educating other's children

What Everyone Ought to Consider About the Educating of Other People’s Children-Universal Education

 

Have you ever wondered about the importance of universal education–why we should all care about the education of other people’s children? Here’s an excellent editorial on the subject.  See you agree.

Why We Should Care About the Education of Other People’s Children

By Arthur H. Camin

It is time to care about the education of other people’s children. Other people’s children are or will be our neighbors. Other people’s children – from almost anywhere in the United States and beyond – could end up as our coworkers. Other people’s children are tomorrow’s potential voters. How, what, and with whom they learn impacts us all.

That is why we have public schools, paid for with pooled taxes. They are designed to serve the public good, not just to suit individual parent’s desires.

My granddaughter Ellie is almost 2. With each passing day, my wife and I worry more and more about the world in which she will grow up. We worry about what appears to be a celebration of divisiveness, ignorance, helplessness, and selfishness among too many people. We are particularly concerned about whether her education will help prepare her for a happy, successful life in troubled times. I know we are not alone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In school – either by intention or by omission – children learn to make sense of the world around them. They learn how to treat other children and adults and how to regard others in the wider community. They learn whether or not they can participate in shaping their lives and that of others. They may or may not learn how to live, collaborate and respect all the different people whom they will inevitably encounter in their lives.
We can’t avoid it. What other people’s children learn affects each of us.

When she is ready to enter kindergarten, her parents, Eric and Laura, will probably ask us for advice about sending her to school. The answer is far from simple. They live in New York City where making school attendance decisions is a bit like desperate folks rushing the door when the department store opens on Black Friday.

Making a decision will be challenging. Too many schools are maniacally focused on raising reading and math test scores. Too many are racially and economically segregated. I know that Eric and Laura will find a way that is best for their child. I’m confident that if their neighborhood school isn’t so great, my son and daughter-in-law will either struggle with other parents and teachers to make it better, find another, or move. Their individual freedom to make those choices is not the kind of freedom I value. It will not help Ellie grow up is a better world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The easy short-term answer is, “Just worry about your own child. Do whatever you must to find the best school for her.” That is the thinking behind the current bipartisan embrace of three key features of charter schools and the renewed Republican push for vouchers: Schools competing for student enrollment; Parents competing for their children’s entry into the best-fit school of their choice; schools governed privately rather than through democratically-elected school boards.

As these strategies gain acceptance and spread, the result is to undermine education as a collective effort on behalf of the entire community. Divided parents and their communities end up with little collective voice. Similarly, without unions, teachers have no unified influence. Millions of personal decisions about what appears to be good for a single child at a moment in time is a recipe for divisiveness, not collective good.

I refuse to accept the ethos of selfishness and winning in a world of ruthless competition. Education policy focused on the educational choices of individual parents is not just morally repugnant but stupid and shortsighted. Does anyone really think that giving every parent the right to choose which school to send their children to is a recipe for raising the next generation of knowledgeable, capable, caring Americans?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, some schools do a better job than others educating for life, work and citizenship. Some of those differences are a function of natural and unavoidable variation. But the big differentials in education outcomes are the result of political decisions about local, state and federal policy and funding. More significant, they are the result our country’s refusal to do anything substantive about the residential segregation and distrust that continually enable, perpetuate, and exacerbate inequity.
The differences are the result of growing inequality, concentrated poverty, and the purposeful oblivion of those who live comfortable stable, if insulated lives. The differences are the result of an intentional political campaign to convince folks in the middle of the socioeconomic spectrum– whose lives are hardly easy or secure– to blame other people who struggle even more, rather than the wealthy 1% who wield the levers of economic and political power.

Tragically, far too many parents have been forced to make morally and politically fraught decisions about their children’s education. Folks see the decision about whether or not to keep their children in a local school of questionable quality as a flight or fight decision.

That is why the language of individual choice paired with policies that weaken rather than strengthen neighborhood pubic school is so insidiously successful. It is unrealistic to expect many parents who often feel disempowered to choose stay and fight. Instead, we need to build a political movement to do that. Narrow self-regard may be expedient, but it is self-defeating in the long run.
We all should worry and do something about the quality of education of other people’s children. Here are several reasons why. They apply to my granddaughter, but I think most other children too.
Other people’s children learn about whether and how to treat one another in school. Parents differ regarding whether or not they teach children to treat one another with kindness and respect. Some parents teach their kids to just care about themselves, and some teach them to also care about others. The same is true about schools.

I think these are important, widely-accepted values. In recent testimony, the U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos–a parent choice zealot, refused to say that the federal government would act to ensure against discrimination. That is not OK! Every school, but especially any that gets taxpayer-generated support should teach kindness and respect.

Kids don’t live in a bubble. So, no matter what other parents convey, other children my granddaughter encounters will influence her.

Other people’s children, of course, will eventually become adults who live and work together. Leaders across the business, public and non-profit realms all say that they value the same things among workers: good problem solvers, people who can collaborate and communicate well in diverse settings, and improve their talents and keep learning. No matter what and how well Ellie learns, she will be affected by others.


Anyone like working with deadbeat, ignorant or nasty co-workers or bosses? Schools can’t solve ensure against all of that, but they sure can help. Leaving educational decisions up to individual parents and private charter and voucher boards is a recipe for too much selfishness, discrimination, corruption, and disruption.

Other people’s children will eventually become citizens. Some will vote, and some will decide not to. I hope that more people will vote and do so with the entire community in mind, rather than just one issue or the narrowly perceived interests of a just-like-me group of people. We would all be better off if more Americans treated one another and others around the world with increased rather than diminished decency and respect.

Because so many communities tend to lack diversity, schools from pre-school though college can be a counterweight that broadens people’s perspective, insight, and empathy. Increasing funding for charter schools and vouchers–or worse, making parental choice the centerpiece of education policy is precisely the wrong road to take.

I won’t tell my son and daughter-in-law what to do about sending their daughter to school. I do not presume to tell other parents either. However, I urge everyone to get engaged politically at the local, state and federal levels to fight for broad equitable education for every child in democratically controlled public schools.

I urge everyone to support elected officials who will roll back and eventually eliminate funding for charter schools and to steadfastly oppose vouchers.

Contact me at dhcbaldwin@gmail.com or DeborahBaldwin.net

I’d love to hear from you!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/why-we-should-care-about-the-education-of-other-peoples_us_593ea655e4b094fa859f1a49

super hero post cards stories

What are Super Hero Postcard Stories

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Storytelling-Super-Hero-Post-Card-Stories-3238578

Are you looking an exercise to super charge your classroom?  Something fun but useful to teach with these weeks right before a holiday break? How about Super Hero Postcard Stories?

Simply put, this warm up exercise is loads of fun because YOU are the hero!  Students love creating the story around you.

Your materials list is easy:  a box of photographs of all kinds and a copy of a postcard story of your own or another student group from another time. In the lesson, I  have included a copy of one my students’ stories just to give you an idea of what to expect.

Sometimes my students dramatize their story (it’s always very short) or merely share the story with the class. When they dramatize their story, I ask them to use chanting (repeated words or phrases for an effect), a sound effect or two and some movement.  They even create a title for their story. My students LOVE this exercise!

Why super heroes?  First, they are wildly popular with all ages.  Look at the ticket sales for Wonder Woman and the Black Panther.  How wonderful to focus upon females and people of color!  Think what that can do for some student.

super hero post cards stories

Plus, some times our students think we are stuffy when in fact, we are busy curtailing over enthusiasm.  It’s not that we can’t have fun, but too much fun because bedlam in a drama classroom.

The Super Hero Postcard Stories are your answer to fun and learning!

I’d love to hear how this exercise works for you.

If you enjoy this one, please check out my store at Teacherspayteachers.com at https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Dramamommaspeaks

I’m always adding new products.  My radio theatre unit is very popular, so check it out:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/RADIO-THEATRE-IN-THE-CLASSROOM-Tune-In-and-Turn-On-3319922

It is a three week unit focused on radio theatre–how to perform it, various lessons on radio theatre itself, cooperative learning and even a homework assignment.  Oh yes, I almost forgot–I included a vintage radio theatre play which I adapted for classroom use–H.S. Welle’s The Invisible Man.

Or maybe something else will help you.

Please feel to share this post with others, too!

Contact me at dhcbaldwin@gmail.com or DeborahBaldwin.net

 

Arts Education

Arts Education: Fostering Creativity and Innovation

I’m all about any research or editorials supporting arts education fostering creativity and innovation whether it’s in the United States or elsewhere.  I ran upon this piece on Stemeducation.news:

Read on…

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Arts education is vital to help foster creativity and innovation

By Susan Davis

I have a dream that this nation will achieve its full creative and economic potential and that Arts education will rightfully be seen as central to making this happen. It worries me that current thinking and policymaking around national innovation concentrates on increasing participation in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects while the teaching of the Arts (dance, drama, music, media arts and visual arts,) is rarely even on the innovation agenda.

It is not that I begrudge the attention STEM is getting, it is just that I believe if we want to be a truly innovative and creative nation we need to put the Arts, very firmly, back in the mix. We should be talking about STEAM in schools and universities with the Arts very much in the centre of it all.

There exists a popular narrative, used to drive the STEM education agenda in Australia (and elsewhere), that says there are significantly declining enrolments in the Sciences and other STEM disciplines. However I question this narrative as justification for major initiatives. I will come back to that later.

First up what are we talking about, when we talk about innovation and creativity?

Innovation and creativity

Creativity and innovation involves putting things together in new ways, it involves risk-taking, experimenting and refining, valuing the role of productive failure, it involves making and doing, and is often collaborative and co-creative. While creativity is about the capacity to putting things together in new, novel and different ways, innovation is often seen as putting them to work and out into the world so that they meet a need, want or interest.

However these capacities don’t get switched on when people hit the world of work, they need to be cultivated across the education lifespan in all subjects in as many ways as possible.

Unfortunately the nurturing of creativity and innovation often seems to be at odds with the direction of many current initiatives in education. I have concerns about mandated curriculum and standards and everyone doing the same thing, the same tests, meeting the same benchmarks. I am particularly concerned about certain subjects or areas of learning being valued as more essential or more important than others.

Why the Arts subjects are important when it comes to innovation and creativity

The focus on STEM, without similar focus being turned to the Arts and Humanities does not appear to be justified by recent research about the impact of technologies on our lives. It is hard to deny that all aspects of life and the world of work are undergoing rapid transformations, many brought about by developments in technologies across nearly all fields of endeavour. Recent research from Oxford University notes however, that while robots will assume the role of many people in many sectors, growth continues in those that rely on creative capacity and social interactions, people, services and experiences. They are not optional areas of focus for education, but essential for opening up future study and work opportunities.

The importance of valuing other areas of learning and related industry sectors is also evident when examining economic development within various industry sectors. Industry growth and projection reports identify that education itself is one of Australia’s major export industries. Other projected growth areas identified by the Reserve Bank include household and business services, food, arts and recreation.

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A Deloitte report also identifies industry sectors such as agribusiness, tourism, international education and wealth management as ones that are growth sectors for the Australian economy.

To do well in these sectors may require knowledge and skills in some or all of the STEM areas, but also relies on understanding people, design, experience and communications: the Arts subjects.

Is there really a crisis in the uptake of STEM subjects?

A review of senior secondary enrolments in several states over the past 20 years reveals that in most cases all students have to/or tend to study an English and a Math subject. When it comes to the sciences, Biology is the top or near top elective subject and while there is some drop in the percentage of Physics and Chemistry enrolments it is not perhaps as extreme as we have been lead to believe, and in fact in recent times in Queensland, for example, there has been an increase in the numbers for Chemistry enrolments.

Enrolments in sciences have not been dropping more substantially than other subjects over the last 20 years using Queensland data as an example. While percentages of total year 12 enrolments might be 5-10% lower, this has to be considered in the context of increased subject choices including vocational training courses. It is clear that the pattern of enrolment of the Arts and Humanities also shows similar decreases in percentages too. When it comes to the most dramatic drop in enrolments over the past 20 years it is actually Accounting (20% to 7%) and Economics (19% to 5%) that have seen the most dramatic declines.

Similar trends can be identified in New South Wales and Victorian data, though the strength of Chemistry seen in Queensland is not necessarily reflected in other state data.

While there is no doubt that there are still issues with enrolments in STEM by different target groups, including girls and students from low SES backgrounds, regional areas and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, these are not new issues. However a focus on increased enrolments in STEM per se is not likely to change that. Other strategies that focus more on pedagogy, combining STEM and arts based approaches are more likely to have impact (and have been the basis for strategies in places such as Korea).

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So what should we be doing?

It is important that capacity building in creativity and innovation be supported across the years of formal education (including early childhood, primary and secondary education) and tertiary study, including teacher education. This requires a shift beyond STEM and the ongoing focus on ‘basic skills’ in major educational drives, and to look at the cultivation of ideas and passions, calculated risk taking, how to work through failure, problem-finding and problem-solving and resolution of ideas into products and forms.

This requires an approach that recognizes that creativity and innovation can be cultivated across diverse learning and industry fields. If the current obsession with STEM is to continue, as I said previously, it should be converted to STEAM, with the Arts at its centre, at the very least, or perhaps ESTEAM to recognize the importance of Entrepreneurship as well.

Other key points

Here is my list of other key points and issues we need to tackle.

  • We need to see the arts, education and teacher education as being integral to a national innovation agenda

  • We should be specifically teaching teachers and children about innovation and creativity and to value the different knowledges and skills that can contribute to innovation

  • Include scope for more specialisations in primary education degrees, including in the arts and humanities

  • Recognise that there needs to be space for people to develop different interests, depth of knowledge and experience. Some of this can be supported through formal learning programs, but can also be supported through after school programs, partnerships and informal learning

  • Reduce the focus in educational agendas on NAPLAN and standardized test instruments and reports. We can’t mandate that everyone learns the same things in the same ways for 10 years of schooling and then expect them to do things ‘differently’. We need room for people to develop interests and expertise in diverse areas, so room for electives, special projects and enterprises.

If our governments recognize the importance of creativity and innovation for our future national prosperity (as the current parliamentary inquiry would indicate), attention must be paid to learning that promotes problem-solving and inventiveness, social innovation and entrepreneurship, and multiple forms of communication and expression. To do this effectively Australia needs to give just as much attention to the Arts as it is currently to the teaching of and participation in STEM. These areas are all fundamental to cultivating innovation for the future of our economy and our world.

Perhaps you’d like to read my own views on drama education.  Go to:  https://dramamommaspeaks.com/2017/08/14/top-seven-reasons-drama-education-is-important-to-your-childs-life/

Contact me at dhcbaldwin@gmail.com or DeborahBaldwin.net

I’d love to hear from you.

credit to Shakespeare

Did You Know All The Credit Goes to William Shakespeare? 

View this: https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=plcp&v=W-u_3Kg65JM

Let’s give credit to William Shakespeare, shall we?

This is what I am all about–good material which reaches everyone at some level. When I see people of different cultures, ages and socio-economic background  all attending a production, my heart swells with pride.

What is fascinating about theatre, and not everyone understands this, is the simpler the performance the more complicated it is. In that, we strive to make the pretend seem real. It is in the here and now when it is performed–it is fleeting and now gone.

The audience member thinks, “Was what I saw my imagination making it real to me? Or did it actually happen?” The emotions shared with us by the actors are raw and less guarded even when they are subtle.

Recently, I had the opportunity to see Next to Normal produced by the University of Kansas theatre department. I am familiar with the show as I attended another performance at Denver at the Performing Arts Center with the original lead actress. If you haven’t seen the show, you must.

 Next to Normal

Next to Normal tells a story about a family whose son dies and their coming to grips with the loss of him.  The mother is bi-polar and her emotional stability is in constant flux because of it.  Both parents see the spirit of the son and talk to him, but they never see at the same time. What makes this musical so intriguing is the juxtaposition of the mother’s emotional withdrawl and ultimate breakdown coupled with the family’s grief at the loss of their son. It’s a riveting piece and I can relate to it, although I can’t quite explain why.

This makes some people uncomfortable which is part of the experience. We must allow ourselves to suspend our disbelief in order to understand the play’s message. Simulataneously we feel what they feel and for some people this is scary, but it is the thrust of theatre.

So to William Shakespeare it is easy to give him all the credit and I say thanks!

Playwright Tony Kushner explains it best.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=C87fblpBGmA

Sure Fire Formula that Works with Classroom Assignments

speech making.jpg

If you are a teacher like me, sometimes you need a little help but don’t know where to find it. I’m just like anyone else–occasionally, I need a sure fire formula that works with classroom assignments–a time tested answer to my teaching needs.

Open the door to Rubistar.4teachers.org

Maybe this will help you…

Click here for a FREE copy. Informative Speech Rubric

speech making

This rubric includes elements such as voice, posture, eye contact, introduction, body, conclusion, bibliography, outline, notecards, self evaluation of peers, etc.

So back to Rubistars4.teachers.org…..

Rubistar4teachers.org is a website for anyone teaching who needs

a particular rubric, or grade sheet.

There are terrific templates for just about any assignment you are grading. You can find rubrics for subjects under the heading of oral projects, making products, multi media, science, work skills, math, art and music just to name a few.

And you can custom  create one to your particular needs.

Another terrific feature:  Teachers have made their rubrics

available to you for your use, too! 

I put one together last week using the oral presentation template for a persuasive speech for a college level Fundamentals in Speech class I am teaching this semester.

I have many rubrics through rubistar4teachers.org.  If you search my name, you should find them.  If not, contact me and I’ll help you.

In my new teaching positions, I can create rubrics right in the coursework assignments which is awesome.

Boy, has Infinite Campus changed over the years.  This software has been around for at least twenty years, I’d say.  We can do all kinds of things through it such as rosters, coursework, blog, test, attach assignments, surveys, videos and a bunch of other incredible helpers.

I still remember when we used paper gradebooks!  In my third years of teaching, my school called me one summer because I gave a student a B instead of an A as I had informed my student she would receive.

Can you imagine?  I had to go BACK to school and change the grade in the paper gradebook (which we turned in to the office, BTW…) and inform the student.

Now, we can change grades right on line with the click of the mouse!

Check back here often because I have a few other FREE rubrics for your use.  

I always appreciate when other teachers help me.  So, I’m paying it forward here.  Hope it helps!

speech making

Contact me at dhcbaldwin@gmail.com or DeborahBaldwin.net

growth mindset

Strategic Ways to Accelerate Learning: Growth Mindset through the Arts

https://www.edutopia.org/practice/embracing-failure-building-growth-mindset-through-arts

I just love the arts, don’t you?  Did you know they teach growth mind set?   In case you don’t know what growth mindset is:

People believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work-brains and talent are just the starting point.

Amen and amen.

Here’s an article from Edutopia.com about ways to accelerate learning and growth mindset through the arts.  It’s worth a read.

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At New Mexico School for the Arts (NMSA) — a dual arts and academic curriculum — failure is taught as an important part of the journey toward success. Understanding that mistakes are indicators for areas of growth, freshmen learn to give and receive feedback. By senior year, students welcome tough, critical feedback — and even insist on it.

When Natesa, a senior at NMSA, arrived as a freshman, she had a hard time pushing herself in the areas that were difficult for her to master: choreography and getting into character.

“Now, I feel like I can channel my inner self and my inner fierceness when I need it, and even my inner beauty,” reflects Natesa. “I became more willing to take risks, and I think that taking risks is a big part of who you want to become, and who you’re choosing to be.”

Students audition to get into an NMSA program specific to their craft — dance, theater, music, or visual arts. Each day, they have their academic classes from 9AM to 2PM, and after lunch, they have their art classes until 4:45PM.

“Students have to take risks,” says Cristina Gonzalez, the former chair of NMSA’s visual arts department. “That’s something that is so unique to learning in the arts. Great art comes from risk taking, from being willing to fail. Maybe it will work. Maybe I’ll discover something about myself, something about my capacity that I wasn’t even aware of, and that’s so exciting for a student.”

If you want to help your students develop a growth mindset — the belief that they can improve their abilities through effort — helping them become more comfortable with risk-taking and modeling critical feedback through critique journals are two of NMSA’s strategies that you can adapt to your own practice.

teaching apple

Teach Your Students That It’s OK to Make Mistakes

Making mistakes, not knowing the answer — this is part of the artistic process. “You’re going to make bad paintings,” says Gonzalez. “You’re going to make bad photographs. You’re going to fumble your way through it, and in fact, that’s how you learn. You need to make those mistakes.”

The idea that you learn from your mistakes is embedded into their entire arts curriculum. Teacher, expert, and peer critiques are innate to the arts process. Immediate feedback is part of the norm. You might pause your piano student in mid-rehearsal to say, “When you get here, make sure you get a really clean pedal on the B flat, but that was great. That’s the kind of energy you want.”

In dance class, you might tell your students how they need to rotate their legs differently when taking their demi-plié in first position.

When ninth-grade theater students rehearse their Working in Silence scenes, they perform in front of their peers and faculty, receive feedback from their teachers, and then re-perform the scene to immediately incorporate their feedback.

“Getting to do the scenes a couple different times really helps because then we get to take the feedback and we get to apply it, and that is the whole learning process,” says Kara, a ninth-grade theater student. “If you fail, then you can do it again, and you could make big leaps and bounds and learn from that.”

You can connect risk taking — and helping your students build comfort around it — to their interests outside of school. Gonzalez has students in her class who enjoy skateboarding. She draws connections to risk taking by referencing their experience with trying a new trick. “

A skateboarder knows what it feels like to try a new trick, how scary it is that they actually might fall,” she says. “They could get hurt, and all their buddies are watching. We ask them to do that every day in the art studio.”

With any art form, students can fall into a pattern of doing what they’re comfortable with or what they’re good at doing without risking something new because they don’t want to make a mistake. “It’s our job as teachers to go, ‘Do that new new trick. Go to the precipice,'” explains Gonzalez.

By encouraging your students, you’re helping them to explore their craft and expand their ability — whether they execute a new technique right out of the gate or over time with feedback and practice. Either way, they see that taking risks pays off.

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“Failure isn’t the end of the road,” explains Cindy Montoya, NMSA’s principal. “You learn from failure. It gives you more information on how to do something better. It’s fodder for success. It’s a cycle of either learning about yourself, the content, or your art form.”

Teach Your Students to Appreciate Feedback

Once your students go through the process of applying constructive feedback to improve their work — and once they create something beautiful as a result — they’ll see its value. They’ll learn to appreciate and even want feedback. “Being able to accept critique and not feel hurt by it is an important skill for us to learn,” says Serena, a 10th-grade student. “We’re taking those critiques and learning how to put them to use.”

Creating something, receiving feedback, and revising their work is a natural part of the artistic process that your students can apply toward their academic classes. “The strengths and skills that these artists come to us with are hard work and a willingness to keep trying,” says Geron Spray, an English and history teacher. “They have perseverance, they take constructive criticism well, and they build on it.”

It’s not uncommon to hear students say, “I’m not good at math,” or “I’m bad at writing essays.” An arts education helps students to see that they can improve at their craft with effort. They can become better at math.

They can become better at writing essays. “They start to see that connection between struggling through the practice, getting feedback, going in for help, and the outcome,” says Eric Crites, NMSA’s assistant principal.

“It’s just so great to watch a student go through that process of struggle, have a teacher believe in them, and then at the end, they have a result that they can be proud of,” adds Gonzalez.

Give your students journals to write down the feedback they receive from you. It’s a way for them to store immediate feedback from each day to review and apply later, and it also allows you to model giving constructive criticism. When providing feedback to your students, share both their successes and areas for improvement, and be specific.

“Feedback is fundamental to growing oneself as an artist,” says Adam McKinney, the chair of NMSA’s dance department. “I try to model what it means to provide critical feedback to my dancers.” One way that the dance department models critical feedback is through dance journals.

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Throughout class, students write their teacher’s feedback in their dance journal. For example, says McKinney, a student might write, “‘When I’m taking my demi-plié in first position, rotate from the top of my legs so that my knees are going over my first and second toes.’

For me, that next level of cognition — to understand the feedback, realize the importance of the feedback, and then to incorporate that into their bodies — is essential as young artists.”

By giving constructive criticism to their peers, your students will learn to better appreciate receiving feedback and they’ll improve their skills to self-assess their own work. “Having young artists provide critical feedback to each other provides a deeper understanding and another layer of what it means to get better as an artist,” says McKinney. “That critical feedback is essential to improving one’s art.”

NMSA develops students’ abilities to assess their own and others’ work through showing them examples of mastery, equipping them with technical vocabulary, and providing them with opportunities to practice peer critique through fishbowl discussions, Visual Thinking Strategies, and Post-it note critiques (See Mastering Self-Assessment: Independent Learning Through the Arts).

“Our students have learned that they can receive feedback — even negative feedback,” says Crites, “make a correction, and then come up with something amazing.”

teaching apple
“We develop this idea of self-reflection very early in the department,” adds McKinney. “Why are you a dancer? Why is that important to the world? I know that the power of art saves lives. I have several young people in the department — and who have graduated — who communicate that art has saved their lives, and it certainly saved my own.”

Growth mind set–gotta have it!

The arts saved my life, theatre specifically.  For a post describing how it did so, go to:

https://dramamommaspeaks.com/2017/01/17/how-theatre-saved-m%ef%bb%bfy-life/comment-page-1/

How Fulfilling is Life Without Theatre?

How fulfilling is life without theatre? Not much.   To me, theatre is the Pièce de Résistance!

My favorite of all the arts. I would be lost without it. Life is better with a dash of theatre now and then.

For instance, last night my husband and I attended a community theatre performance of The Crucible.  I don’t know when I last saw this play.  The Barn theatre in Kansas City produced it.  It’s difficult material and can be exploited by those performing in it if the director isn’t careful.  Twice I watched a cast butcher the court room scenes, but this one was tremendously impactful.

This morning, I shared with my husband my brain felt different today.  As if I swallowed some unusual vitamin and I did, of sorts.  A vitamin filled with excellent dialogue,  a well crafted plot and  brilliant metaphor.

The play’s message stayed with me and I have pondered it from time to time today.  That’s good theatre.

My acting teacher at Stephens College, Jean Muir, was blacklisted and never worked again in Hollywood.  Her crime?  She attended a Russian ballet and wrote a letter of congratulations to the company complimenting them for their excellent performance.  I believe her ex-husband reported her. Think about it–she complimented the ballet company. That.is.all.

Jean-Muir-studio-portrait[1]

I met Jean in 1974, nearly thirty years later. She never completely recovered from the false accusation.

 Lucille Ball & Red Scare

Here is Lucille Ball.  Even she was accused, but her career wasn’t ruined.

Arthur Miller’s The Crucible is a metaphor about the age of McCarthyism and the Red Scare but it is as timely now as ever.

And timely, don’t you think?  This week I viewed a short video of an innocent young black man who was accused of doing something he didn’t do.  Hmmm.

The Barn made a good choice in producing The Crucible.

When I attend a live production, I can immerse myself in the story as it plays out before me.  I feel some of the emotional intensity at a movie theatre, but it isn’t the same as watching an actor only ten feet from me as he sweats and cries, begging his wife to forgive him.  Powerful stuff.

I know people who dislike theatre, but love movies. They say theatre is boring.  Really? You can’t compare them to each other, but I understand the reasons for their opinions.

It’s easier to access movies than attend a play. It’s all about convenience.  Movies are available to us continuously. The wonders of the internet have given to us 24/7 access to nearly any movie you’d like to view.

The most important difference between the two is theatre is LIVE. You can’t just sit back in your recliner, take off your shoes and fold your laundry while you watch.

When you decide to see a theatrical production, you make a personal commitment to it. Generally, you’ll need to transport yourself to the show.  You must arrive on time, take the seat you reserved (with a good or bad view of the stage), pick up the play program and deal with audience members around you.

If it’s a comedy, it’s most appreciated by the cast if you laugh or at least chuckle.  Musicals require you to applaud at the end of scenes if they are outstanding.  Have you ever applauded when a famous actress enters the stage the first time?   You have a job to do as an audience member.

 As we view the production, we must concentrate, focus.  We can’t rewind a scene or fast forward through the show to intermission just so we can get a snack. We must suspend our disbelief when viewing a play far more than we must while seeing a movie.

The magic of a live performance makes it all the more poignant.  There is something very special when one observes the dramatization of a particular thought right before our eyes. It is a unique experience.

The actors tell the story as if it is the first time it has been told.  We share the moment with them and others seated around us.  This is human interaction at its best.

Theatre discusses the human condition.  It educates, inspires, broadens our world view, explores self expression, and encourages self empowerment. Besides, it’s a fun way to learn!

As an actor, I’ve experienced what is like to be someone else.  I’ve stepped into their shoes, so to speak.  A well crafted character has flaws and strengths.  I may not have the same strengths and weaknesses. Whenever I perform, it’s a heady experience and one I never forget.  You never view people in real life with the same attitude you had prior to the production. It changes you.

We could lose more than we bargain for if we lost theatre.

 Have you considered theatre uses all the arts–visual art, dance of movement and music? It’s a one stop shop.

Art–Through designs of set, costume, and lights we utilize color, texture and silhouette to suggest themes and mood.

Ponder this photo from “Sunday in the Park with George”, a musical by Stephen Sondheim. In an earlier post, I shared  Seurat’s painting,  “La Grande Jatte”.  Notice the levels, colors, textures, silhouettes? Good stuff.

How about dance?  Or movement?

Image result for Newsies Broadway Musical

If you haven’t attended Newsies  you must.  The dancing is fabulous.  I call it “boy dancing”, because it is.  The choreography is outstanding, clever and joyful.  Musicals use dance to convey a particular message–“Look at us!  We’re Newsies and no one is going to bring us down.”

Physical movement in a play is far more effective than words.  Humans are visual thinkers.  For example, we need the actor to show the character’s depression, so he uses a hushed voice, slouches his shoulders, walks with a slow gait and heavy steps.  Blocking, the physical movement around the stage, encourages the audience to view the production like a living photograph.

As I mentioned above, one doesn’t need to know much more about a play’s story than to merely observe the action.  The above photo is from a production of The Crucible by Arthur Miller.  The Crucible tells the story of the Salem Witch Trials, however it is a metaphor for the Red Scare of the 1950’s.  Isn’t it effective?

How about this one?

I chose this photo at random, because it proves the point.  If you look closely, you’ll see the dancer is behind a scrim.  Yet the actor’s image is reflected in a mirror, but where is the mirror? Look at the positions of  bodies. He is leaning toward her, she is leaning toward him. His right foot touches the floor, as if he’s anchored on earth. She stands on her toes, as if she’s pulled to heaven. It’s so effective. (If you are dying to know the production, it is The Picture of Dorian Grey.)

Music:  When I direct a play, it is my habit to begin my pre-planning by selecting music to be played during the production.  The music inspires me.  It nurtures my creative process while I block the production.

Music does an excellent job of creating mood for an audience.  I will choose period music for a play if it depicts a particular time period in history.

While I directing The Giver, a  play set in a dystopian world, I was stumped on my music choices.  Then I remembered Philip Glass. Several moments in the play call require the falling of snow.  I considered various ideas and finally decided on Glass’ “Music Box”. A  gobo light rotator was hung. It displayed a snow flake-like pattern.  We selected the first 45 seconds of the piece.

Every time the music played, the audience was encouraged to imagine the falling of snow.

Theatre pulls the arts together.  In the world we live in at present, whenever we can come together and consider a social issue, we stand to win.  It’s very easy to become isolated now. Without theatre, we’d lose more than we’d gain.

How have you been fulfilled by attending a play or musical?  I’d love to hear from you.

Contact me at dhcbaldwin@gmail.com or check our my website at DeborahBaldwin.net

favorite Broadway musicals

The Reasons These Shows are My Favorite Broadway Musicals

 

I adore musicals.  I admit it happily and freely with wild abandon. How do you choose which is your  favorite Broadway musical?

Last weekend we attended the University of Kansas production of Next to Normal (which was well done, I might add) and this Saturday we are seeing American in Paris at the Starlight Theatre.

For seven years,  my husband and I took tour groups of  students and families to New York.  We thought it would be a fitting way for our daughters to be introduced to the city if, in fact, they wanted to pursue a performing career.

Consequently, we saw many musicals while in NYC–twenty-one to be exact.

Broadway and West 34th St.

Favorite Musicals

On occasion, people ask me what are some of my favorite musicals which I’ve especially enjoyed attending.  Here they are in no particular order:

The Phantom of the Opera ( I’ve seen Phantom at least four times. However, a gal I performed with in Columbia, MO had been part of the cast at one time and  was able to take us backstage afterward.)

The Lion King (Took a tour and saw the costumes, masks and set up close and personal. Seen it twice–visually stunning.)

Wicked (We saw Wicked before it was popular and prior to the Tonys.  Got to see Kristen and Edina, too. I heard today Wicked has surpassed Phantom of the Opera as the second longest running musical on Broadway.) Read here:

http://www.playbill.com/article/wicked-surpasses-the-phantom-of-the-opera-as-second-highest-grossing-show-in-broadway-history

Les Mis ( I have seen Les Mis several times, but one performance included my student Becca Ayers in the cast.)

The Drowsy Chaperone (I laughed and laughed. This is one I’d like to direct.  It’s my kind of humor.)

Newsies (What can I say?  It was as much fun to see our kids (with tears in their eyes and  broad smiles)  meeting the cast afterwards as it was to see the show.)

Oklahoma!, Revival (A fella, Justin Bohon, who I directed once in Music Man in Columbia, MO portrayed Will Parker. We were all so proud to be able to say we knew someone in the production.)

If you are interested in advice about youth theatre productions to direct, check out this post:https://wordpress.com/post/dramamommaspeaks.com/550  

Schubert Alley

South Pacific, Revival  (Again, Becca Ayera was in the show. Got to see Kelly O’Hara, too.)

Mary Poppins (Oh my gosh, Mary flew right over us at the end of the show.  I wept.)

Rocky (Who’d think a musical about a boxer could be memorable? When the boxing ring was placed in the audience and Rocky boxed right in front of us, I was awe struck–so clever.)

Chicago (Our first tour was in March, less than a year after 9-11.  I will never forget how anxious we felt touring NYC, but Chicago distracted us from our worries and assuaged our fears of being in the city.  How?  Long legged female dancers and fabulous music!)

Why do I label them Broadway musicals?  Because it’s difficult to get your show to Broadway, like nearly impossible.  If your show is a. good enough b. backed by solid producers and c. timely or universal I think you have more an a chance to get there.  Just my opinion…..

What are your favorite Broadway musicals?

Contact me at dhcbaldwin@gmail.com or DeborahBaldwin.net

 

 

 

stage manager

Your Backstage Life Saver: The Stage Manager

stage manager

From the Kansas Public Radio Website:

Stage Managers: You Can’t See Them, But Couldn’t See A Show Without Them

On Sunday night the spotlight will be on Broadway stars at the 71st annual Tony Awards. The evening also includes honors for some people behind the scenes — writers, directors and designers, for example — but there are many more, working backstage, who aren’t eligible for Broadway’s highest honor.

If you peek into the wings at a Broadway show, you’re likely to find a stage manager, sitting at a desk with video monitors and lots of buttons and switches. He or she will be wearing a headset — sometimes called “the God mic” — to communicate with the cast and crew.

“I like to think of a stage manager as the chief operations officer of the corporation that is the show,” says Ira Mont, stage manager of Cats.

Donald Fried, stage manager of the Tony-nominated play, Sweat, says stage managers are kind of “the Captain of the Enterprise.”

“I would call us the hub of the wheel,” says Karyn Meek, production stage manager for the Tony-nominated musical Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812. “We are … in charge of communication across all departments. … During the show, we are in charge of making sure the lights happen, the set moves, sound happens, all the things … we are the person who’s controlling all of that.”

Donald Fried was formerly a dancer, and is now stage managing the Tony-nominated play, Sweat. Jeff Lunden for NPR hide caption

toggle caption

Jeff Lunden for NPR

Donald Fried was formerly a dancer, and is now stage managing the Tony-nominated play, Sweat.

Jeff Lunden for NPR

Long before a show starts its run, the stage manager is an integral part of the rehearsal process, explains Fried. “Everything begins and ends with the script,” he says. “I’ve got to read the script, read it several times. Once, just to read it as a person, not as a stage manager or an artist or anything. Just to have an initial emotional feeling for it. Then, I go back and read [the writer’s] stage directions, so that I know what would happen light-wise, how she envisions the props, how she envisions the set moving, people entering and exiting, whether or not they’re changing costumes.”

Once a show is up and running, Meek says stage managers and their teams put in long hours. Her day begins at 9:30 a.m. with cast members telling her whether they’d be in or out of that day’s shows, due to injuries or illness. Depending on the day, she’ll arrive at the theater around 12:30 for a matinee or rehearsal. There’s a dinner break around 5:00 or 5:30, and then everyone’s back at the theater for the evening show.

Shows that feature complicated choreography or simulated fight scenes require daily rehearsals. Sweat manager Donald Fried says they do a fight rehearsal before every show. “We want to make sure everyone is safe and limber, and that the props are working,” he explains.

In the half hour before each performance, the stage manager walks through a beehive of activity, making sure everyone’s ready for curtain.

Meek climbs a ladder to her perch, high above stage left at Great Comet. Actors perform throughout the theater and Meek can keep an eye on them all. Once the show starts, she follows a musical score, with sticky notes showing all of the lighting and tech cues.

Karyn Meek, production stage manager for the Tony-nominated musical Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, describes stage managers as “the hub of the wheel.” Jeff Lunden for NPR hide caption

toggle caption

Jeff Lunden for NPR

Karyn Meek, production stage manager for the Tony-nominated musical Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, describes stage managers as “the hub of the wheel.”

Jeff Lunden for NPR

Through one of her video monitors, she can see Josh Groban, who plays Pierre, standing at the back of the stage. By the time the opening number really gets going, Meek is calling cues to the lighting technician every other beat. She literally calls hundreds of sound and tech cues for each performance.

All the stage managers I spoke with started out doing other things — Meek was a costume designer, Fried was a dancer. As a former actor, Cats manager Ira Mont was used to getting applause — but not anymore.

“I don’t expect or look for praise or acknowledgement,” he says. “I am here to support the shows I work on and the actors who do them and that’s what gives me the joy. And I’m very fortunate to have had a 30-year career in a profession that is not easy to get into and is not easy to stay in. I’m a lucky guy.”

He’s got lucky co-workers, too. Even as Mont juggles countless cues that go into a Broadway performance of Cats, over the headset he reminds the cast and crew of one more detail: to gather for a cast member’s birthday toast at the end of the show.

The backstage lifesaver is the stage manager.  Make no mistake about that!

Contact me at dhcbaldwin@gmail.com or DeborahBaldwin.net

Movies Adapted From Broadway Musicals– All right!

See the source image

Movies adapted into musicals–I’m teaching a theatre appreciation class this semester.  Guess what?  We’ve made it to musicals.  Oh my gosh, these students haven’t seen many classic musicals! I knew they’d enjoy Legally Blonde on stage and showed it in class.  They’d loved it. (I thought they would.)

During my preparation for the class, I ran on to this great list from Playbill.com of some musicals being adapted as movies.  After the success of The Greatest Showman, I’d say it was about time, wouldn’t you?

HELLO AGAIN

• Production Company: SPEAKproductions

• Screenplay: Cory Krueckeberg

• Director: Tom Gustafson

• Cast: Audra McDonald, Cheyenne Jackson, T.R. Knight, Martha Plimpton, Rumer Willis, Jenna Ushkowitz

• An adaptation of Michael John LaChiusa’s musical based on Arthur Schnitzler’s La Ronde.

• Latest Update: Audra McDonald Goes ‘Beyond the Moon’ in this Intergalactic Hello Again Music Video (6/8/2017)

PRE-PRODUCTION

ALADDIN

• Production Company: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Lin Pictures

• Screenplay: John August

• Director: Guy Ritchie

• Cast: TBA

• An adaptation of the Disney musical with songs by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman, and Tim Rice.

• Latest Update: Live-Action Aladdin Will Begin Filming This Summer (6/13/2017)

See the source image

 

UPCOMING

HELLO AGAIN

• Director: Tom Gustafson

• Cast: Audra McDonald, Cheyenne Jackson, T.R. Knight, Martha Plimpton, Rumer Willis, Jenna Ushkowitz

• An adaptation of Michael John LaChiusa’s musical based on Arthur Schnitzler’s La Ronde.

PRE-PRODUCTION

THE LION KING
• Release Date: July 19, 2019
• Production Company: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
• Screenplay: Jeff Nathanson
• Director: Jon Favreau
• Cast: Donald Glover, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, Chiwetel Ejiofor, James Earl Jones
• A live-action adaptation of the Disney musical with songs by Elton John and Tim Rice.
• Latest Update: Elton John at Work on New Lion King Song for Beyoncé (2/15/2018)

IN DEVELOPMENT

13
• Production Company: CBS Films
• Screenplay: Bert V. Royal
• Director: TBA
• Cast: TBA
• An adaptation of Jason Robert Brown, Dan Elish, and Robert Horn’s musical about a teenager who moves from New York City to small-town Indiana.
• Latest Update: Teenage Dream! CBS Films Will Bring Jason Robert Brown’s 13 to the Big Screen (8/12/2014)

AMERICAN IDIOT
• Production Company: HBO
• Screenplay: Rolin Jones
• Director: Michael Mayer
• Cast: Billie Joe Armstrong
• An adaptation of Billie Joe Armstrong and Michael Mayer’s Tony nominated musical based on Green Day’s 2004 concept album of the same name.
• Latest Update: HBO Greelights Green Day’s American Idiot Film (10/6/2016)

BARE: A POP OPERA
• Producers: Hillary Butorac Weaver, Janet Billig Rich
• Screenplay: Kristin Hanggi
• Director: Kristin Hanggi
• Cast: TBA
• An adaptation of Jon Hartmere, Jr. and Damon Intrabartolo’s musical about the struggles of two gay high school students at a Catholic boarding school.
• Latest Update: Bare: A Pop Opera Film Adaptation in the Works (1/2/2018)

BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL
• Production Company: Sony Pictures, Playtone
• Screenplay: Douglas McGrath
• Director: TBA
• Cast: TBA
Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman, and Paul Blake will produce a film adaptation of the musical about the early life and career of singer/songwriter Carole King.
• Latest Update: Beautiful, About Life of Carole King, Is Heading to the Silver Screen (3/22/2015)

See the source image

CATS
• Production Company: Universal Pictures, Working Title
• Screenplay: TBA
• Director: Tom Hooper
• Cast: TBA
• An adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical based on T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats.
• Latest Update: Andrew Lloyd Webber Pens New Song for Possible Cats Film (1/5/2018)

COME FROM AWAY
• Production Company: The Mark Gordon Company
• Screenplay: Irene Sankoff and David Hein
• Director: Christopher Ashley
• Cast: TBA
• An adaptation of Irene Sankoff and David Hein’s musical about the nearly 7,000 airplane passengers stranded in Gander, Newfoundland in the days following 9/11.
• Latest Update: Director Christopher Ashley Reveals Plans for the Come From Away Movie (12/27/2017)

FINDING NEVERLAND
• Production Company: The Weinstein Company
• Screenplay: TBA
• Director: TBA
• Cast: TBA
• Producer Harvey Weinstein has announced that a film adaptation of James Graham, Gary Barlow, and Eliot Kennedy’s musical is in the works.
• Latest Update: Broadway’s Finding Neverland to Close — Film Adaptation Planned (5/5/2016)

GUYS AND DOLLS
• Production Company: 20th Century Fox
• Screenplay: Danny Strong
• Director: Michael Grandage
• Cast: TBA
• A new film adaptation of Frank Loesser, Abe Burrows, and Jo Swerling’s Tony Award-winning musical.
• Latest Update: Michael Grandage to Direct Guys and Dolls Film Remake (5/31/2016)

GYPSY
• Production Company: TBA
• Screenplay: Richard LaGravenese
• Director: Barry Levinson
• Cast: Barbra Streisand
• A new film adaptation of Jule Styne, Stephen Sondheim, and Arthur Laurents‘ classic musical starring Barbra Streisand as Rose.
• Latest Update: Barbra Streisand Gypsy Film Script Loses Backer/Distributor (8/3/2016)

IN THE HEIGHTS
• Production Company: TBA
• Screenplay: Quiara Alegría Hudes
• Director: Jon M. Chu
• Cast: TBA
• An adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegria Hudes’ Tony Award-winning musical about the residents of the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan.
• Latest Update: In the Heights’ Quiara Alegría Hudes and Lin-Manuel Miranda Call for Weinstein Co. to Release Movie Rights (10/12/2017)

See the source image

JEKYLL & HYDE
• Production Company: TBA
• Screenplay: TBA
• Director: TBA
• Cast: TBA
• Production company RP Media has reportedly purchased the film rights to Frank Wildhorn and Leslie Bricusse’s popular musical.
• Latest Update: Film Rights Purchased for Jekyll and Hyde Musical (1/21/2013)

JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT
• Production Company: STX, The Really Useful Group, Rocket Pictures
• Screenplay: TBA
• Director: TBA
• Cast: TBA
• An animated feature based on Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s musical.
• Latest Update: Andrew Lloyd Webber and Elton John Are Working on a Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat Movie (3/28/2017)

LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS
• Production Company: Marc Platt Productions, Warner Bros.
• Screenplay: Matthew Robinson
• Director: Greg Berlanti
• Cast: TBA
• A new film adaptation of Howard Ashman and Alan Menken’s musical about a man-eating plant.
• Latest Update: New Version of Little Shop of Horrors Film in the Works (12/7/2016)

LYSISTRATA JONES
• Production Company: Branded Pictures Entertainment, Peck Entertainment
• Screenplay: Douglas Carter Beane and Lewis Flinn
• Director: Andy Fickman
• Cast: TBA
• Andy Fickman is developing a film adaptation of Douglas Carter Beane and Lewis Flinn’s musical about a group of high school cheerleaders who refuse to “give it up” until their basketball-player boyfriends score on the court.
• Latest Update: Lysistrata Jones Will “Give It Up” on the Big Screen; Andy Fickman Will Direct Film Adaptation (6/14/2013)

MATILDA
• Production Company: TBA
• Screenplay: Dennis Kelly
• Director: Matthew Warchus
• Cast: TBA
• An adaptation of Tim Minchin and Dennis Kelly’s musical based on the Roald Dahl novel.
• Latest Update: Matilda Movie Adaptation Likely to Begin Shooting in Late 2016 (8/19/2015)

See the source image

MEMPHIS
• Production Company: Alcon Entertainment,

The Mark Gordon Company, Warner Bros.
• Screenplay: Joe DiPietro
• Director: TBA
• Cast: TBA
• An adaptation of Joe DiPietro and David Bryan’s Tony Award-winning musical about a white radio DJ and his love for a black singer at the dawn of the Civil Rights movement.
• Latest Update: Film Adaptation of Tony-Winning Musical Memphis In the Works (10/15/2012)

MISS SAIGON
• Production Company: Cameron Mackintosh, Working Title Films
• Screenplay: TBA
• Director: Danny Boyle
• Cast: TBA
• Producer Cameron Mackintosh has said he would like to make a a film version of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg’s 1989 musical as a follow-up to Les Misérables.
• Latest Update: Has Miss Saigon Film Found Its Director? (3/11/16)

OLIVER!
• Production Company: Walt Disney Studios, Cube Vision, Marc Platt Productions
• Screenplay: Danny Strong
• Director: Thomas Kail
• Cast: Ice Cube
• A new film adaptation of Lionel Bart’s Tony Award-winning musical.
• Latest Update: Danny Strong to Pen Script for Disney’s Oliver! Remake, Directed by Hamilton’s Thomas Kail (1/18/2018)

PIPPIN
• Production Company: The Weinstein Company, Storyline Entertainment
• Screenplay: James Ponsoldt
• Director: TBA
• Cast: TBA
• An adaptation of Stephen Schwartz and Roger O. Hirson’s musical.
• Latest Update: Craig Zadan and Neil Meron Will Partner with Weinstein Company for Film Version of Pippin (12/9/2013)

SOUTH PACIFIC
• Production Company: Chicagofilms
• Screenplay: Lynn Grossman
• Director: Michael Mayer
• Cast: Hugh Jackman, Justin Timberlake, Michelle Williams
• A new film adaptation of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II’s Tony Award a and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical, with a screenplay incorporating additional details from James Michener’s Tales of the South Pacific.
• Latest Update: South Pacific, Directed by Michael Mayer, May Return to Screen With Michelle Williams (5/10/2013)

SPRING AWAKENING
• Production Company: Playtone
• Screenplay: Steven Sater
• Director: TBA
• Cast: TBA
• An adaptation of Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater’s Tony Award-winning musical.
• Latest Update: Duncan Sheik Reveals Plans for Filming of American Psycho and Spring Awakening (4/28/2016)

SUNSET BOULEVARD
• Production Company: Paramount Pictures
• Screenplay: Christopher Hampton
• Director: TBA
• Cast: Glenn Close
• An adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber, Don Black, and Christopher Hampton’s musical based on the classic Billy Wilder film.
• Latest Update: Sunset Boulevard, Starring Glenn Close, Inches Closer to the Big Screen (8/17/2017)

WEST SIDE STORY
• Production Company: Amblin Entertainment
• Screenplay: Tony Kushner
• Director: Steven Spielberg
• Cast: TBA
• A new film adaptation of Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, and Arthur Laurents‘ classic musical.
• Latest Update: Steven Spielberg and Tony Kushner West Side Story Remake Issues Casting Call (1/25/2018)

See the source image

WICKED
• Production Company: Marc Platt Productions, Universal Pictures
• Screenplay: Winnie Holzman
• Director: Stephen Daldry
• Cast: TBA
• An adaptation of Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holzman’s popular musical about the life of the Wicked Witch of the West.
• Latest Update: Think You Know Everything About Wicked? Think Again. (7/10/2017)

That’s quite a hefty list.  I’m so excited to see some of these.  How about you?

P.S. As of this writing, Legally Blonde is not slated to be adapted, but you never know….

Contact me at dhcbaldwin@gmail.com or DeborahBaldwin.net