in your classroom?  What strategies engage students most effectively?  What do drama students need to know right now anyway? These questions, and more, were explored in this two-hour webinar.
 

ABOUT THE PANELISTS

Caitlyn headshotCaitlin Gallichan-Lowe

Caitlin is a theatre artist and educator who is a second-generation Canadian settler of Northern Irish (County Down) and French descent. She is honored to be the drama teacher and program coordinator for the nationally-recognized Western Canada High School Drama Program. Directing and design highlights include: Marat/Sade, My Name Is Rachel Corrie, Girl In The Goldfish Bowl, The Laramie Project, Hamlet, Wild Abandon, Cabaret, Legoland, The Penelopiad, and The Party Trilogy, which is a series of  devised student pieces developed over 10 years. The final piece was part of the 2020 High Performance Rodeo. Caitlin has been nominated for the provincial Excellence in Teaching Awards and has recently been named one of Avenue Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40 for 2020. She is also delighted to have been an Instructor at Theatre Alberta’s Artstrek.
 

Duane Piper

Duane is a theatre educator, performer, director and writer. His traditional Cree name is Nakamuus, which means “little singer.” That’s because he’s always had a lot to say! For that reason, teaching high school drama is a dream, and he is lucky enough to have his dream job at Chinook High in Lethbridge! He also gets to teach drama education every summer at the University of Lethbridge. These experiences led Duane to spend three years as part of Alberta Education’s Expert Working Group on Arts Education, re-writing the drama curriculum. He’d be glad to tell you all about using devised theatre to explore the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, as that topic dominated his Master’s studies. Past productions that he’ll also talk your ear off about include The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, Iisohtsiik: Moving Forward, Why do Birds Lie, 6 Minutes & 30 Seconds, The Rez Sisters, and Goodnight Desdemona/Good Morning Juliet.
 

Linette J. Smith

Linette is a theatre/improv teacher at Strathcona High school and artistic director for the Scona Alumni Theatre Co. Smith is a freelance director/choreographer in Edmonton where she can be found as a part of The Vanguard Theatre Collective and choreographer for the Cappies Chorus for Cappies of Greater Edmonton. She is president of the Zone 8 High School One Acts and teaches the teen Acting Intensive at the Citadel’s Foote Theatre School. Smith coaches four high school improv teams and tries to incorporate improv into each day (life is short do improv).  A lifelong student of improv she is currently studying with The Upright Citizens Brigade. Select credits include: direction and choreography for the Edmonton premiere of Lizzie, the musical (UniformTheatre) Xanadu, Heathers, Dogfight, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, American Idiot, RENT (Edmonton Fringe) directing the Canadian premiere of Calvin Berger (three-form theatre), Singin’ in the Rain (Festival Place) Big Fish, Nevermore, In the Heights, Les Misérables, West Side Story (Scona Theatre Co.) The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Jane Eyre, Avenue Q, Chicago, and Cabaret (TOWTTB).