Dear friends, March 18th
As many of us are facing several weeks of online teaching, I am compiling information and resources that I have found helpful in my 13 years of teaching online. Scroll down for online resources and click the link button below for ways to organize your online materials using Blackboard.
I'm in an interesting position as a faculty member - I am also currently enrolled in a class on campus this term. Last Friday the professor decided to do a trial run online class meeting using WebEx video software. My main takeaway from the experience was that I was surprised at how comforting it was to see my fellow students in the class. I was also surprised how calming it was to focus my attention and energy toward learning for the hour.
I share this because I have been teaching asynchronous online classes since 2007, and while the temptation may be to "set it and forget it" by posting assignments online that you can go back and grade later, I believe that we will be a grounding force in our students' lives in the weeks to come. Many of us have families and (thankfully) jobs, but our students may not have family around them and many of them have lost their jobs for the time being. Our online presence can offer students a "place to go" and a sense of community during these challenging times, when they may otherwise feel adrift. For that reason, I encourage educators to include regularly scheduled live video chat with your classes if at all possible.
Best regards, Jan
SCROLL DOWN for Web Resources useful for a wide variety of subjects including Humanities & Theatre
or click button below for tips on setting up your course materials in Blackboard
Facebook Group for sharing ideas (request to join group) a great group of practitioners and resources: Teaching Theatre Online:COVID-19
if theatre isn't your thing, look online for a FB group in your subject area, or start one! There is also one for improv teachers: Improv Teachers' Support and Collaboration Group.
Association for Theatre in Higher Education Launches Open-Source Resources for Performance Disciplines ATHE is a leader in our industry, you can use and also add your own innovations to this database.
Thatreish a crowd-sourced list of resources for online teaching
Open/accessible Facebook Page Resources for Theatre Educators Teaching Online includes some overlap with other items here, also some info on pedagogy and links to NYTimes articles on pedagogy and dealing with anxiety.
SETC's List of COVID-19 Theatre Resources
London's National Theatre free shows Month of April!
Papermill Playhouse Humanities Syposium Series online
NYC's Public Theatre 'Watch At Home' series
LIve from Lincoln Center: South Pacific
Drama Online Library with wonderful productions from RSC, National Theatre Live, Donmar Shakespeare & Oscar Wilde Collection, and more - all Free - you must get your institution to sign up, (also there are some amazing non-theatre resources here including fashion, visual arts, medieval studies, philosophers, photography and more. Please go to this page to see offerings.) Gee if I could only just stay in and watch... oh, wait...! (a little joke)
On The Boards offering FREE access to their collection of theatrical productions through the end of April with discount code ARTATHOME20.
HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory, called "haystack") Some great information on this site about online teaching and learning
From Swamp to Stage a FREE documentary series on bringing Shrek the Musical to Broadway (youtube)
Pre-Existing Online Courses Creative Arts & Media Courses (MOOCs) through FutureLearn
Tips for Voice Instructors & Singers some tips for teaching voice lessons online - geared for opera/singing but relevant to any voice instruction
HowlRound A free and open platform for theatremakers worldwide that amplifies progressive, disruptive ideas about the art form and facilitates connection between diverse practitioners. - Also co-sponsoring the current "Watch Me Work" series with Suzan-Lori Parks! Visit the Public Theatre for more information.
Metropolitan Opera FREE Streams of HD Series (could be used as a teaching-tool... or just for solace)
Digital Concert Hall Free access to Berlin Philharmonic concert archive - redeem code by March 31 (again could be used as a teaching-tool, or just for solace)
National Theatre of London Drama Online Library Resource (subscription required though they list a 30-day free trial)
EXCELLENT ONLINE VIDEO RESOURCES
FOR THEATRE AND OTHER DISCIPLINES:
This is a surprising treasure-trove of over 39,000 videos for all types of subjects: (it does require your institution to subscribe)
Incredibly, topics include: Anthropology, Archival films and Newsreels, Area Studies (Africa, Asia/Pacific, Latin America & Survey), Art & Architecture (includes Applied Art, Art Appreciation & Art History), Biology (over 2000 titles), Business & Economics (over 5000 titles), Communication, Counseling & Social Work, Criminal Justice & Law, Earth Science, Education, Engineering, English (including DRAMA & THEATRE), Entertainment, Environmental Science, Geography, Health & Medicine (over 5000 titles), History (over 5000 titles), Mathematics, Music & Dance, Philosophy & Religion, Physical Science, Political Science (over 2000 titles), Psychology (over 2000 titles), Sociology (over 4000 titles), Technology & Society & World Languages
Of course these won't be your only means of instruction but they can offer a nice break from reading textbooks and online lectures. Also, you can link to SEGMENTS of videos easily in this database, so if you find only a few minutes of a video relevant, it is easy to share just that section with students. In addition, you could guide students through a video by embedding a link to segment #1 in your lecture, then discuss that segment in your lecture notes, followed by another segment.
USEFUL FOR THEATRE/DRAMA: Biographies (August Wilson, Arthur Miller, etc. there are several); Topdog Diaries- a wonderful documentary chronicling Suzan-Lori Parks' journey including rehearsal footage; Live from Shakespeare's Globe series - wonderful London performances filmed in front of a live audience; a large collection of Shakespeare resources including the wonderful Shakespeare Uncovered historical overview; productions from the Stratford Festival; Shakespeare Sessions, John Barton's 2002 NYC class (including Cynthia Nixon and others); filmed versions of staples like plays by Ibsen; classical plays in performance include Everyman, Second Shepherd's Play, the Greeks, and historical overviews; videos on historical women like Hrosvitha and Sor Juana; one of my favorites is an inspired interview with Luis Valdez; HBO film on Larry Kramer; Artaud, Pinter, David Henry Hwang.... it's an awesome collection!
For teachers of Acting Directing or Design: You might consider having students view two versions of the same scene played by two different groups to compare/contrast the acting/design/directing choices.
To my colleagues at CCSU, the library does not include this in their list of databases, but we DO have access to it. Simply create a log-in account using your ccsu email address (we really need the library to put this online for us and for students).
Crash-Course video series (YouTube Channel)
This series provides fun, fast-paced and brief (10-15 minute) overviews of topics that I like to use when introducing students to a new subject. Amazingly this series includes 39 topics (!): Anatomy & Physiology, Artificial Intelligence, Astronomy, Biology, Business (Entrepreneurship & Soft Skills), Chemistry, Computer Science, Ecology, Economics, Engineering, European History, Film (Criticism, History, Production), Games, History of Science, Literature, Intellectual Property, Media & Literacy, Mythology, Philosophy, Physics, Psychology, Sociology, Statistics, Study Skills, Theatre & Drama, US Government & Politics, US History, and World History.
USEFUL FOR THEATRE TOPICS: They have a wonderful selection of titles that I use for Intro to Theatre and Theatre History classes. The historical overviews include synopses of plays, which frequently work well with the titles I assign, so it's good reinforcement for the beginning student.
Caveat - they aren't all perfect, but I do love the theatre ones! Watch the ones on Shakespeare's plays carefully before using, I think a few of them are a bit misguided when it comes to textual analysis.
Working in the Theatre series produced by the American Theatre Wing
This is such a wonderful collection of informative videos! Generally, they are much longer than videos above (~30 mins), and they provide in-depth profiles of working artists and professionals.
Topics of interest include: adaptation, clowning, casebooks on companies/shows (Arena Stage, NYTW/Hadestown, Manual Cinema, Second City) and locations (Arkansas, Dallas), choreography, design (lighting, costume, scenic, special effects), devised theatre, makeup, orchestration, opera, projection design, props, puppetry, sign language, site-specific theatre, solo performance, theatre technology, understudies, vocal coaching, wardrobe, wigs, and a robust collection of 60-90 minute conversations hosted by the American Theatre Wing. Truly a national treasure, we should all be proud.
TIPS: I love to use the wigs and makeup video in Intro to Theatre to supplement the unit on costume design. I also use the lighting and projection design videos to give students a more concrete idea of what we're talking about when it comes to lighting design.
National Theatre Collection YouTube Channel
A truly amazing collection of interviews/overviews/behind-the-scenes videos about the process of theatre-making. Similar to Am Th Wing above, but most vids are not as long. Many top out at 20 mins or less. A practical look at contemporary theatre-making. A wonderful educational tool.
TIPS: I love the two videos on creating costumes for The Light Princess (both <10 mins) because they show the full process from cutting and draping to costume fitting and performance. Also, Medea's Dress - Making Blood & Mud is one that students find interesting. They are great illustrations to support the study of costume design.
It seems they have two (new to me) sections "how we made it" and "how you can make it" - looks like a collection of interesting tutorials that may be very useful for supplementing instruction in design, or going deeper into a design topic area.
Other video resources:
There are some very well done videos on YouTube that are great teaching tools. Since students usually have an interest in musical theatre, I tend to use videos on musicals. These include some nice clips on Hamilton and Lin Manuel Miranda, several segments on scenic, and puppet design elements in the musical Wicked, as well as a lengthy segment on wigs for Wicked as part of a series entitled Behind the Emerald Curtain.
People across the country accessing this page - so glad to be part of this community of educators!
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