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The StageAgent Theatre Blog

News, thoughts, opinions and advice for the performing arts community.

Introducing StageAgent for Schools

Drama StudentsStageAgent is proud to announce a new online platform to empower high school drama teachers and students: StageAgent for Schools. With StageAgent for Schools, our mission is to help develop the next generation of actors and theatergoers by improving student literacy in the Dramatic Arts.

The StageAgent for Schools project started in the summer of 2016. At that time, we discovered that a large number of our subscribers were high school drama teachers. After interviewing some of these teachers, we learned that they often used StageAgent to help them advise students looking for audition pieces. StageAgent’s monologue and song databases helped teachers efficiently and effectively come up with ideas. Further, StageAgent’s show guides and character breakdowns made theatrical literature much more approachable for their students.

However, many of these teachers also wished that their students

Foothill High School drama students
Foothill High School students, Pleasanton, California

could have individual access to StageAgent. They wanted their students to learn how to become more effective researchers and encourage more independence in the classroom setting. Additionally, since each student has unique needs and interests, it became challenging trying to customize preferences for so many individuals within a single account.

To solve this problem, we produced a ‘beta’ version of StageAgent for Schools allowing for teachers and students to all have unique StageAgent accounts managed by an overarching school account. Teachers and students alike were now able to access StageAgent’s extensive content and research tools. During the 2016-2017 school year, we worked with 8 high schools in two states to pilot the program. Teachers and students told us that they loved having access to accurate and reliable theatre research tools right at their fingertips.

“StageAgent has been a wonderful tool for my students. With just a click on the computer, students have access to monologues, audition choices, show information, and much more. It has been a great tool to give students access to a lot of information on a variety of shows. ” 

– Laura Rose, Drama Director, St. Francis High School, Mountain View, CA

The teachers and students from the pilot high schools also gave us some suggestions on how to improve the school service. Teachers asked us to develop lesson plans to help them integrate StageAgent into their classroom activities. They also wanted a way to measure student progress and to ensure that students were actually absorbing information. Meanwhile, students told us that they wanted an easy way to sign in without having to use an email address. They also wanted a simpler user interface that was more kid-friendly.

After receiving this feedback, the StageAgent staff worked diligently throughout the summer to create a new StageAgent for Schools platform that would solve these issues.  The new platform not only provides access to amazing theatrical resources, but it also includes a series of features making it appropriate for use in academic environments.

On StageAgent for Schools, students can access show guides, character breakdowns, monologues, songs, and scenes. Students can bookmark their favorite materials and use keywords to search by theme. Self-paced quizzes provide a fun way for students to test newfound knowledge, and they can help teachers measure student comprehension. Meanwhile, teachers now have their own dashboard where they can access dozens of lesson plans, grant students’ access to StageAgent’s materials, and view student progress reports.

StageAgent for Schools also provides COPPA/FERPA privacy protections. Students are able sign in with a unique 6-digit passcode and do not need to share any personal information.

We invite all high school drama teachers to visit our new website for StageAgent for Schools (https://stageagent.org) to learn more. After signing up for a free trialwe believe you will be convinced to make StageAgent for Schools a part of your teaching and learning curriculum.

“StageAgent helps make theatrical literature approachable and accessible to students of all cultural and economic backgrounds. As a COPPA-compliant resource, StageAgent offers a safe internet environment for students to conveniently access both in and out of the classroom. Further, it helps save our teachers time by providing students with an accurate and reliable research tool for independent study.”

– Rachel Harrah, Director of Theatre and Dance, Dallas Independent School District

VISIT STAGEAGENT FOR SCHOOLS

Staying Healthy and Fit: An Actor Exercises

Fitness truly comes in all shapes and sizes. The word fit means “able to do a task.” That’s it. Nothing more. But when you get a theatre job, it can actually be a great time to “get in shape,” whatever that means to you. If you’re already strong and fit, maybe your goal is to be stronger. Or maybe you’d like to lose a few pounds. Or maybe you’ve never seriously exercised and want to start. This is a great time for two reasons: the first, you are likely away from home and away from the distractions of your day-to-day life (like friends, a day job, your favorite TV show on the DVR); the second, once your show is running, you have an insane amount of free time. What else are you going to do with all that time?

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Performing Arts High School Auditions: Preparation

You’re a couple of months away from the start of your child’s eighth grade year. It’s summer — time for relaxing before school starts, right? Nope. Your child has decided that they want to go to a performing arts high school. So, now what? You and your child need to start your preparation now for auditions in the fall. Check out some advice from StageAgent editor and acting coach, Laura Ware.

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What’s Going Down in London Theatre?

After last month’s 2017 Tony Awards in New York, we thought it would be interesting to see what is hot over in the London theatre scene a few months after the super exciting Olivier Award winners were revealed at London’s Royal Albert Hall. Here’s is a selection of some of the hottest tickets in town, many coming from or to Broadway.

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Opera 101: What IS Opera, Doc? An Art Form Is Born

For many generations, a kid’s first exposure to opera was in cartoons with Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd. But what is opera, really? Opera is a difficult word to define in a larger context, as many things fall under its umbrella, but, in simplest form, opera is a theatrical work told through music and singing. And StageAgent is going to spend some time looking at many of the elements of opera in a new series of posts: Opera 101.

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News, thoughts, opinions and advice for the performing arts community.