MOUTH TO PAPER: WRITING WORKSHOP
(Grades 3-12 & Master Classes for Teachers)
Fasten your seat belts! This spirited writing workshop in prose or poetry introduces participants to the rudiments of style, form, and writing mechanics. Both the teacher and students engage in an active partnership of self expression and risk taking stressing “no rights or wrongs!” Participants are encouraged and invited to think on their feet while journeying inside a circle of fun where the creative process traverses life, humor, culture, tradition, and trends while demystifying literary form. No one becomes a melancholic onlooker in the process of “imagining” in an ensemble of active learners! Participants write in 5 and 10 minute sprint time blocks; rewrite; read out loud; occasionally work with partners; and complete homework with parents – all leading to a portfolio and an informal staged reading of the completed writing. Writing selections from children and published professional writers is also explored during the workshop and serves as examples of “what’s possible.” Core Curriculum aims are met through literacy, speaking, and English as a standard language. Single session or a series – Mr. Wilson shares over fifty years of his art education experience in theater, writing, dance, and history to motivate participants to WRITE ON!
Art Education in Motion
Art Education in Motion is a kinetic, hands-on theater experience designed to engage teachers and students of all abilities to open their imaginations in an inspired collaboration of multi-disciplined activities. Participants embrace the freedom of developing their own dramatic voice while simultaneously connecting to self-esteem, literacy, and the cultural treasures and strengths inherent within each member of the group. Students and teachers have described this experience as a carnival of the senses when they found success after lessening their fears of art disciplines usually shunned (dance, movement, singing, improvisation, plotting story lines (writing) and taking off one’s mask (acting). Dr. Howard Gardener’s 9 Intelligences shape this offering and provides a window to literacy empowerment through peer cooperation, individual points of view, and discovery – and introduces drama as a process rather than a performance, thus reexamining how important “play” is to learning.
Maritime History Enlivened Through Afro-American Heroes
Student volunteers transform into the characters in Wilson’s “Life Sea Treasures,” as they sing and trace history through a play commissioned by American Express Ltd. The informal staged reading leads to myriad discussions about the major Civil Rights issues of the late 1800’s to present day. Students meet and embrace the courage and accomplishments of Captain High Mulzac (the first Afro-American to Captain an integrated ship, The Booker T. Washington, during WWII); Frederick Douglas (an abolitionist, orator, publisher, and runaway slave that escaped to freedom disguised as a sailor); James Weeks (a stevedore who trained oystermen to work at the South Street Seaport in New York. Weeks was also one of the founders of a Free Slave Community in Brooklyn, NY named Weeksville); and Ester Purnel (a teacher and member of the Free Slave Community located in Sandy Ground Staten Island, NY.) The playwright’s discussion includes a summary of the research process that gave birth to the play while working with the History Department of Princeton University. In addition, the playwright shares press, pictures, and other documents pertinent to the original equity production of the play at the South Street Seaport Museum aboard the S. S. DeWitt Clinton. This experience can be presented throughout the year or highlighted during Black History Month – however – this is American History written through factual information, humor, song, and a celebration of the strong strength struggle of the human spirit!
Theater For Young Hearts: Theater in a Hatbox
(K - 2nd grade)
This fast paced workshop introduces students to drama through storytelling, movement, and song. The stories are developed from the material of myths, fables, and professional children’s writers. The stories are brought to life from props hidden in a hat box, and provide each student with an opportunity to interact with the story through sound, recall, gesture, listening, and ye old imaginative hunches (Sequence: what do you think happens next?) Themes include listening, sharing, trust, friendship, community, and selfhood. The story circle transports students to imaginary worlds of wonder with the flick of a piece of rainbow cloth, a percussion instrument, a doll, puppets, etc. – all presented in the classroom without a stage. Teachers and students are motivated and aided to create their own story in a hat box, story in a brown bag, story in a bucket, etc. leading to visual art and writing. Pure joy!
Mouth To Paper Out Loud I
Poet Arthur T. Wilson performs his own poetry through a spirited exchange of song, recitation, and stories grounded in universal historical realities. Wilson shares his current collection of poetry titled "Unfinished Screams" and poetry published over the last 50 years. This moving gift of the spoken word offers ecumenical links to the connections inherent within our collective family in progress. The audience is also asked to pen and share their own poetic splashes during the performance, thus adding an additional opportunity for discovery, sharing, and "write on!" electric!
Mouth To Paper Out Loud II
Poet Arthur T. Wilson dramatizes the poetry of students from 45 years of residencies and workshops. The material, culled from students from 3rd grade through high school, demystifies the spoken word from cold academic pondering and motivates students to embrace poetry as a rite of freedom, poetic justice, point of view, and cultural beauty. Mouth to paper out loud II includes blank verse, stream of consciousness journeys, haiku, personification, repeated line and stanza verse, as well as rhyme. This performance highlights student imagination, creativity, thought, and amazing incites about our walk across earth and time.