For the Kids, TOO: Education Outreach Programs

James & The Giant Peach - SummerStage 2010

Stone Soup Theatre in Arts Education

by Arlene Martinez-Vickers, Education Director

As the districts keep reducing budgets, affecting Arts Education in schools, more and more schools are turning to teaching artists to provide their children with the arts education that will develop their creativity, problem-solving skills, critical thinking and appreciation for arts in general.

     Not by coincidence, our outreach programs have almost doubled in the past 12 months. Last year, Stone Soup Theatre worked with approximately 12-15 schools, running programs in 7-9 of them any given quarter. Currently, we are scheduled to run programs in 15 schools this fall, with another 5-7 schools who have expressed interest in having our programs later this year!

     Stone Soup has built a reputation for its education programs over the last decade and is embracing this higher demand for Arts Education by providing ongoing professional development to its teachers, ensuring we only send the highest qualified teaching artists to our schools.

Click HERE for more information about our outreach programs, and feel free to contact Arlene at education@stonesouptheatre.org or by phoning 206.633.1883.

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In Bed Together, with Shakespeare

Artistic Directors Teresa Thuman (L, Sound Theatre) & Maureen Miko (R, Stone Soup)

Stone Soup & Sound Theatre Company
by Carolynne Wilcox, PR Manager

Well, not literally, but artistically speaking, Stone Soup and Sound Theatre companies will “bed down” together for a joint production of the hilarious Compleat Works of Wllm Shskpr (Abridged), originally produced and adapted by the Reduced Shakespeare Company (Jess Borgeson, Adam Long and Daniel Singer).
“While Maureen (Miko, Stone Soup Artistic Director, at right above) and I haven’t worked together directly, I have done shows at the Stone Soup space and it feels like a kind of home for us,” says Teresa Thuman, Sound Theatre Company’s Artistic Director, (at left, above) who will also direct the production. “We have had great experiences with the folks and the audiences that have come to Stone Soup. This project was actually proposed by Maureen and upon reflection I decided it was a perfect small project for us following the daunting scale of Shaw’s Pygmalion in August.”
As far as Stone Soup is concerned, Miko reflects, “I was feeling the pinch of finances as well as the risk involved in production. I decided to ask Teresa to co-produce. She’s had success with what she has produced in the past and I felt our audiences would link well.”
In addition, it seems a no-brainer to pool financial as well as physical resources given both the state of the national economy, as well as arts and grant budgets being slashed or in some cases eliminated entirely. Add in the fact that, mentions Thuman, “The spirit of cooperation and collaboration is so central to what we do as theatre artists on a daily basis, I think this model would come naturally to most of us.”
So far, it seems to be working out pretty well. “I think we have found a very good balance of shared responsibility and it seems like a good process — perhaps other theatres will consider similar co–producing opportunities,” states Thuman. Miko agrees. “To overlap our audiences with shared mailing lists and resources seems to me to beat the odds producing can create, perhaps building a new model for Stone Soup and others to follow.”
The Compleat Works of Wllm Shkspr (Abridged) runs November 4-27, with $10 previews on Nov 2 & 3, featuring the performances of Matthew Gilbert, Patrick Lennon and Luke Walker. Tickets can be purchased here or by phoning the Stone Soup box office at 206.633.1883.