In five to ten days up to a hundred students create an original musical linked to their school curriculum. This process combines language arts, social studies, and valuebased curriculum content into a unique embodied experience. The skills needed to create successful theatre - discipline, focus, motivation, problem solving, empathy, prioritization, spatial awareness, and accurate research - are the same skills needed for integrated academic work. The drama exercises used also contribute to effective interpersonal communication. In short, drama skills teach life skills.

When students do theatre, they literally pass their bodies and mind through an actual event. In "Creating An Original Musical" information becomes wisdom and factual knowledge gets incorporated into lived experience. Retention of content soars, personal investment in learning grows, people skills develop, test scores often increase, and the pleasure of creation and challenges of performance evolve.

The main goals of this program are:

 • To provide students with a positive experience
     of being present in public.
 • To teach curriculum in a way that utilizes multiple intelligences.
 • To supplement pure academics with embodied learning.
 • To demonstrate interactive exercises as a way
    of teaching other topics.
 • To meet and exceed NY State Learning Standards.

This process provides a forum in which the diversity of individual gifts is apparent. Students who excel at applied science, dancing, athletics, music, and poetic language as well as many with special needs thrive, as do those with a special ability to entertain, challenge, and invent. Intangible benefits, such as the ability to derive meaning and incorporate academic learning into daily life, are palpable when the students give their final demonstration.
The goal of this program is not so much to create a polished show, though production values are quite high. The goal is to teach curriculum in a fun-filled and energizing way and to provide students with a positive performance experience.

                               - WHAT HAPPENS WHEN

Before arriving at your school, Director Karen De Mauro, immerses herself in your chosen topic. In addition to reading original source material, such as historical and scientific journals, she also pours over the related artistic expressions available in stories, myths, visual arts, and related children's literature.

DAY 1: BASIC DRAMA SKILLS are introduced in a series of active group games. Students learn to Focus, Find Motivation, Create Place, Work with Objects, Build Characters, and Determine Goals.

DAY 2: CHARACTER WORKSHOP with topic-related explorations and brainstorming to develop the plot for the play. A core group of 15-25 students are selected for DAY 3.

DAY 3: BASIC IMPROVISATION AND PROBLEM-SOLVING with a core group of students. The skeletal script is written based on dialogue from student improvisations.

DAY 4: SCRIPT-WRITING AND LYRIC CREATION Core group (and large group, at times) continues to structure show, characters, plot, and songs. Music is composed by Steven Alper, Broadway Musical Director.

DAY 5: OPENING AND CLOSING MUSICAL NUMBERS are choreographed and taught. Script is copied.

DAY 6: SCRIPTS AND PARTS DISTRIBUTED and small group numbers begun.

DAY 7: REMAINING SONGS AND DANCES TAUGHT Dialogue scenes with central characters are blocked.

DAY 8: ALL SONGS REVIEWED and remaining scenes directed.

DAY 9: ENTIRE SHOW IS PUT TOGETHER in one (or two) run throughs.

DAY 10: PERFORMANCE/DEMONSTRATION (with scripts in hand) for students and community.