In this video clip (from a longer interview) we asked Alison Sheldon, one of our producers at Theatre Avenue, to comment about working with high school, middle school, and elementary school drama teachers. Of course we make digital projections for shows, and love doing that, but it’s about more than that for us. We love seeing how not just the art and animation, but also the connection and relationship with teachers leads to a deeper experience and something way more rewarding for everyone involved.
Mitch: Can you talk about theatre teachers, and how we feel about working with them?
Alison: I think one thing we’re seeing with theatres, especially in schools nowadays, is the burden of fundraising is becoming more and more on the teachers or the advisors for those clubs. And so there’s a lot of tough cuts, a lot of hard work that teachers need to put in. And one thing that Theatre Avenue does is really just try to rally around those teachers and say ‘how can we help?’
We want to be a resource to you, and by doing that, provide new innovative ways to do your shows. We want to help you imagine the show that you want for your kids. That they can be really excited about and really proud of and then all that time that, instead of worrying about set pieces and set design or cost of paint or all those things you can really be taking that time and investing in your students and their potential as people and actors—spending that time with them.
And so one thing Theatre Avenue does is really just, you know, we’re here for teachers to provide them with projections but then also not leave them hanging once they have them to see ‘what support do you need?’ Do you need help troubleshooting? Here are some tips on how to make it look best for your space. Give us a call if you need some help and really try and help teachers feel like they’re supported, because more and more it feels like there are more responsibilities teachers have on their plates and less support than they need. And so we’re just here to say we want to help you too.
A lot of us are former teachers and we know what it’s like to lead a classroom. From one teacher to another, let’s make the show that you want to see happen. Let’s make it something that your community can be proud of, your administration, your students feel excited to get up on stage and perform. And we’ll help you through it from beginning to end. And we want to see you have a successful show because that’s a success for us.
If we can say not only did we give you this piece of art to use but it was used well and it’s something you were proud of at the end of the day. And that’s what does us the best. That’s when we feel the best about what we do was when we hear from teachers and they say ‘Gosh, that worked so well and I got complements from other teachers or from parents saying ‘that was the best set I’ve seen.’
That warms us up to say ‘wow, we got to be a part of helping this school make their dream come true.’