PRESENTED BY Allyson Bradley (she/her) and Ciaran Federico
In 2017, Allyson Bradley and Ciaran Federico witnessed the performance of an original spoken word poem written by autistic student Sarah Walker about what it was like for her to attend high school. The poem sparked a journey to create a play that reflected the lived experiences of the neurodivergent students at Chinguacousy Secondary School in Brampton, Ontario, entitled The Neurodiversity Project. The play, with its cast of over 30 neurodivergent and neurotypical students, competed at the 2018 National Theatre School Drama Festival, and went on to evolve and grow for over 18 months. It was performed a half dozen more times, including as a command performance for the Director of Education at the Peel District School Board, and as the keynote performance at the retirement of Wayne Fairhead.
In this interactive workshop, Allyson and Ciaran will share the story of this remarkable show that showcased the voices of neurodivergent students, and share the strategies they employed to help bring this creation come to the stage. This workshop is about the power of personal narrative, about showcasing the voices of marginalized students, and the ways in which educators can make theatre more accessible to young people of all abilities.
You may be particularly intrigued in this workshop if your focus is: Secondary Drama
Allyson (she/her) is a graduate of the University of Guelph’s Theatre Arts Program, holds an Honours Specialist in Dramatic Arts, and is the Head of the Arts Department at Chinguacousy Secondary School in Brampton. She has taught Dramatic Arts for fourteen years for the PDSB, and previously co-directed the theatre company pivotal(!)arts that developed and produced the work of emerging young playwrights in Toronto. Allyson has directed professionally for the Toronto Fringe Festival and The Musical Stage Company. She has twice directed and produced the keynote performances at the Peel District School Board’s Starting Point ceremony, the event for PDSB superintendents, directors of education, and administrators which officially launches the school year. Allyson’s areas of focus are collective creation and theatre for hope, and she is passionate about inclusive theatrical practices and celebrating student voice and identity. When she’s not making theatre with young artists, she is a musical theatre performer and mother of two daughters.
Ciaran Federico (he/him) is a graduate of Chinguacousy Secondary School and is currently in his third year of York University’s Film Production program, specializatizing in fiction directing and cinematography. Outside of school, he devotes his time to creating, whether it be personal projects, as an on-set technician for various film production departments, or serving as the Head of Production for Might Brave Productions. His drive for creating has taken him to every digital medium imaginable, from photography to game creation to CGI renders featured in massive artist collaborations. With a passion for storytelling, Ciaran aims to be wherever voices need to be heard.
PRESENTED BY Allen Kaeja
Allen Kaeja will examine his collection of Holocaust-based dance films, using them to explore the technical, practical, and artistic challenges involved in producing dance for the screen as well as the unique artistry that can be created when dancers collaborate and move in response with the camera. Allen will share how the lived experience of his father, a Holocaust survivor, deeply influenced his dance film work. He will unpack the journey of his creative process, reflecting on the themes of oppression, resilience, and the strength of the human spirit that are integral to his work. This workshop will offer a unique hands-on opportunity to learn how to choreograph, direct, and edit short dance films, developing creative and critical thinking skills, and will explore every role in the filmmaking process, from movement artist and director to camera operator. No experience in either dance or film necessary, just an intense curiosity and willingness to learn! The session will incorporate both theoretical and practical learning experiences. A few clips of Allen's work will be viewed to illustrate examples of filming and movement techniques and there will be opportunities to apply these techniques when the participants create their own short film clips. Participants will be encouraged to explore themes and movements that feel meaningful to them through dance and film.
You may be particularly intrigued in this workshop if your focus is: Secondary Dance
Allen Kaeja is an internationally recognized and award winning Dance Film Director and Choreographer, who has created over 160 stage works and choreographed for 27 films. Allen is Co-Artistic Director of Kaeja d’Dance with Karen Kaeja, they were runner up of NOW Magazine’s BEST DANCE COMPANY 2015 award and he is co-founder of the CanAsian Dance Festival. His stage and film works have been presented in festivals around the world as well as teaching Kaeja Elevations and Dance Film master classes worldwide. Allen has received dozens of national and international commissions. His awards include Dance Ontario's 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2016 Katheryn Ash Award for Choreography, and he was recently nominated for Ontario’s Arts Education Award. Allen also co-developed many site-specific and audience interac
PRESENTED BY Dr. Kari-Lynn Winters; Dr. Catherine Hands; Dr. Snežana Obradović-Ratković
NOTE: Digital/Face-to-Face Performance and Interactive Workshop
For centuries, people’s lives have been enriched through in-person, interactive ART-making within institutional and community contexts. In 2020, face-to-face drama and dance in education came to a grinding halt as communities confronted global shutdowns due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Coronavirus-related disruptions and restraints contributed to feelings of confusion, isolation, and hopelessness. These entanglements raised questions about how the arts could be transformed and used to build relationships and communities within online spaces, and how collective creations could be explored and disseminated.
The year-long research project, which will be shared during the workshop, explores how online playbuilding can be an optimal approach for reshaping equitable education and research. Our goal for this workshop is two-fold. First, we would like to share scenes from our online play and documentary film, where researchers, educators, administrators, and students artfully share their teaching, learning, and life experiences during the pandemic. Here, we hone-in on how the arts can build relationships, community, and resilience during difficult times, as well as used to innovate collaborative, equitable online spaces in education. Second, we would like to share and invite conference delegates to engage with in-person and online approaches to playbuilding, including drama and dance strategies, illustrating that this creative, ensemble approach (whether in-person or online) fosters collaborative leadership through embodied and experiential scene-building as well as democratic decision-making related to the play’s production. Benefits and challenges of artful online engagement will also be discussed. Conference delegates will come to see that regardless of being enacted face-to-face or online, and even in challenging times, drama and dance can still offer innovative practices that contribute to equitable education as well as artists’ resiliency, learning, and well-being.
You may be particularly intrigued in this workshop if your focus is: Beginning with the Basics
Dr. Kari-Lynn Winters is a Full Professor, award-winning Canadian children’s author, performer, and playwright. She currently teaches drama-in-education, dance-in-education, and language arts to teacher candidates at Brock University in the Faculty of Education. Holding degrees from UBC, OISE/UT, Brock University, and the National Theatre School in literacy education, teacher education, and the arts, her research interests include: STEAM, refugee education, mental health, social equity, body image, embodied pedagogies, children’s literature, drama, and multimodal literacies.
Dr. Catherine Hands is an Associate Professor of Educational Administration and Leadership at Brock University. Catherine has worked with Canadian and American school boards, teachers’ unions, and the Ontario Ministry of Education as a researcher and consultant. Catherine’s research interests stem from her classroom experience as well as her work with school leaders and teachers, and include school-community relations, family involvement in schooling, educational leadership, values and ethics in education, social justice, professional learning communities, and educational reform. She maintains an active research agenda in these areas, and has presented and published her work regionally, nationally and internationally.
Dr. Snežana Obradović-Ratković is a Research Officer and an award winning scholar in the Faculty of Education at Brock University, Ontario, Canada. Her scholarship focuses on migration and indigeneity, transnational and transdisciplinary teacher education, decolonizing and arts-based research methodologies, generous schola
PRESENTED BY Kara Nagel
Are you excited to try new things in your drama class? This collaborative workshop is geared towards intermediate and senior educators with drama teaching experience. Are you looking for ways to use student voice and lived experiences as starting points for the creative process? We will be focusing on using location (e.g., site-specific theatre) and self-reflection (e.g., autoethnographic theatre) as inspiration using brave and inclusive theatre activities that support diversity and equity in your learning environment. You will walk out of this workshop with engaging activities to use in your class the next day, no-prep assessment templates, and practical tips using resources that are zero budget and/or readily available.
You may be particularly intrigued in this workshop if your focus is: Secondary Drama
For the past 4 years, Kara Nagel (she/her/elle) has worked in the Upper Grand District School Board. Kara is a queer and disabled intermediate teacher, workshop facilitator, and actress. She is motivated by 2SLGBTQI+ issues. Believing strongly in fighting for braver spaces, Kara uses her love of learning, humour, and bravery to help enact change. Some interesting facts about Kara is that she has been to a lot of Jonas Brothers concerts (can you guess how many?) and she got to feed a giraffe. She graduated with her Honors Drama from the University of Waterloo where she focused on site-specific and autoethnographic theatre.
PRESENTED BY Allison Gamble
Roots, Resistance and Resilience comes from my lineage as a family member of ancestors who survived and escaped pogroms in 1917 and ancestors who perished or survived the holocaust during WWII. Sadly humanity has a history of repeating oppression and we as educators have to be able to inform our students appropriately about these times in history. Using Drama and Dance strategies, this workshop will model approaching sensitive information. I will use my own personal background to share ways to engage students while delving into any sensitive matter. The participants will go away from this workshop with lesson ideas that they can take into their K to 8 classrooms. The themes explored in this workshop will translate to other cultures and times in history that may be sensitive to approach with young students. I will use approved literary resources to integrate Social Studies with the Dance and Drama curriculum. I will also discuss Assessment and Evaluation strategies once our explorations and compositions have been complete.
You may be particularly intrigued in this workshop if your focus is: Elementary Drama and Dance
Allison Gamble is a physical education and dance educator at South Collegiate Institute. She is currently the Head of Dance/Drama/Music Dept but continues to teach PE regularly. Allison has been actively involved in coaching, including senior badminton, X-country team, volleyball, and track and field, at South for 23 years. Allison has developed the PAR Phys Ed program at South. This PE class (Physical Activity through Rhythmic Movement) was designed for maximum participation, as the school had noticed gaps in its program and was losing female and transgender students at the senior level. This program bridges the world of physical skill development and movement, while offering students the option to stay active in the department. Now in its fourth year, the program has been a huge success and continues to grow each year. Offered in an inclusive and safe environment, the program also focuses on mental health. Allison has also co-authored the Action Pak D'action program of movement which allows movement competencies to be explored in new and creative ways in the PE programs. Allison has written curriculum, presented at various conferences locally, provincially, nationally, and internationally, and continues to develop as a teacher through her own professional development work.