Workshops

Workshops and Residencies by Wild Swan Theater

Wild Swan Theater has been leading drama workshops and teacher training workshops for over 30 years. We offer a range of programs including:

  • participatory workshops for elementary, middle, and high school students (see Sample Drama Workshops)
  • drama activities especially designed for participants with disabilities including deaf, blind, mobility impaired, and developmentally disabled youngsters (see Sample Drama Workshops)
  • teacher training workshops for teachers wishing to incorporate drama into class activities or who would like to use drama as a tool in their curriculum. (see Sample Teacher Training and Inservices)

Wild Swan teachers are skilled professionals with years of experience. Workshops are designed and often led by Wild Swan Artistic Directors Hilary Cohen and Sandy Ryder. Ms. Ryder received her B.A. in Theater and Psychology from the University of Michigan and has received statewide recognition for her teaching skills.

Dr. Cohen received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan and has published a number of articles on the teaching methods she and Ms. Ryder have developed. Wild Swan’s work has been featured at the national meetings of the Association for Theater in Education, the Association for Theater and Accessibility, and the Arts Midwest and the NEA Regional Meeting. Internationally, Wild Swan has led training workshops for teachers and artists in Hong Kong and Bombay, India.

For Further Information and Pricing, Contact:
Michelle Trame Lanzi – Company Manager
6175 Jackson Rd.
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
Telephone: (734) 995-0530 (v/tty)
Email: wildswan@wildswantheater.org

Sample Drama Workshops

Drama Builds Creativity
Using Drama Activities to Develop Creativity and Self-Expression
Participants: 12-15 students
Age Range: Grades K-1
Time: 45 minutes-1 hour
(Several sessions in one week or once a week for 6-8 weeks)
Wild Swan teachers lead participants in theater games and drama activities designed to encourage creativity and imagination. The activities introduce the basics of theater while helping participants to become good collaborators and work successfully in groups. Other goals of the program are to build confidence and self-esteem, develop physical expressiveness, and enhance communication skills.

Wild Swan workshops are age and skill appropriate and focus on learning in a fun and supportive atmosphere.

Dramatically Able
Drama Activities for Participants with Disabilities 
Participants: 10-12 Deaf, Blind, Mobility Impaired, or Developmentally Disabled Youngsters
Age Range: Ages 4-104
Time: 45 minutes-1 hour
(Several sessions in one week or once a week for 6-8 weeks)
The workshop will provide numerous drama games and activities specifically adapted for participants with disabilities including deafness, blindness, mobility impairments, or developmental disabilities. (Presenter may specify kind of disability and age range of students/clients).

Wild Swan has become a national leader in developing accessible drama activities and has published a teacher training handbook and accompanying video tape entitled Dramatically Able on this subject that is in use throughout the U.S.

Special Topics
Workshops on special topics can be arranged depending on your needs and the age of participants. For example, Wild Swan staff have recently led workshops for high school students on improvisation, commedia dell’arte, story theater, and mask work.

Sample Teacher Training and Inservices

“The most useful aspects of this workshop were the knowledge of the presenters and their help in adapting these ideas to the classroom.”
“I have ideas that I can use immediately with my kids.”

-Participants of Macomb County I.S.D. Teacher Workshops

Drama in the Classroom
Participants:
 15-30 Classroom Teachers, Specialists, and/or Therapists

Time: 2 Hours – All Day
Wild Swan staff offer a combination of demonstration and hands-on participation to help teachers widen their knowledge of drama activities and build confidence in presenting them to their students. Guidance will be given about how to engage participants and how to create a supportive and fun atmosphere. Ideas will also be given about how to make simple but exciting props from ordinary materials. Activities will include story making, role playing, theater games, and movement games and are designed to help participants develop their imaginations and collaborate and cooperate creatively in a group.

Curriculum Capers 
Using Drama to Enhance Your Curriculum 
Participants: 15-30 Classroom Teachers, Specialists, and/or Therapists
Time: 2 Hours – All Day
Wild Swan staff show how drama can serve a whole host of curricular goals, adding creativity, fun, and ingenuity to lesson plans. Drama can be used to introduce and reinforce concepts whether its acting out action verbs or opposites with young readers, creating an ice cream stand to work on colors or math skills, or role playing life skill activities.

Wild Swan shares its years of experience developing pioneering curriculum activities.

The Play’s the Thing
The Nuts and Bolts of Play Production with Participants with Disabilities
Participants: 15-30 Classroom Teachers, Special Education Teachers, Youth Leaders, and/or Parents
Time: 2 Hours
Wild Swan Theater staff present several different styles of play production to accommodate the strengths and needs of participants with disabilities. Also, learn how to develop a text in which developmentally disabled youngsters can shine, how to lay out floor plans and tactile aids for blind actors, how to creatively involve those with limited speech and/or mobility and much more. The focus of this workshop is to create performance opportunities that limit stress and promote feelings of success and self-confidence.