The school year may still be virtual for students but The Old Globe has been working hard to make sure that theatre students still have access to their Summer Studio Programs virtually. Their Pam Farr Summer Shakespeare Studio and the Theatre Design Studio offer amazing virtual opportunities for the next generation of theatre-makers. An interview with Associate Artistic Director and Director of Arts Engagement Freedome Bradley-Ballentine, and Arts Engagement Programs Manager Vietca Do on what these programs offer, what impresses them the most about these students, and details on how to apply for the programs.
The Pam Farr Summer Shakespeare Studio offers a unique three-week opportunity from July 12 to July 30 for rising 9th – 12th graders and recent graduates. In this program, they can work on developing skills through Shakespeare’splays. They learn to develop their own artistic voice and create original material as they work on their storytelling craftsmanship. It all culminates in an online performance online Studio Showcase performance on Saturday, August 7, 2020.
The Theatre Design Studio is a multi-week opportunity that offers a one-week spring session from March 29 to April 2, 2020. The summer sessions will focus on the following topics: June 14 with scenic design, June 21 with costume design, and June 28 with props design and fabrication.
Freedome Bradley-Ballentine, Associate Artistic Director and Director of Arts Engagement says adapting these programs into a virtual space was a challenge, but one that they took seriously so it could impact as many students as possible.
“It was challenging. There were several questions that needed attention! What’s the format? How much time on screen would be too much? Would each participant feel that special attention that is so easy to communicate in person? There were so many things that went into it.
Luckily the Globe has an experienced and dedicated staff who can work together and figure these things out. The result was something that everyone involved was genuinely proud of and connected them in a time of extreme isolation. We also expanded the program last year to kids who wanted to work behind the scenes. By offering Theater Design Studio and a chance to work with some of the amazing artisans at the Globe, we opened ourselves to a whole other type of person who may not have been as out front about how the pandemic was affecting them.”
Vietca Do, the Arts Engagement Programs Manager for the Pam Farr Summer Shakespeare Studio, Creative Youth Studio, and student matinees, agrees says that the resilience and openness of the students led to even deeper connections.
“I’m just so amazed at how resilient youth have been through these times. Not only are they open with how the pandemic has affected them, but they’ve incorporated it into their production while not letting it stop them from staying connected with their class, as well as the community. The 16 students somehow bonded so well during the program, and on their own accord, planned socially distanced outings to solidify that bond.”
In fact, says Do, the bonds forged in last year’s virtual program were so strong that the students even kept up the interactions even when on breaks.
“Our lunch breaks were always intended to give students a break from the screen, but they were still enthusiastically present for fun jokes, karaoke, touring their rooms and homes, meeting their pets… the list goes on! When students choose to stay online for a “class” we must be doing something right… right?”
The Old Globe Summer Studio programs are both currently open for applications.
Pam Farr Summer Shakespeare Studio is provided free of charge to all students thanks to our generous donors. Upon receipt of applications, live interviews will be scheduled between Monday, April 5 and Friday, April 23.
The Theatre Design Studio offers a one-week spring session from March 29 to April 2, 2020, with the summer sessions offering three weeks of classes; June 14 with scenic design, June 21 with costume design, and June 28 with props design and fabrication. Students can sign up for one specific or all of the sessions. Applications for both sessions open on Monday, February 22, with the spring session closing when the limit of students is met, and the summer session application closing on April 7
If you know an aspiring performer who may be interested in The Old Globe Summer Studio programs they can find more details and application information at www.theodglobe.org