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TOMORROW: Appalachian Celebrates Theatre in Our Schools Month with High School Workshops

Performers practicing warm-ups.

Boone, N.C. — On Feb. 24, the Appalachian State University Department of Theatre and Dance will host a day of theatre workshops to celebrate Theatre in Our Schools (TIOS), a month-long national event each March. The event is open to students in grades 9 through 12 and to private and public school teachers.

This year’s TIOS event features 14 workshops with topics ranging from instruction in dialect to stage combat. Along with the workshops, high school students and teachers will attend a live performance of Lisa Kron’s play “Well,” Appalachian’s first main stage production of the 2018 spring season.

Gordon Hensley ‘98, professor of theatre education and Appalachian alumnus, is the coordinator of the event. Hensley graduated with a bachelor’s in theatre education and subsequently obtained a MFA in theatre and education from Arizona State University.

According to Hensley, Appalachian’s TIOS celebration has become extremely popular.

Performers putting on makeup.

“We had an explosive response to the program this year and for the first time ever, we had to cap our numbers on how many students each school could bring,” he shared. “Our TIOS day is like no other program I’ve seen before. It has the feel of a one-day theatre festival; high school students and teachers love it.”

Workshops will be led by 12 department faculty and one student, including Marianne Adams, professor of dance studies; Brad Archer, lecturer of theatre arts/performance; Laurie Atkins, associate professor of dance studies; Dr. Derek Davidson, senior lecturer of theatre/playwriting; Derek Gagnier, associate professor of theatre/performance; Teresa Lee, professor of theatre arts; Martha Marking, professor of theatre arts/design; Keith Martin, John M. Blackburn distinguished professor of theatre; Jonathan Ray, adjunct instructor of theatre arts; Adrian Rieder, adjunct instructor of theatre arts; Kevin Warner, the department chair and associate professor of theatre/dance; Joel Williams, professor of theatre; and Caleb Dalby, a senior theatre education major from Waxhaw.

March is recognized as the official month for TIOS, with performances, classroom activities, student playwriting and video contests and regional conferences taking place in communities and schools nationwide. The American Alliance for Theatre & Education (AATE) created the Theatre in Our Schools campaign to increase public awareness of the impact of theatre education and to communicate the need for greater access to theatre programs for all students. They later merged with the Educational Theatre Association, which is the largest association whose mission pertains specifically to high school theatre.

A $5 fee is due upon registration. During the event, an adult must accompany all students under the age of 21. The workshops can be recognized as professional development, and continuing education unit credit (CEU) may be available with prior approval from a local education agency. For more information on Appalachian’s Theatre in Our Schools: Day of Theatre Workshops, visit theatreandance.appstate.edu or contact Gordon Hensley at hensleyg@appstate.edu.

The event will be held in Chapell Wilson hall and the Valborg Theatre on Appalachian State University’s campus. Valborg Theatre is located in the back of Chapell Wilson hall. The address for Chapell Wilson is 480 Howard Street, Boone NC, 28607 and parking can be found on campus, in the library parking deck, or the Raley parking lot. 

About the Department of Theatre and Dance
The Department of Theatre and Dance is one of seven departments housed in Appalachian’s College of Fine and Applied Arts. Its mission is to facilitate transformative experiences for students and the public, which cultivate compassionate, creative and collaborative communities through theatre and dance. The department also offers coursework for integrated learning through the arts to the general university student population. Its dynamic co-curricular production program provides exemplary theatre and dance experiences to departmental students, the university community and the region.

About Appalachian
Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.