From Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” to Culture Clash’s “Chavez Ravine,” educators and parents can stream a plethora of theater productions through L.A. Theatre Works as part of its expanded curriculum, Setting the Stage for Learning.
A nonprofit media arts organization and producer of audio theater, L.A. Theatre Works’ mission is to present, preserve and disseminate classic and contemporary plays featuring critically acclaimed actors. Its Setting the Stage initiative – 25 audio recordings of significant stage plays performed by well-known, professional actors available at no charge to educators worldwide – has been extended through Dec. 31.
The program provides valuable resources for teachers, enhancing distance and classroom learning. By harnessing the power of professional theater, students deepen their understanding of complex literature and subject content through an engaging and meaningful learning experience. An introductory guide suggests topics for engaging conversations and ideas for student-created content. Educators can select and preview a play then select an approach, whether having students listen to an entire play with follow-up discussions and assignments or listening in segments, pausing for comprehension checks, answering questions and transitioning through the arc of the plot.
An addition to this school year’s program is the curriculum guide for “Spill,” Leigh Fondakowski’s docudrama that brings the 2010 Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion to life through personal stories of those affected. Featuring a cast headlined by Jane Kaczmarek and James Morrison, voices students will recognize from television shows including “Malcolm in the Middle” and “24,” this work goes beyond the headlines to give voice to the people living along Louisiana’s Gulf Coast, capturing their varied viewpoints and resilience in the face of natural destruction and man-made tragedy.
For more information about Setting the Stage for Learning, including how to sign up and how to access the new “Spill” study guide, go to latw.org/setting-stage-learning. Scroll down to see the complete list of available titles.