Performing Arts Afterschool Enrichment Course for High School Students

A group of students and instructors on a zoom composite grid with a red curtain parting in frontBehind the Curtain is a new afterschool enrichment program connecting Rhode Island high school students with career artists, nonprofit and production professionals with ties to the Ocean State. From February-May 2021, FirstWorks Education collaborated with the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) to pilot this free, semester long virtual course as part of their All Course Network (ACN) initiative.

Participating students explored potential career pathways while developing modes of creative self-expression, learning directly from a new artist or arts professional each week. The course included elements of financial and arts business management and various creative disciplines spanning music, dance, theatre, vocals, arts management, stagecraft, and costume design. Individual and group work informed the students’ capstone projects.

Each week, students learned from professional working artists with connections to Rhode Island. Some are transplants from other parts of the United States or the world. Others were born and raised in Rhode Island, but through their profession have traveled all over the globe. All of our instructors were inspired to share their expertise, and to impart that a successful life in the arts can be found in many different ways and places.

Read about this program in KidoInfo

View Course List and Instructors - Spring 2021

“Storytelling to Reflect & Celebrate Human Experience” with Lynnette Freeman

“How to Write a Jingle” with Kim Trusty

“Introduction to the Steel Pan Musical Instrument” with Becky Bass

“The Actor’s Job” with Patricia Hawkridge

“Dramatic Monologue 101″ with Ricardo Pitts-Wiley

“Tap Dance History & Moves, A Rhode Island Perspective” with Elaine Colaneri

“How to Prepare for an Audition” with Tyla Collier

“The Magic of Lighting: How to Take a Good Head Shot” with Pat Huntington

“English Renaissance Dance for the Stage” with Catherine Bodner

“Essentials of Spontaneous: composing in THIS moment” with nikki lee

“Stage Design for Movement & Dance Performances” with Caitlin Dippo

“Lighting Design & Technical Needs for the Theatre” with Amanda Motta

“Props and Sets for the Theatre” with Michael Getz

“Schuhplattler, Traditional Bavarian Dance” with Kurt Van Dexter

“Beyond the Degree: Stage Management 101″ with Jan Melzer-Thomas

“Make-up and Wigs for the Stage” with Amber Voner