A Daily Reel of News, Blogs, & Updates
In addition to our extensive reach in the New York City area, our national expansion is stronger than ever.
On September 1st, members of our volunteer Teacher Advisory Board met with APT staff to discuss the current climate of public education in New York City.
Seven years ago, Piper Anderson participated in The American Place Theatre’s very first round of Teaching Artist Training. Since then, she has masterfully led countless hours of Literature to Life workshops for students across the city. The value of her contributions are evident in the assessment and evaluations of the classroom work she facilitates. We feel so grateful to count her among our Company as we move into our 50th Anniversary Season. In as much, she’s first up this year for our Company Spotlight! Check out the interview in the full article.
Flint, Michigan is one of the many communities across the country The American Place Theatre is proud to bring our Literature to Life program. This week our stage presentation of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 will grace the stages of our wonderful partner venue in Flint, The Whiting.
(updated 4/19/11) Literature to Life is a non-profit organization with the mission of advancing literacy through the arts in education across the nation. Literature to Life presents verbatim staged presentations of both fiction and non-fiction books, and Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson is among the books on our 2010-11 roster.
Building on the energy of last year’s book reports, this semester each staff member will provide a presentation on a scholarly article or research study that interests him or her and relates to the work we do with Literature to Life. On Wednesday, the 30th of March, Master Teaching Arist, Manuel Simons, presented his research. Here we hope to capture some of that presentation for our reading room readers.
The 8th Annual gathering of The American Place Theatre’s community of writers, actors, publishers, educators, and friends is less than 2 months away. Mark your calendars for an opportunity to spend a memorable evening in support of the non-profit outreach program, Literature to Life. It’s your opportunity to hear directly from the award winners, check out The American Place Theatre’s newest presentations, and celebrate with other friends and fans.
Congratulations to Arian Moayed on a smashing review in the New York Times!
Building on the energy of last year’s book reports, this semester each staff member will provide a presentation on a scholarly article or research study that interests him or her and relates to the work we do with Literature to Life. On Wednesday, the 16th of March, Education Intern, Claire Yang, presented her research. Here we hope to capture some of that presentation for our reading room readers.
Building on the energy of last year’s book reports, this semester each staff member will provide a presentation on a scholarly article or research study that interests him or her and relates to the work we do with Literature to Life. On Wednesday, the 9th of March, Development and Finance Associate, Alexandra Scuro, presented her research. Here we hope to capture some of that presentation for our reading room readers.
Building on the energy of last year’s book reports, this semester each staff member will provide a presentation on a scholarly article or research study that interests him or her and relates to the work we do with Literature to Life. On Wednesday, the 2nd of March, Intern, Will Jones, presented his research. Here we hope to capture some of that presentation for our reading room readers.
The Daily News recently interviewed actor Elvis Nolasco and Executive Director David Kenner about one of our new shows, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.
Building on the energy of last year’s book reports, this semester each staff member will provide a presentation on a scholarly article that interests him or her and relates to the work we do with Literature to Life. Last Wednesday, the 16th of February we had the distinct pleasure of listening to Company Manager, Rob Bradshaw present his research. Here we hope to capture some of that presentation for the reading room readers.
Wednesday evening Preview of the Arts presented our Literature to Life presentation of Fahrenheit 451 at Joe’s Pub, “NYC’s most celebrated and in-demand showcase venue for live music and performance.” A journalist from the Wall Street Journal was also in attendance, and wrote an intriguing article interviewing Wynn and David.
This was the first in a series that continued last night with Fahrenheit 451.
As a relatively new addition to The American Place Theatre family – and as a lover of theatre and live performance, but newcomer to all things backstage and behind the scenes – I had the most wonderful experience at Joe’s Pub on November 5, 2010 for the Literature to Life performance of Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried.
Following The American Place Theatre’s sold-out presentation of Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried in the inaugural Preview of the Arts last November, the organizations are continuing their collaboration with Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. Adapted and directed by The American Place Theatre Artistic Director Wynn Handman and performed by the Emmy-nominated actor Rich Orlow, Fahrenheit 451 will be staged Wednesday, February 23 at Joe’s Pub.
In January 2005, Australian PhD student Jenni Munday wrote an email to The American Place Theatre. Her aim was to further her research on the topic of adapting literature for live performance, and without doubt a match was made. A few months later, she and her charming daughter Bonnie flew across the ocean to spend the summer in New York. Jenni’s careful observations of our premiere Teaching Artist Training, and her work with Wynn Handman on the adaptation of a new (as yet unfinished) adaptation called Dorothy and Red, are insightful and memorable. Best yet, her work is now published for us all to read at womenplaywrights.org.
We at The American Place Theatre note with sorrow the passing of our co-founder whose talent and belief enhanced our beginnings some 50 years ago.
Literature to Life is proud to travel to Millersville PA this week to offer programming to area students. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, by Harriet Jacobs was chosen as the source material for this visit. ““Each time I tell this story, I feel such an appreciation for her and so grateful that I can tell it, that it makes me feel stronger as a person and proud as an actor,” actress Cherita Armstrong says. Read the full article in the Lancanster Online.
We’ve been seeing Fahrenheit 451 in the news a lot lately, specifically connected to the new edition of Huckleberry Finn that is being published by Alan Gribben and NewSouth Books. As mentioned in a piece on AOL, in this edition Gribben has removed Twain’s use of the “N” word and replaced it with the word “slave.” Our own David Kener wrote an article for RHI, Random House Inc.’s publication on banned books and censorship (available as a free download here) about an eerily similar issue we faced with our Literature to Life title Black Boy by Richard Wright.
Development Associate Alexandra Scuro attended a panel called “Meet the Grantmakers” at the Irish Repertory Theatre that was sponsored by The Alliance of Residence Theatres/New York (A.R.T./NY), a nonprofit organization that has been serving New York City’s nonprofit theatre community since 1972. Events like these panels are vital to an organization like The American Place Theatre, which was incorporated as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization in 1963.
After a restful and restorative (if not a little snowy) break, NYC Public School reopened its doors on Monday, January 3rd to over 1.1 million students, some 200,000 staff and a handful of American Place Theatre Literature to Life teaching artists! Literature to Life started the year strong this month with residencies in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens.
Will Jones’ first day as one of our Spring 2011 interns was fun for all of us; what a treat to have him write about it here for us all to read. His experience has already included participation with Executive Director David Kener and Associate Direstor of Education Manuel Simons in a New Vic Collaboratory Session. As a related side note, APT sends thanks and congratulations to New Vic for this exciting new way to come together as a field.
On the afternoon of December 16th, the forward thinking leaders of the Teaching and Learning department of the New York Public Library partnered with us here at Literature to Life to bring their beautiful Three Faiths exhibition to deeper level of understanding. 70 plus educators shared personalized sacred texts and secret handshakes on stage following a riveting excerpted presentation of Three Cups of Tea and dynamic interactive exercises.
Once a year, APAP comes to New York City; with it comes the opportunity to network with hundreds of like-minded leaders in the field of theatre presenting and producing. Here at Literature to Life, we look forward to meeting more friends in Youth and Family Programming at the special forum at 9am on Friday morning. What’s more, all APAP representatives are welcome, as seating allows, at our APAP Showcase presentations throughout the conference.
John Leguizamo is heading back to Broadway with a new solo play, Ghetto Klown. As we share our congratulations to John, I asked our Artistic Director Wynn Handman to tell me more about working with him on Mambo Mouth here at The American Place Theatre.
To celebrate the accomplishments of 2010, we gathered in the offices of The American Place Theatre with friends, colleagues, and a cake that read: Read, Write and Be Merry!
2010 fall intern Liz Zaita helped wrap up our final staff meeting of the semester with a lively book report on her selection, The Living Stage: A step-by-step guide to psychodrama, sociometry, and experiential group therapy. Her talent for theater education and her comprehension of the concepts we tackle through Literature to Life will be welcome in our field. Our best to you, Liz!
This Friday, December 10th, marks the 180th Anniversary of Ms. Dickinson’s birth, and we at The American Place Theatre are so excited to hear one way she is being honored! Tomorrow night, Garrison Keillor will give a benefit performance in Ms. Dickinson’s honor to help support the Emily Dickinson Museum, in Amherst, MA. Literature to Life features Ms. Dickinson’s poems as part of its new Living Library program, and was thrilled to perform the new works at the New York Public Library in October. Look for video of this performance to be posted here soon!
APT’s Fall Intern Elizabeth Stone reports on her selection for our Book Report Series: Michael Kaiser’s book, The Art of The Turnaround: Creating and Maintaining Healthy Arts Organizations. Great selection, as APT was honored to have hosted Michael Kaiser last May here in New York to present the 2010 Literature to Life Award to Greg Mortenson!
Recent Literature to Life Stage Presentations of The Giver by Lois Lowry at Raritan Valley Community College brought together hundreds of people of all ages. Many in our audiences were under 18 years of age, no doubt because The Giver is a beloved young readers’ novel. Yet, there were folks in our audiences who ranged in age from nineteen to ninety.
At this week’s staff meeting of The American Place Theatre, associate director of education Jackie Wolff reported on the newly revised New York State and National Standards for English as a Second Language. English Language Learners are the fastest growing student population, both in New York and nationally.
Over a four-day trip that coincided with the Banff, Mountain Film Festival the community was treated to four such Literature to Life public performances gifted by Greg Mortenson and Pennies for Peace. The generosity of the community was obvious from the standing ovation at the first performances to the moment when Greg Mortenson took the stage and was given checks by half a dozen local elementary students whose schools had raised funds for Pennies for Peace.
At this week’s staff meeting of The American Place Theatre, Manuel Simons, Associate Director: Education Programs, reported on Judith Ackroyd’s book Role Reconsidered. Role Reconsidered addressed a specific question: Is teacher-in-role acting?
How can teachers use mock trial as a dramatic activity to help students critically analyze literature? This essential question guided Literature to Life’s recent professional development workshop designed for Dr. Pat Zumhagen’s cohort of pre-service and in-service English Language Arts educators at Teachers College, Columbia University. The workshop, which incorporated a Literature to Life stage presentation of Fahrenheit 451, helped students investigate Ray Bradbury’s classic novel.
As an avid reader and a staff member at The American Place Theatre, I am a regular reader of “10 Best” book recommendations. And it is always exciting to find books from our Literature to Life roster on the list!
This past Veterans day, our talented company of teaching artists took a break from their role as teachers to come together to play and learn! Thursday, November 11 was the launch of our first quarterly company development series. Our teaching artists had a rare opportunity to spend a couple of hours reflecting on successes and best practices in the field.
Education Weekly recently featured a school that is using dance arts integration across their curriculum to discover new entry into student learning and engagement. We are thrilled to see such innovation in the classroom. It makes me think of our successes in arts integration residencies at APT partner schools this year like High School for Hospitality Management, IS 208, MS 223, City Poly HS and The Holmes School!
Actor John Cusack has begun filming for The Raven, a psychological thriller about the last five days of Edgar Allan Poe’s life before his mysterious death. John Mulhern, at gordonandthewhale.com, just published this first look at Cusack in costume as Poe, and has provided an uncanny link to Literature to Life. While we are always excited to see film adaptations bring our titles to life on the silver screen, we are even more excited about the intriguing plot of The Raven - “Edgar Allen Poe goes after a murder who is bringing the deaths of his literature to life.”
2011 will mark the 150th anniversary of the publication of Harriet Jacobs’ Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. To honor this remarkable woman and her history, the Historic Edenton State Historic Site has launched harrietjacobs.org, which features information about Ms. Jacobs’ life and works, the history of the Civil War in her hometown of Edenton, NC, and other educational resources about slavery, the war, and the Underground Railroad. We hope that you will make use of this fantastic new site, and be sure not to miss out on the limited two week run of Literature to Life’s stage presentation of Incidents from December 6th to December 17th! Please see our Events listing for details.
The Monitor, a Texan newspaper, has recently named their top five books that students should read, including Literature to Life’s title Three Cups of Tea! The Monitor calls Greg Mortenson’s story, “an inspirational tale that also educates about culture in the Middle East,” and we couldn’t agree more. Three Cups of Tea has had an enormous impact on those students The American Place Theatre has had the privilege to work with, and we only hope that this article will encourage more students to learn about Greg Mortenson’s amazing work.
As a recent addition to the staff of The American Place Theatre Literature to Life, I am finding myself particularly attentive when I read about instances of theater bridging with literature. And as someone who did her senior thesis on F. Scott Fitzgerald, news about “Gatsby” never fails to get my attention.
Zora Neale Hurston has been in the news recently, but we aren’t talking about the renowned 20th Century author of Their Eyes Were Watching God. No, I am talking about Zora Neale Hurston, girl detective and star of the new, historical fiction novel, Zora and Me by Victoria Bond and T.R. Simon. Read more about this new way to help young people personally connect with one remarkable American author.
Literature to Life is pleased to help spread the word that applications are now available for the 2011-2012 Big Read! The Big Read is a very special program of the National Endowment for the Arts designed to restore reading to the center of American culture by giving communities the opportunity to come together to read, discuss, and celebrate one of 31 selections from U.S. and world literature. This, of course, is a mission well-aligned with ours. We proudly partner with several Big Read communities, and we look forward to serving more as we approach our 50th Anniversary Season.
NY1’s Budd Mishkin completed a recent “One On 1” report on Junot Diaz, one of Literature to Life’s new authors for 2010-2011! In this video interview, and the accompanying transcript, Diaz discusses his path as a writer and artist, his family and literary influences, and the success of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.
The book Guide to Getting Arts Grants by Ellen Liberatori was chosen as part of Alexandra Scuro’s weekly Staff Book Reports: an internal review of field-related titles to be presented each Wednesday at our weekly meeting.
As part of The American Place Theatre’s ever-growing campaign to Keep Literature (A)live across the nation, Gwen Brownson reports live from the central regional conference of the National Association of Campus Activities (NACA) in Austin, TX.
October 14 was very special performance of Down These Mean Streets. Artistic Intern Katie McGhee had the opportunity to interview filmmaker Jonathan Robinson who attended the preview performance, and she captured on camera his thoughts of what Piri Thomas would think about this stage presentation of his celebrated book.
MS223 of New York City, thanks in part to the arts opportunities made possible through the SASI program, has made a stunning turnaround. As noted in this Huffington Post entry, MS223 is now winner of the Intel School of Distinction Award, and Literature to Life is proud to be in the second year of partnership as an arts provider to this wonderful educational community.
In 2006, The American Place Theatre selected The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien as our Literature to Life Award recipient. That season, I traveled to Philadelphia to meet Tim and attend his presentation at the Public Library. On Nov 5th at 7pm, as part of the Preview of the Arts 2011 Festival, we will be presenting our presentation with live music of Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried at Joe’s Pub along with a panel discussion on the themes he introduced that night in Philadelphia.
WHEN & WHERE?
The Kite Runner-WIOct 29
When: October 29, 2012 at 2:56pm
For ticket and reservation information please visit the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire website.
Bring Literature to Life to your school! Visit The Kite Runner Roster Page to fill out a booking inquiry form.
To connect with audiences, artists and media: http://www.literaturetolife.org/kite