Creating Performance: A Pilot Theater Education Program at Ground Floor Farm

***We are offering a Free Taster Session on Monday, August 22nd, 2016, 5-7pm. Please RSVP to by August 19th.***

Be a part of Ground Floor Farm’s pilot theater education program! This weekly after school class for middle school and early high school students will be a little different from your typical children’s theater program. Our goal is to offer students the tools and techniques to find and express their own creative voice. The pilot program will be organized into four different 7 week sessions throughout the school year, each exploring theater and performance from a different angle. We’ll begin with storytelling and physical theater, move on to visual design and installation, follow up with interactive and immersive theater, and finish with theater for social change.

In each seven week session, we’ll study, play, and experiment with a variety of theatrical styles and creative techniques. The last two weeks of each session will be spent devising solo and collaborative projects, which will be presented to invited guests during an informal showing. The teacher will serve as guide and facilitator, but the students will be the main creative agents, with input and collective control over each aspect of what they make and how they create it. Besides an introduction to the fundamental elements of contemporary performance, the program will build confidence, foster teamwork and collaboration, and encourage students to explore and examine their relationship to the world around them.

This program will be taught by Jackie Vitale. Before moving home to start Ground Floor Farm, Jackie made performance focused around food, games, and social interaction around the Northeastern US and the UK. Jackie has a BA in theater from Swarthmore College, a postgraduate diploma from University of Girona/ Teatro de los Sentidos, and a Masters in Advanced Theatre Practice from Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.

Program Details

Classes will take place on Monday evenings from 5-7pm. The last week of each session will include a pizza party for the students and an informal invited showing for friends and family at 7:30pm. We plan to keep the pilot program between 10-12 students in order to build relationships, provide individual support, and foster a safe, comfortable environment. We welcome students of all abilities.

The cost for each 7 week session is $200, or $700 for all 4 sessions. Parents are encouraged to volunteer as helpers for 2 weeks per session, for which you will receive a $50 discount per session*. There will be a 10% sibling discount. We can offer two reduced cost spots for families with demonstrated need.

*So if you can volunteer to help wrangle kids for two of the seven weeks, the price becomes $150 for one session and $500 for all four!

Session Schedule    

Free Taster Session: Monday, August 22nd, 2016, 5-7pm. Please RSVP to by August 20th.

Session 2: Visual Worlds

Nov 7 visual composition

Nov 14 site-specific installation

Nov 21 sound design

Nov 28 object theater

Dec 5 creating a journey

Dec 12 project devising

Dec 19 project devising and showing


Session 1: Storytelling: text and the body

Sept 12 the mechanics of a story

Sept 19 viewpoints technique

Sept 26 creating characters

Oct 3* physical storytelling

Oct 10 myths, fairytales, and found text

Oct 17 project devising

Oct 21 project devising and showing

*School holiday

Session 4: Theatre for Social Change

Mar 20 theater as activism

Mar 27 performance art: a taster

Apr 3 happenings

Apr 10 guerilla theater

Apr 17 art on the internet

Apr 24 project devising

May 1 project devising and showing

Session 3: Interaction

Jan 9 games and play

Jan 23 audience interaction

Jan 30 sensory theater

Feb 6 designing rituals

Feb 13 immersive theater

Feb 27 project devising

Mar 6 project devising and showing

(No session Jan 16, Feb 20)

How to Participate

If you are interested in having your child participate in the program, please contact Jackie at by August 22nd, 2016. Please include a bit of information about your child- age, grade, school, and any special requirements. We want to gauge interest from parents so that we can make final decisions about the program by early August. Please feel free to get in touch with any additional questions. You can reach Jackie by email or on her cell phone- 7722043360.

A note on why we are offering theater education at a farm…

In our heads, the farm has always been more than just a farm. When we decided to move home and start this business, our goal was to create a vibrant community space focused around food, fun, and art. As a fledgling enterprise with a big vision, we knew we needed to start small. We wanted to prove to the community that we are dedicated and that we’re really good at what we do. We also had to prove that to ourselves. Slowly but surely, we are getting a handle on how to serve the needs of our community, and at the same time support ourselves emotionally and financially. As we deepen our roots, we are able to add more offerings, branching out in many exciting directions. We hope that in a few years, the idea of a children’s theater program at Ground Floor Farm will feel totally natural. As the seasons progress, we hope to continue to grow our amazing town with food, fun, and art.