During our 2010-2011 season we visited over 30 classrooms and over 800 students took part in our Artist in Residency program. Most of the students involved enjoyed learning the basics of comedy improv including, acceptance of others ideas in a scene, addition of one's own ideas into a scene, and character and scene development. Because nothing is planned in Improvisation the children are expanding their imagination and creativity, a useful tool in many areas. Thinking on your feet also encourages the students to trust their instincts, to trust themselves, a lesson which is greater than any arts education! After a few days with a class we often hear from teachers how surprised they are by certain students who have "come out of their shell!"
Other classrooms ask Equinox to help direct and facilitate their class play. Teachers do a great job of this on their own, but many haven't had any formal training in theatre. With an Equinox professional at the helm the students' notion of theatre broadens. They are taught how to create a character, subtext to their lines, the areas of the stage, how to project their voice as to be heard, how to stand as to be seen; things we as viewers take for granted when watching a performance. In this setting our director gets to work with kids for a much longer period of time and the progress they make with character development, confidence and theatrical instinct can astound.
At The Equinox Theatre we pride ourselves on all of our acting programs. Through a positive learning environment we hope to excite young people about the arts while building self esteem and confidence to enable them to find their true calling in life, no matter what that might be!