Theatre Team involves a unique relationship between RBTL and the Rochester City School District, and is supported by area foundations and corporations. Theatre Team has brought more than 2,000 city high school students to the Auditorium Theatre for their first Theatre experience. Partnering Teachers prepare their students for the experience by incorporating study units related to the particular production, and school visits by RBTL' s Director of Education and Outreach enhances the classroom learning. Students attend the production having an understanding and appreciation of what they are to experience. Since its inception, students have shuddered at the crash of the chandelier in The Phantom of the Opera, witnessed the helicopter landing in Miss Saigon, danced through history in Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk, learned about the value of tradition in Fiddler on the Roof, and were electrified by the razzle dazzle of 42nd Street. Students not only are thrilled by the live performance, but a dream has been ignited for some.
This Season Theatre Team provided the opportunity for nearly 1,000 Rochester City School District students to see Memphis. Pre-Theatre workshops focused on themes of pre-civil rights and self-respect were held in conjunction with the show to prepare the students for their Theatre experience.
Director of Education, Bob Sagan, gave students a background of Memphis the
Musical and what to expect during their (often first) theatre-going
experience. Danny Guilfoile, noted rock
n' roll historian, discussed the music of the 1950's, playing original
recordings and explaining the crossover of black and white music during that
time period. William (Bill) Scott,
retired music educator and Chair of the Hochstein School of Music, talked about
his experience as a black man in the 1950's and his life stationed in the
segregated south. The focus of the
interactive lectures was to bring the time period to life for the students,
with historical information and an enhanced knowledge of the heritage of the
black culture, for a deeper appreciation of what they would see on stage. Additional components of the program included
a traditional Memphis BBQ dinner for students, provided by Beale Street Cafe,
and a ticket to see Memphis at the
Auditorium. Cast members also visited
with students prior to each show.
Producer, Sue Frost, was so impressed with RBTL's Memphis Theatre Team program
that she came to Rochester in early October to help instructors with the
curriculum planning, and attended the opening night performance with
participating students on November 27.
CLICK HERE for this Season's Workshop Video Highlights.
CLICK HERE for this Season's Workshop Photo Highlights.
Student Review #1
Student Review #2
To find out more about participating in Theatre Team, call Bob Sagan at (585) 325-7760 x3231.