RISE AND SHINE: the hero project K-4

“You should be the hero in your own story.” – Chadwick Boseman.

Thanks to grants from The Vermont Arts Council, this residency is currently scheduled with Windham Elementary School and Cavendish Elementary School. The Cavendish residency is also made possible thanks to a partnership with Weston Playhouse.

In this residency, students will invent and embody their favorite hero/heroine by portraying them in original scenes, songs, monologues, and/or dances. Their chosen hero/heroines can be anyone (or thing!)–their Grandma, a made-up superhero, or even their favorite animal, food, car, or tree. Students may also work together to compose a theme song and dance.

As lead teaching artist, Susan will work directly with classroom teachers to provide students with a safe and joyful inventive process. She will guide students in developing their singing, dancing, and acting skills while promoting listening, collaboration, storytelling, communication, and empathy–essential skills that can translate to students’ academic and personal success. Susan’s residencies are developed with the goal of exploring the creative process rather than focusing solely on a finished product. The impetus for this project was the excitement of getting a group of students together and seeing what magic can be made by being present, thinking “out of the box,” and being willing to take chances and trust one another.

The learning objectives for this project bridge four essential skills: collaboration, communication, literacy, and social-emotional learning. Students will investigate traditional, contemporary, and personal examples of heroism. They will be asked to work in groups and individually to explore the definition of heroism as well as themes of resilience, strength, perseverance, and justice. At its core, theatrical performance relies on strong collaborative and communicative abilities, so these skills will make up the foundation of this residency. Additionally, this project aims to bolster student literacy through reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Students will build upon literary and practical examples of heroism while writing and performing from the perspective of their own hero. Students will be encouraged to empathize both with their classmates as they embark on a new creative journey as well as with the people they portray. At a time when we are more isolated than ever, this project will help young people sympathize with those around them and more deeply appreciate the sacrifices each of us makes to keep our communities safe and strong.

Workshops, master classes and residencies of any length are available.

For more information, please contact us HERE.

Special thanks to former Weston Playhouse Artistic and Education Associate Rachel Liff for collaboration and guidance during early stages of this project’s development.

Other available workshops and residencies

VIEWPOINTS: magic in time and space

SPRING FORWARD: movement and story workshop

TRIPLE THREAT: musical theater workshop