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L.A. Theatre Works ‘Sets the Stage for Learning’ during and after
coronavirus: 25 audio stage plays available free to educators
LOS ANGELES (March 18, 2020) — L.A. Theatre Works is offering 25 audio recordings of significant stage plays, each performed by leading actors of stage and screen, available free to educators worldwide.
LATW’s “Setting the Stage for Learning” initiative allows teachers to enhance distance learning during the Covid-19 crisis — as well as classroom learning when students return to school. By harnessing the power of professional theater, students deepen understanding of complex literature and subject content through an engaging and meaningful learning experience.
A non-profit media arts organization and the world’s leading producer of audio theater, L.A. Theatre Works’ mission is to present, preserve and disseminate classic and contemporary plays featuring critically acclaimed actors. With LATW, teachers bring the excitement of a stage play into their students’ immediate environment and allow them to share their experiences of this rich content with peers, even when separated by distance learning. Discussions about culture, context, the history and arc of the story, and personal connections to characters facing challenges and overcoming obstacles will add to students’ enjoyment as stories come to life through talented casts, foley artists (creating sound effects) and well-crafted scripts.
“Students report how listening to a play provides a different experience from reading it,” says LATW producing director Susan Loewenberg. “Drama and humor come to life in a more dynamic way through our recordings than text on a page.”
According to Dr. Denise Johnson, professor of reading education and director of the Literacy Leadership program at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, the benefits of audiobooks include introducing students to books above their reading level; modeling interpretive reading; teaching critical listening; highlighting humor; introducing genres and vocabulary; and providing a bridge to significant discussion topics. Perhaps most important, she cites Baskin & Harris, writing that audiobooks allow students to recapture “the essence and the delights of hearing stories beautifully told by extraordinarily talented storytellers.”
L.A. Theatre Works offers support for educators with an introductory guide suggesting topics for engaging conversations and ideas for student-created content. Educators can select and preview a play, then select an approach, whether it be asking students to listen to an entire play with follow-up discussions and/or assignments, or breaking the play into listening segments, pausing for comprehension checks, answering questions and transitioning through the arc of the plot.
Scroll down to see the list of titles available to educators.
For more information about ‘Setting the Stage for Learning,’ to sign up, and to find out how to send a link to your students, go to https://latw.org/setting-stage-learning.
‘Setting the Stage for Learning’ titles available for streaming:
• As You Like It by William Shakespeare
• Chavez Ravine by Culture Clash
• Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand, translated and adapted by Anthony Burgess
• An Enemy of the People by Henrik Ibsen, adapted by Rebecca Lenkiewicz
• The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, adapted by Frank Galati
• The Great Tennessee Monkey Trial by Peter Goodchild
• Hamlet by William Shakespeare
• Hold These Truths by Jeanne Sakata
• The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
• The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
• In the Heat of the Night by John Ball
• Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, adapted by Christina Calvit
• Judgment at Nuremberg by Abby Mann
• Macbeth by William Shakespeare
• A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare
• The Mountaintop by Katori Hall
• Oedipus the King by Sophocles, translated by Nicholas Rudall
• Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, adapted by Christina Calvit
• Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw
• Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
• Spill by Leigh Fondakowski
• Top Secret: The Battle for the Pentagon Papers by Geoffrey Cowan and LeRoy Aarons
• Twelve Angry Men by Reginald Rose
• A View from the Bridge by Arthur Miller
• Zoot Suit by Luis Valdez