Ruthann Curry

Ruthann Curry

Central Region
Conway, Arkansas
[email protected]

Two different approaches to working with students in the classroom are described below.
Each of these workshops and programs is designed to help students of all backgrounds, ages, and skill levels develop:
Active listening skills
Creative thinking and problem solving skills
Human connections
Focus and concentration skills
Language skills

I. Arts Integration into Various Core Subject Areas
Target classroom: any elementary through high school classroom whose teacher desires to integrate theatre arts with their subject area. This integrated approach can effectively connect theatre art with history lessons, social studies, science, mathematics, civics, or english lessons.

Description of workshop/residencies:
Workshops and residencies are tailored to fit the teacher's plan and classroom time. Students will be taught to engage in a creative process that connects theatre art to their current unit of study or perhaps an upcoming unit of study. These workshops can be for one day, or for a whole week residency. Week-long workshops can be designed to culminate in a “performance” or sharing of accomplishments with other student classrooms.

II. Specific Theatre workshops for Drama classes
Target classroom: Any drama classroom in middle, intermediate, or high school.
A couple of specific workshops are described below, but other workshops on musical theatre, voice & movement skills, or play analysis, and design are also offered.

Description of workshops
A) "Bringing Shakespeare to Life" A Workshop Program for 5th, 6th, 7th , 8th Grade
This study of Shakespeare is a particularly effective program for the drama teach or GT/Pre-GT teacher who wants to enhance the regular classroom unit of study. In addition, this program can effectively connect with history lessons, social studies, reading and/or English lessons, speech and communications.

A typical five-hour workshop session explores the world of Shakespeare in action and word. This performance-based, language-centered approach to learning about Shakespeare explores challenging and complex themes, characters, and language through exercises, games, and scene study. Students are on their feet, using their voices, finding real connections to the characters about whom Shakespeare wrote. Students also discover what the world of the Elizabethan might have been like, and search for similarities in their own world.

B) Devising Theatre and/or Improvisational Theatre for older drama students in the 8th-12th grades.
Devising theatre and/or Improvisational theatre is best done in a week-long residency with students who have or have had a beginning drama course. These workshops lend themselves to a more in-depth study of what the “community” of theatre art can accomplish. Usually these workshops culminate in some kind of performance.

DRAMA WORKSHOPS for Teachers: Professional Development
A day-long (10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m) drama workshop for teachers of all subjects to explore the use of acting exercises, theatre games, and stage directing skills in order to supplement regular classroom teaching tools. Teachers learn effective theatre exercises to infuse in their daily classroom teaching units stimulating self-expression and creative problem-solving in their students. "Theatre Games" can help teachers develop: (a) Clear and effective communication patterns (b) A leadership personality (c) Solid, active listening skills (d) Ability to handle stress and tension (e) Effective human relation skills (f) creative thinking and presentation skills.

Completed the Arkansas Arts Councils professional development workshop, Connecting to the Common Core, presented by Amy Braswell and hal evans on April 20, 2013.



Ruthann Curry has 30 years experience both on-stage and behind-the-scenes directing, acting, producing, and teaching theatre. She has performed in film and television, on Broadway, off-Broadway, in dinner theatre, summer stock, and regional theatres. She is an experienced teacher in all aspects of theatre with a strong focus in theatre arts training for youth. Ruthann’s focus on connecting the arts to the common core standards has led her to residencies in classrooms around the state, integrating and connecting theatre arts with other subject areas including Civics, English, Mathematics, Art, and Science. Ruthann is the Director of the UCA Youth Theatre of Central Arkansas, an outreach program of theatre training for young people ages 10-18; and she continues to teach theatre at the University of Central Arkansas and Hendrix College. She holds a BA from the College of William and Mary, an MA in Performance from the University of Denver, and graduate course work in Theatre for Youth from Arizona State University. She is a professional member of Actors Equity Association, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, Stage Directors and Choreographers, and Association of Theatre in Higher Education.

Ruthann Curry completed 6 hours of professional development related to Theatre and Dance academic standards, curriculum, and community partnerships on June 9, 2016

AIE Program

Preferred Age Level: all ages
Geographic Availability: statewide
Time Availability: open
Special Needs: room to move or ability to move desks