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Student Humanities Presentations
Our student matinees in the Humanities brings to life original productions based on classical beginnings or living history presentations.
The best-known production of our matinees in the Humanities is Indy In Revue: The Story of Indianapolis. This student matinee uses audiovisual tools, narration, dance and popular song to bring the story of Indianapolis to life. Indiana schoolchildren learn state history in the fourth grade, and this production enhances their curriculum with a focus on the city’s history, creativity and innovation. Shows are held at different venues throughout the city of Indianapolis – most recently at the historic Athenaeum and Herron High School.
In addition to Indianapolis students, fourth-graders from the metropolitan area’s seven contiguous counties and from Terre Haute and Evansville attend the Revue during field trips. Claude McNeal Productions often arranges additional outings, such as visits to the Indiana Historical Society, the Indiana State Museum or the Children’s Museum.
The Humanities Theatre Group has performed for more than 100,000 primary, secondary and higher education students. Other productions include:
• The Greeks: In the Beginning
• The Renaissance Era: Europe Awakens
• The Modern Era: The Age of Technology
• Painting the Universe: How the Humanities Shape Our World
• French Cabaret Masters
• Cigar City Chronicles: The Story of Tampa, performed for elementary, middle, and high school students in Tampa Bay, Florida
Experiencing History Where It Happened: Living History and Re-enactment as Public History Tools:
“Indy In Revue” is a living history of our capital city. It brings to life the people, sites, innovations and culture that make up the community’s collective memory. The production is used as a learning tool to allow our students and adults to experience history, and instead of just reading about it, they are watching the events unfold in front of their very eyes.
Living history presentations such as “Indy In Revue” have become an increasingly important tool for accomplishing the goal of presenting a community’s history and cultural memory to its ever-changing audiences in a manner that is attractive, engaging, and authentic. The show serves the dual function of serving both history and the community. Using living history presentations as a learning tool makes the process of contextualization much more effective for students. Connecting to place makes historical inquiry more accessible, and challenges the idea that history is an abstract concept far removed from the present. Learning the story of the events that occurred in a particular location and being able to witness the impact of those
events, enhance the learning experience, also allowing for the discourse of place in history, and providing a sensory experience beyond the written text.
Back in early 1993, author, playwright, founder and then Artistic Director of American Cabaret Theatre, Claude McNeal, wanted to create an original cabaret-style production that centered around the origins of our capital city. As an educator and artist, McNeal’s fascination with place, culture, and history has always been in the forefront of his original works. Around the same time, David Bodenhamer, Executive Director at the Polis Center at IUPUI (a research unit of the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI), was putting together the first-ever
“Encyclopedia of Indianapolis”. McNeal, a tenured professor of English at that time with the School of Liberal Arts, then approached Mr. Bodenhamer about collaborating with our production team as a consultant on a new production entitled “Indy In Revue”. McNeal and his team spent the next two years researching and developing content for the production, with Bodenhamer helping to provide historical context and lending historical accuracy and authenticity. After an extensive rehearsal process, the production opened to the public as part of A.C.T.’s season of shows in September 1995.
For the next eleven years, “Indy In Revue” was presented annually to Indiana fourth-graders as part of our ongoing educational programming at the cabaret. From 2006-2009, presentations were held at the historic Madame Walker Theatre. In 2011 and 2012, we collaborated with Herron High School to present the show once again, this time as part of the annual “Spirit & Place Festival” sponsored by IUPUI.
Summer Art Camps
Line+Form Atelier is thrilled to be hosting 7 weeks of art camp this summer!
June: Insect+Bee Camp, Unicorn+Fairy Camp (sold out), Art in Motion
July: Street Art Camp, Fashion Design Camp (sold out), Anime+Comics Camp (sold out), Unicorn+Fairies Camp Session 2
Camps are suitable for children ages 5-12 and are held Mon-Thurs from 9-3pm.
Tanoshi Taiko Drumming
With movement and storytelling included this performance is an interactive introduction to the Japanese drumming tradition of Taiko. Students will learn basic drumming rhythms and partipcate as the performers tell the folk tale of how Taiko began.
Students will experience two stories told in tandem, with tales full of conflict and differences, healing, and growth. These issues become different colored threads in the tapestry of this interwoven story.
Tell Your Own Story (Performance)
Students will hear engaging family and personal stories meant to inspire students to research and collect their own stories. This performance is a companion to the workshop “Tell Your Story.”
Tell Your Own Story (Workshop)
After learning about the elements of story, students will practice telling their personal and family stories with a partner. A companion workshop to the performance “Tell Your Own Story”.
The Madam Walker Story
Learn the story of Madam C.J. Walker, the self-made millionaire, as told from a “different” point of view. Learn about her early life and the legacy she created. Freetown Village has created a special interactive, one-character portrayal to bring this history to life.
Her name is synonymous with specialized products for African-American hair. But Madam Walker was more than an entrepreneur with savvy business acumen. She was a civil and political rights activist who lobbied an American president to make lynching a federal crime. She was a philanthropist whose generosity led to the largest donation ever by an African-American for the construction of an Indianapolis YMCA.
Madam Walker left an imprint on the Indianapolis community and across America. Her rich legacy gives us a glimpse into early African-American entrepreneurship.
The Magic School Bus: Lost in the Solar System
When the class gets lost on the way to the planetarium, Ms. Frizzle saves the day by blasting into outer space for an epic inter-planetary field trip! But when rivalries both old and new threaten to tear the students apart, our young heroes must learn to pull together or risk getting forever lost in the solar system… Hop on the Magic School Bus for a ride in Theaterworks USA’s musical adaptation based on the original book series published by Scholastic.
The Spirit of James Whitcomb Riley
Indiana’s own poet is celebrated in this character performance. Through Riley’s verses, students will meet some of the major influences on his imagination such as The Raggedy Man, ‘Lisabeth Ann, Li’l Orphan Annie, and the Goblins.
The Storyteller's Drum
In this blend of African Diaspora music and storytelling, students will become active participants. Students will learn call and response, different ethnic musical styles and their origins, and will enjoy classic African folktales. Authentic African instruments are used.
The Whole Child: Digging into Reggio-inspired Prac...
Join classroom teacher and Pedagogista, Abby Bucher from the IPS/Butler Lab School #60, as she shares her passion of Reggio-inspired practice with other classroom and special area teachers. In this workshop, she will share a history of the schools in Reggio Emilia and some of the main principles (i.e. image of the child, hundred languages, environment, project work, and documentation). This approach to education incorporates the Arts as there are many languages through which a child can show empathy, expression, and understanding. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to explore the Reggio-inspired practice to teaching and learning and find out about upcoming related events in Central Indiana.
The Whole Child: Digging into Reggio-inspired Prac...
Part 2 of the workshop takes place at the IPS/Butler Lab School 60. During this 3 hour workshop, we will visit with Abby Bucher and learn more about what Reggio-inspired practice can look like in a public school in Indianapolis. We will take a tour and notice environments, we will do some materials exploration that can then be put into practice in your own setting, and we will look at a couple of projects that have been done with students in Indianapolis that shows how we have been inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach.
The Wild Things of Sendak
Will Gould and Dave Hepler lead you on a journey into the works of Maurice Sendak that includes a wacky rendition of Where the Wild Things Are.
These Stories Go Beyond Any Test
Through theatrical readings, students explore life-long learning themes such as accepting each other’s differences, working as a team, and facing our fears. Choose from children’s literature selections that will compliment your students’ needs.
This Little Light of Mine by Deborah Asante
Listeners will experience the story of the Children’s Crusade of 1963 through the eyes of one of the children who marched. Students will learn more about this dramatic event from the U.S. Civil Rights Movement.
Thomas Edison: Inside the Inventors Minds
Thomas Edison had 1,093 patents, more than any other American, living or dead. This interactive one-man play by Hank Fincken will discuss the process that led to the electric light, the gritty nuts and bolts day to day business of the inventive business with its failures, team-approach, and eventual success.
This program meets standards in Social StudiesU.S. History & Culture
When Worlds Collide: William Henry Harrison & ...
Students will discover the radically different perspectives of Native Peoples and pioneer settlers who collided in the early years of American history. The cultures of William Henry Harrison and Tecumseh are displayed through folklore, games, and music.
Bob Sander will engage students in an interactive program of folktales from around the world. Guitar music is woven into these attention-capturing tales. Bob can tailor the stories to the countries your students are studying.
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