Monday, May 20, 2013

Extending the experience beyond the performance

During the 2012-2013 season, we were engaged by many great performances, but also by exciting exchanges between artists, patrons, sponsors, students, and educators that extended the experience of performance.
Princess Fiona greets audience members backstage at Shrek The Musical

  • To kick off the 2012-2013 season in style, we turned the performance of The Midtown Men into a grand event including a silent auction, pre-show dinner, and a special up-close performance by The Midtown Men for the dinner attendees.
  • Opportunities to interact with performers are always exciting experiences. Princess Fiona from Shrek The Musical met with several young fans before the performance, posed for photos, and answered questions about life as a professional actress. The smaller, more intimate setting of the Kitchen Sink series has created a casual post-show atmosphere where audience members can interact with the performers.
  • UIS students attending The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn were able to receive course credit by participating in a post-show discussion as part of the University’s Engaged Citizenship Common Experience program.
  • Whenever possible, we facilitate workshops and masterclasses, because they offer the opportunity for local artists to interact with and learn directly from professionals.
    • Young tap dance students worked with one of the greats, Savion Glover, to enhance their understanding of rhythm and meter.
    • Area guitar players attended a workshop with Stanley Jordan, learning about his practice methods.
    • A handful of local musicians and composers sat down with the members of Time for Three to discuss their creative process.
    • The Springfield Choral Society worked with Jace Wittig, music director of Chanticleer, in a master class setting to give more depth and emotion to pieces they were preparing for an upcoming concert.
  • The Class Acts series of daytime educational performances, sponsored by PNC Bank, welcomed nearly 14,000 students, teachers, and chaperones and the learning opportunities extended beyond just seeing the performances. Teachers were provided with study guides that connected the themes in the shows to subject areas beyond the fine arts, which helped them achieve Illinois State Learning Standards and develop 21st century skills.
  • Teachers have even more opportunities to broaden their experiences in fine arts by participating in professional development workshops. Sangamon Auditorium and Springfield Public Schools are a partnership team in the Kennedy Center’s Partners in Education program, and in 2012-2013, hosted workshops on topics including assessment in the arts, music of the Underground Railroad, and using shadow puppetry to enhance literacy.
  • Thanks to a generous grant from the PNC Foundation’s Grow Up Great initiative, all students in the Springfield Urban League’s Head Start program were introduced to arts and culture learning opportunities and attended two Class Acts performances. Sangamon Auditorium staff visited each Head Start classroom to read a story book and lead activities that would help prepare the young students for the experience of attending a live theatrical performance. The Head Start students, staff, and their families were also invited to attend the evening performance of 3-Legged Tale and participate in interactive craft projects in the lobby before the show.

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