American Players Theatre
5950 Golf Course Road
P.O. Box 819
Spring Green, WI 53588
Box Office: 608-588-2361
This newsletter for current classroom teachers is distributed in the Spring and Fall, the newsletter provides up-to-date information about our education programs, including our student matinee schedule, special ticket pricing, ticket scholarship offerings and workshop information.
To join the mailing list email [email protected] and let us know where you teach and what subject.
Recent APTeacher Newsletters
APT produces study guides specific to each Hill student matinee production, as well as guides on Shakespeare’s life and use of language.
2017 Study Guide
A Midsummer Night's Dream
The Comedy of Errors in Spanish
Click here for a Mexican Spanish translation of William Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors for use with ESL students.
*Thanks to Bob Hilliard, NYC, for the translation of the late Albert Cullum's children's version, and to Tom sinks, Stoughton, master teacher of Shakespeare for kids, for the idea of Shakespeare in Spanish. Bob and Tom were in the Peace Corps together in El Salvador way back in the 20th Century.
A Midsummer Night's Dream in Spanish
Click here for a Mexican Spanish translation of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.
If you are a teacher who has never had the opportunity of working with an APT Guest Artist in your classroom, you probably have a number of questions. “Do I participate in the workshop with the students?” “What about discipline problems? Should I step in or will they handle it?” “My students aren’t where I thought they’d be in the reading, is that okay?” “What should I tell my students they’ll be doing?” “Do I need to introduce the Guest Artist?” “How can we follow up the workshop experience?”
This guide helps explain the role of the APT Guest Artist, and addresses questions and concerns you may have about Guest Artists and APT Education in general.
What is a Guest Artist? At American Players Theatre, our Guest Artists are working stage actors who have experience and training in basic classroom management. They have also been trained by APT to teach the season’s educational programs including the workshops you’ve requested.
What’s the value in using a Guest Artist? Bringing an APT Guest Artist into your classroom provides your students with a unique opportunity to experience the play from the perspective of an actor. By working with an APT Guest Artist, your students experience the use of the text as a tool to explore the balance and relationship between the poetry, passion and story of the play. Through hands-on, practical activities that engage your students imaginatively, emotionally and physically with the text, Guest Artists facilitate and strengthen your student’s understanding of plot, themes and characters within the play, ultimately helping them discover the link between the experience and dilemmas of a human being in the sixteenth century with the people of today.
How do we prepare for the workshop? When booking a workshop, APT will ask that you fill out a pre-workshop form with details of your class-size, past experiences, workshop location, etc. In the classroom, APT workshops need no advance preparation. They are themselves preparation and enriching experiences for the plays. Depending on the workshop you’ve chosen, the APT Guests Artist may assume your students have had or have yet to have certain experiences. These experiences range along the lines of “just saw the play”, “will be reading it next week”, “will be seeing the show tomorrow”, etc.
How should I introduce the Guests Artists? Part of the training an APT Guest Artist receives is in introducing themselves, APT and the workshop itself. APT believes the particulars of the Guest Artist’s name or the title of the workshop should never be an obstacle for you the teacher. You are welcome to give as much or as little introduction as you care to. We do ask however that you as the authority figure formally transfer the handling of the class’ activities. This can be as simple as, “We have some guests joining us today, and I’ll let them introduce themselves and what we’ll be doing.”
My students aren’t where I thought they’d be in the reading, is that okay? No problem. Our educational program focuses on the big ideas of the play and then manifests in them in the particulars. If your class is not where you thought it would be, the Guest Artist can shift the workshop slightly to accommodate. If this situation does occur, please let APT know as soon as possible so that we may provide your students with the best experience possible. Simply speaking with the Guest Artist beforehand will often suffice.
Who handles discipline problems? APT Guest Artists honor teachers as the ultimate authority on safety, appropriateness and discipline in the classroom. APT Guest Artists anticipate and have been trained for a certain degree of classroom management but will always defer to a teacher’s judgment when it comes to problems with discipline.
Do I get to play too? As a teacher, APT not only welcomes you to participate but encourages it. Depending on the workshop you’ve chosen opportunities to participate may vary. You are also welcome to observe the format and ideas of the workshop itself or to take the opportunity to assess your students’ learning. Unless you notify them of your interest beforehand, Guest Artists will not ask you to participate.
Can I switch the workshop I asked for? There are many occasions where teachers and Guests Artists have mutual decided to switch workshops for the benefit of the class. Often times, the effectiveness of a workshop can be difficult to determine from the workshop’s description and Guest Artists will may suggest changing workshops accommodate any number of factors they feel relevant. When this happens, our APT Guest Artists will always speak with you before making any changes. A workshop will never be changed without your consent.
How do I follow up the workshop? Having time to review and reflect on the workshop and how it pertained to the performance will allow your students to consolidate and reinforce their experiences. Helping your students explore how the workshop supported or enriched the performance often leads to enlightening dialogue. Simple open questions like, “How did the workshop support what the play addressed?” and “What other workshop could APT have done with this play?” APT tries to provide elements that can be integrated and referred to throughout the study of a play. Adapting these useful elements will also help reinforce your students’ learning.
I’m still not sure if this is right for my class. Is there another teacher I can talk to who’s done this before? We recognize that your class time with your students is a precious resource. We also recognize that our workshop descriptions may not answer a particular question you may have concerning how we interact with your students. To that end, APT will make available to you a number of teachers in your area who have had APT workshops in their classrooms in the past. We highly encourage you to contact them and speak to them peer-to-peer, addressing any questions or concerns you may have that we cannot answer for you. I’d like to make a comment on the workshop, who would I speak to?
The success of APT Education is built upon the partnership and open communication that we have established with many Wisconsin teachers. If you would like to share a comment with us about a workshop or a particular Guest Artist please email us at [email protected] or call our Education Office at 608-588-9270. We welcome your comments.