Theatre and Statistics

Teacher: Haley Rauch, AP Statistics

School: Urban Assembly School for the Performing Arts

Project Goal(s): Students work in small groups to create short plays that illustrate the human stories behind statistics.


Through a residency with Epic Theatre Ensemble, students work in small groups to create short plays that illustrate the stories behind statistics. They research a moral issue of interest, present the statistics they find on their topic, and write short scenes to show what each statistic means in context, and what details it may conceal. In this way students get to engage with statistical research, applying the theories learned in class to real situations, and using statistics and theater to create an informed dialogue about their chosen issue.

ETA funds were used for teaching artist fees.


The statistics teacher and Epic teaching artist co-developed a rubric that equally weighted the math content and the theatre lens. Students had to research relevant statistics, integrate them into the script seamlessly, and then make a compelling story (so that it would more than factual recitation). 

They turned out great!

Literature and Theatre: Shakespeare

Teacher: Chad Frade, ELA

School: Urban Assembly School of Design & Construction

Project Goal(s): Students reinterpret, update (if necessary), and transform the ideas of a Shakespeare play into an interactive and immersive dramatic production in the school hallways.

Description of Activities

Students will read, act out, interpret and discuss the year's Shakespeare play, thinking throughout the unit about what will be significant to represent in a shortened, adapted version performed for their peers. As they finish the reading, students will identify the big ideas and make decisions about how to stage the key scenes in different areas of the school. They will use the last three weeks to do production design, costuming and lighting (using existing materials at the school) before staging interactive performances.

ETA funds were used for cardboard, costumes and props.



"Students were engaged and excited about Shakespeare because of the resources that ETA poured into our project. It made the learning of this Old English play more accessible and understandable to students who have struggled with this material. Additionally, the community got to see the hard work and artistry of my junior class and it made them excited for future projects that may occur when they become my students."

Additional Documents:

Titus: Scenes, Lines and Set Up

Titus: Prompt

Shakespeare Teaches Teachers

Teacher: Alexandra Hyman, English

School: Urban Assembly School for Law & Justice

Project Goal(s): Four teachers will attend BAM’s Shakespeare Teaches Teachers professional development sessions relating to performance in the classroom, and then we will bring 136 students to see a live screening of Julie Taymor’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.


The teaching artists will provide professional development and instruction regarding Shakespeare performance techniques in the classroom. Teachers will be equipped to turnkey those activities to the students, and will then participate in a performance themselves in the culminating event on 4/1/17. The teaching artists’ PD sessions will also provide guided curricula for Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

ETA funds were used for the program fees.


Brooklyn Academy of Music

Caribbean Dance and Musical Theatre

Teacher: Jill Coon, theatre

School: Brooklyn High School of the Arts

Project Goal(s): Dance Caribbean Collective provides master classes to BHSA’s musical theater students as they prepare for their musical Once on this Island. The artists at DCC are also from the Caribbean so they bring cultural insights to our young people. 

Description of Activities


BHSA works with DCC for 20 sessions:  2 of the sessions are for workshops to introduce students to Caribbean dance and access what they already know about it in order to add on to it in the following 18 sessions where DCC dancers and choreographers provide in class instruction and guidance for the choreography they create for Once on This Island.  The DCC dancers help theater teachers identify student dance captains who run dance rehearsals in class when DCC is not in class.  These students become class leaders while deepening their understanding of dance, ensemble and storytelling.  In addition, the DCC residency provides professional development for the teacher as a musical theater choreographer.  When DCC dancers are not in class, the teacher can choreograph pieces that are authentic and help to tell the story. 

ETA funds were used for teaching artist fees.

Arts Partner(s)

Dance Caribbean Collective



"Our residency with Dance Caribbean Collective built the capacity of our 40 musical theater students in our musical theater class and company for "Once on this Island" to successfully tell a story through dance. They learned many key moves from Caribbean dance and were able to turnkey that learning into building their own choreography. "Once on this Island" had around 350 audience members over the run of the show. Many audience comments were about the amazing choreography. The students' prided themselves on being able to fully embrace their characters and their story telling through movement and dance."

"Dance Caribbean Collective and the way they easily worked with our school was a complete joy. I would work with them again. Azriel was a strict and nurturing teacher. Her ability to meet students where they are and then take them to the next level was inspiring. She also pushed them to new heights...they did things they never thought they could do as an ensemble."

Mask Making

Teacher: Janet Borrus, theatre

School: East Los Angeles Performing Arts Magnet

Project Goal(s): To provide theatre students with an opportunity to learn physical theatre techniques in masks and to to make their own masks.


Students begin on their feet, learning techniques for acting in neutral, full-face larval and character masks. Inspired by physical improvisations set to music, and images from photographs and magazines, students develop original characters, each with their own idiosyncratic gestures and movement. Next, they work collaboratively in small groups to devise short narratives featuring their characters, a particular setting and theme (such as loss, generosity, competition, first love, immigration).  For a month they are immersed in the rigorous process of building masks from scratch, learning how to highlight and exaggerate character traits using plaster, papier mache, clay, and acrylics. The culmination of the program is a performance of eight original works of Mask Theatre set to music.

ETA funds were used for the teaching artist fees and art supplies.


Estela Garcia