Guild Hall, in collaboration with Hamptons International Film Festival, offers this experience-based program for understanding theatre that also provides a safe forum to discuss real life situations, such as bullying. The issue of bullying is a key concern for students of all ages, and teachers have specifically requested an arts-based program that deals with this increasingly troubling issue. Project Hero aims to empower students with the ability to explore all sides of the issue through theatre and film, addressing the special needs of the students and the entire community in the areas of conflict resolution, social and community integration, and appreciation of the arts and social studies.
This 15-session program, currently offered to 5th graders at the Montauk School, assigns a professional actor/writer/educator to work in-residence in each classroom to develop students’ reading and language arts skills through interactive learning techniques that involves acting out words and stories. Students learn to work cooperatively and engage one another creatively as they try to interpret a story and then adapt it to a theatrical script. By interpreting stories through creative role playing and tableau techniques, students develop empathy for others with different points of view.
Working within the English curriculum and the NewYork State Learning Standards for the Arts, the Education Department of Guild Hall implemented this program in conjunction with the Montauk School and the East Hampton Middle School. Professional poets lead students in creating, revising and presenting their own original works of poetry. Students learn various techniques of verbal expression while expanding their understanding of the art of spoken language and oral traditions. The poetry workshops culminate in a live poetry event on the stage of Guild Hall’s John Drew Theater, where students read original works, selected poems, memorized works, and fellow students’ poems.