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First You Sit on the Floor

A Guide to Developing a Youth Theatre Troupe

ATTENTION: Teachers, counselors, youth workers, pastors, and human service personnel

    You work with kids.
    Not just any kids.
    You have the square pegs, the oddballs, the at–risk kids.
    You know how special and wonderful they can be.

But you’re running low on ideas to keep them learning, interested, and involved. You’ve thought about theatre, but where and how do you start? First, You Sit on the Floor!

Author/teacher Michael Burns knows from experience how to develop new original theatre pieces on topics that matter to today’s kids, from substance abuse, teen sexuality,...

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Full Description

ATTENTION: Teachers, counselors, youth workers, pastors, and human service personnel

    You work with kids.
    Not just any kids.
    You have the square pegs, the oddballs, the at–risk kids.
    You know how special and wonderful they can be.

But you’re running low on ideas to keep them learning, interested, and involved. You’ve thought about theatre, but where and how do you start? First, You Sit on the Floor!

Author/teacher Michael Burns knows from experience how to develop new original theatre pieces on topics that matter to today’s kids, from substance abuse, teen sexuality, and violence prevention to respect for the differently abled. He shows you how to provide both a serious education in theatre arts and a real working ensemble involving:

  • acting and improvisational training
  • group writing exercises
  • scenario development
  • a unique "high tech/low tech" approach to production
  • finding and creating nontraditional performance spaces

Along the way, learn how to challenge, uplift, and inform a group of teens; help them form a cohesive, active team; and build skills in communication, conflict resolution, and creative expression.

Whether you are interested in developing a one–time performance or building a lasting theatre program, this book is an invaluable resource–a powerful tool for reaching, teaching, and transforming the lives of young people, and yourself.

For more than twenty years, Michael Burns has been introducing young people and adults to the joy of creating original theatre. He teaches Theatre Arts at The Charlton School, a residential facility for adolescent girls with learning disabilities and emotional difficulties in Saratoga County, New York.

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