Click HERE to register for the 2020 Virtual PD Day! 

Workshops include: Teaching Stage Combat and Intimacy Virtually (Niagara University), Teaching Uta Hagen’s practical and engaging approach to scenes and monologues online (HB Studio), Acting for The Camera (NY Film Academy), and Licensing After The Pandemic- Live Steaming and More! (TRW and BookTix)

Schedule:  All events will take place on Zoom. 

9:00 am – 10:00 am- Advocacy: Networking & Planning for The Future of Theatre Education

10:00 am – 11:30 am- Workshop #1 (two choices!)

12:30 pm – 1:00 pm- NYSTEA Regional Meeting

1:00 pm – 2:30 pm- Workshop #2 (two choices!)

3:00 pm – 3:30 pm- Closing Event!

Advocacy Panel: Networking & Planning for the Future of Theatre Education

There are many challenges facing theater teachers in the wake of the pandemic.  This panel will cover strategies to meet challenges like hybrid teaching and virtual productions.Also addressed: How do we make our classrooms more culturally responsive and meaningful?  What is the future of theatre initiatives in NYS and Nationwide?  What resources are available for teachers?

David Seligman – NYSED Arts Associate:David Seligman is an Associate in Instructional Services, Arts, in the Office of Curriculum & Instruction at the New York State Education Department. David taught Visual Art to elementary age students for over a decade in Districts 2 and 20 in New York City and in the White Plains City School District. Additionally, he was an Adjunct Instructor in the Visual Art teacher preparation program at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at New York University.

Cory Wilkerson – Educational Theatre Association’s Education Manager:Ms. Cory Wilkerson is a theatre educator, director and administrator from the Hershey, PA area, currently employed by the Educational Theatre Association as Education Manager.  In her work with EdTA Ms. Wilkerson is responsible for facilitating professional learning for theatre education teachers nationally and curating and developing the EdTA online learning center – Theatre Educator Pro.  Ms. Wilkerson is a former theatre educator and was a specialist in drama for youth, training in creative movement and devised theatre in Scotland and the UK.  She taught Middle School drama  for ten years and drama k-12 in a private school before leaving teaching to become an arts consultant specializing in curriculum development.  Ms. Wilkerson is the proud recipient of a legislative certificate of achievement for her work in youth theatre.  

James PalmariniDirector of Educational Policy for the Educational Theatre Association: James Palmarini is the Educational Theatre Association Director of Educational Policy. He was the founding editor of Teaching Theatre journal. James serves on the Arts Education Partnership Advisory Board; the Washington D.C.-based Arts Education Working Group; National Federation of High Schools Speech, Debate, and Theatre Committee; the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) Leadership committee; the Innovation Collaborative Board; the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education Board; and manages EdTA’s Advocacy Leadership Network.  Most recently, he led a staff team that created the EdTA Recommendations for Reopening Theatre Programs guide.

Panel Moderator- Kristie L. Fuller – Theater Teacher (Indian River HS):Kristie is an award-winning Theatre teacher from Indian River High School. Several of her productions have received Awards of Excellence in Directing from the Theatre Association of New York State.  For over 25 years, Kristie has been the New York State Theatre Education Association (NYSTEA) Curriculum Chair working with Theatre standards revision, curriculum development, assessment and certification. She is currently the Chair of the Arts Content Advisory Panel and the Theatre Chair for the IAAP Committee at the NYS Education Department.  She has been part of EdTA’s Model Curriculum Project and Theatre Teacher Evaluation Workbook committee.  Her Theatre program was recognized as the Educational Theatre Association’s Outstanding School in 2007.  In 2012 she was awarded the National Reba R. Robertson Award for Outstanding Theatre Teacher and won the 2017 NYSTEA Rod Marriott Lifetime Achievement Award.  She was thrilled to have been a part of the American High School Theatre Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland in 2013 and looks forward to returning again in 2021.

Workshop #1: Tips and Techniques for Teaching On Camera Acting

Award Winning Actress, Filmmaker, and Educator Blanche Baker will be teaching this workshop, which will focus on tips and techniques to effectively teach Acting for the Camera.

Presenter Bio: Blanche Baker is an actress of stage, screen and television. After attending Wellesley College, Blanche made her television debut in the miniseries Holocaust, for which she won an Emmy Award. Her feature films include Sixteen Candles, The Handmaid’s Tale with Robert Duvall, Raw Deal with Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Kevin Bacon HBO film Taking Chance. She was part of the Yale Repertory Theatre and Anna Sokolow’s dance troupe. Her theatre roles include Steel Magnolias and Edward Albee’s Lolita with Donald Sutherland. Blanche is Senior Faculty at the New York Film Academy where she teaches in both the Acting and Musical Theatre Departments. She wrote and directed the award-winning short films Streetwrite and Make America Safe.

Workshop #2: Licensing After the Pandemic – Live Streaming and More…

What is live streaming? What shows can be live streamed? Can I make cuts and adapt a show for social distancing? How will licensing fees be calculated if I cannot fill my house? Are licensing fees negotiable? Jim Hoare (TRW) and Jason Goldstein (BookTix Live) will lead you through the process and answer your questions.

Presenter Bio: Jim Hoare, Executive VP at TRW has presented workshops throughout the USA and UK, and in 2011, received the New York State Theatre Education Association’s Rod Marriott Award. Jim is a Board Member for the Educational Theatre Foundation, and the author of YOUR HIGH SCHOOL IMPROV SHOW PLAYBOOK, (Theatrefolk, 2019).

Presenter Bio: Jason Goldstein has been an active performing arts and entertainment producer and entrepreneur for over twenty-five years. He is a sought after consultant on theatrical marketing for the performing arts. Jason’s passion for education, technology and the arts is evident through his company BookTix, which he started to help theater programs increase ticket sales and stream live theater. He has lectured on musical theater history, theater appreciation, leadership and entrepreneurship and is dedicated to weaving creativity with technology and business. Jason holds an individualized BA in theatrical business and communication with a minor music and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) in entrepreneurship and marketing from Rutgers University. He is the recipient of the 2014 New Jersey Governor’s Award in Arts Education for Distinguished Service to Theatre Education and serves on the National Board of Trustees for the Educational Theatre Foundation.

Workshop #3: Teaching Uta Hagen’s practical and engaging approach to scenes and monologues online

With their professional focus on teaching acting to working actors in the virtual classroom at HB Studio, Francesca Ferrara and Brian Mulligan have a treasure trove of practical ideas and ways to support teachers meeting the challenges of the zoom acting class. The “Zoom Studio” becomes a place for our students to channel their creativity and share their work on scenes and monologues. Learn how to help students get a deeper connection to the physical-sensory process of acting and engage with their own resources and with the class. Explore how the actor on zoom connects physically, using all the senses, with the character’s circumstances.The results are exhilarating.

Presenter Bio: Francesca Ferrara is an actress and teaching artist, currently based in New York City. She has played leading roles in Romeo & Juliet, Seduced, The Adding Machine, Sister Cities, Twelfth Night, and AS IS, most of which were at the New American Theatre in Los Angeles, where she is an Associate Artist. Screen highlights include Chickenlivers, Ugly Betty, Grey’s Anatomy, Mad Men, The Blacklist. Francesca has been mentored through the Hagen Teacher Lab at HB Studio, where she is currently a Guest Instructor. She is also an Adjunct Professor for the theatre department of Five Towns College. Francesca has been a Guest Artist in multiple productions with the Otisville Theatre Workshop inside Otisville Correctional Facility, and is currently assisting to bring Acting Out, a theatre company for formerly incarcerated artists, to fruition.

Presenter Bio: Brian Mulligan is an actor, director, and acting teacher. He also does private coaching for professional actors, and for students auditioning for college BFA and MFA acting programs. He is an Adjunct Professor of Acting at California State University, Long Beach, and in his 25th year on the Drama Faculty at Crossroads School in Santa Monica. Brian teaches both Hagen and Meisner techniques, scene study, audition technique, directing, and improvisation. He won “Best of Fringe” for his direction of EVOLUTION OF A KISS at the 2011 Hollywood Fringe Festival. Film acting credits include: WHITE OLEANDER, ARMAGEDDON, SOUL PLANE. TV acting credits include: TRUE BLOOD, CRIMINAL MINDS, SCANDAL, THE GAME, HART OF DIXIE, VEGAS, BIG LOVE, CHARMED and THE PRACTICE. Theatre: Off Broadway and numerous regional theatres in the US and Canada. Brian has done several national commercials. Training: MFA – Acting-Pedagogy, California State University, Long Beach; Hagen technique – Uta Hagen, Carol Rosenfeld, HB Studio, New York; Meisner technique – William Alderson, Los Angeles; Acting, Studio 58, Langara College, Vancouver.

Workshop #4: Teaching Stage Combat and Intimacy virtually

In this workshop, we will begin with an overview of some fundamentals of sword work, intimacy, and intimate/domestic violence, then explore virtual teaching strategies as well as live/virtually coaching a live or virtual production. We will be having fun and also dealing with intense stuff, so wear something comfy, be prepared to do some moving, some listening, some sharing, and bring your warm supportive heart

Presenter Bio:

Holly Adams is an award winning teaching artist, performer, and violence choreographer, a graduate of the International Dell ‘Arte School with many years of additional training, and a member of SAG-AFTRA. As a fight, violence and intimacy choreographer, she has worked with Middle School and High School students, college students, community and regional theatre companies (including Equity houses), and indie film productions. Select projects include: She Kills Monsters, Titus Andronicus, Pirates of Penzance (multiple productions), Madagascar The Next Storm, Disgraced, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Les Miserables, Man of La Mancha, My Favorite Year, Romeo and Juliet, Cassandra, Testosterone, What Happens Next?, The Maids, Ruddigore, Moon Over Buffalo, The Three Musketeers, Oklahoma!, Crazy For You, Julius Caesar, She Kills Monsters. You can find holly’s work at Holly is also a NYSTEA member and a proud recipient of the Rod Marriott Award.

Closing Event: The power of Theatre Education from the voice of a Broadway performer

Hear Lauryn Ciardullo talk about how her experience in the Byram Hills HS Theatre Classroom helped prepare her for the Broadway stage in Disney’s Aladdin.

Lauryn Ciardullo is currently performing on Broadway in Disney’s hit show Aladdin at the New Amsterdam Theater. Lauryn understudies Princess Jasmine as well as several other roles in the award-winning production. As an original cast member with the show, she has had the opportunity to perform on the 2014 Tony AwardsThe View, and Good Morning America. She and three of her colleagues were also featured on the cover of the July/August 2014 issue of Dance Spirit Magazine complete with a six-page spread of their experiences dancing in Aladdin.

Before making her Broadway debut, Lauryn traveled throughout the United States with numerous Broadway tours, they include the first national tour of The Wizard of OzA Chorus Line (directed and choreographed by Bob Avian and Baayork Lee), West Side Story (directed and choreographed by Arthur Laurents and Joey McNeely), The Addams Family (choreographed by Sergio Trujillo), The Wedding Singer (choreographed by Rob Ashford), and The Little Mermaid (choreographed by John McGinnis).

Since graduating from SUNY Purchase College, Lauryn’s career has given her the opportunity to teach students from theater programs, dance companies, and high schools from all over the world. Lauryn is a proud member of Actors Equity and SAG-AFTRA. For more information go to

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