Citizen Artists : A Guide to Helping Young People Make Plays That Change the World book cover
1st Edition

Citizen Artists
A Guide to Helping Young People Make Plays That Change the World

ISBN 9780367516444
Published November 8, 2021 by Routledge
234 Pages 40 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Citizen Artists takes the reader on a journey through the process of producing, funding, researching, creating, rehearsing, directing, performing, and touring student-driven plays about social justice.

The process at the heart of this book was developed from 2015–2021 at New York City’s award-winning Epic Theatre Ensemble with and for their youth ensemble: Epic NEXT. Author and Epic Co-Founder James Wallert shares his company’s unique, internationally recognized methodology for training young arts leaders in playwriting, inquiry-based research, verbatim theatre, devising, applied theatre, and performance. Readers will find four original plays, seven complete timed-to-the-minute lesson plans, 36 theatre arts exercises, and pages of practical advice from more than two dozen professional teaching artists to use for their own theatre making, arts instruction, or youth organizing.

Citizen Artists is a one-of-a-kind resource for students interested in learning about theatre and social justice; educators interested in fostering learning environments that are more rigorous, democratic, and culturally-responsive; and artists interested in creating work for new audiences that is more inclusive, courageous, and anti-racist.

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION; PART ONE: THE CITIZEN ARTIST METHODOLOGY; Chapter 1: How do we transform art into activism?; Chapter 2: What is a Citizen Artist?; Chapter 3: What is Epic Theatre?; Chapter 4: How do we work with Commissioning Partners?; Chapter 5: How do we create a safe and Culturally Responsive space?; Chapter 6: How do we get started?; Chapter 7: How do we create an essential question?; Chapter 8: How do we conduct interviews?; Chapter 9: What are enabling constraints?; Chapter 10: How do we populate the world of the play?; Chapter 11: How do we come to consensus?; Chapter 12: How do we write scenes?; Chapter 13: How do we organize our material into a first draft?; Chapter 14: How do we revise scenes?; Chapter 15: How do we rehearse our play?; Chapter 16: How do we perform our play?; Chapter 17: How do we lead a meaningful post-show discussion?; Chapter 18: How do we pay for all of this?; PART TWO: THE CITIZEN ARTIST CURRICULUM; Chapter 19: Newspaper Theatre; Chapter 20: Objectives and Tactics; Chapter 21: Fundamentals of Dramatic Structure; Chapter 22: Ethical Dilemma; Chapter 23: Subtext; Chapter 24: Environment, Relationship, Conflict, Resolution (ERCR); Chapter 25: Caucus; PART THREE: THE CITIZEN ARTIST PLAYS; Chapter 26: Default; Chapter 27: Perfect Circle; Chapter 28: Overdrive; Chapter 29: Nothing About Us; CONCLUSION

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James Wallert is a Founder and Co-Artistic Director of New York City’s Epic Theatre Ensemble. He is an actor, playwright, director, producer, and educator. To learn more about James and Epic visit