As part of its expansive list of virtual Drama School offerings for summer 2020, Seattle Children’s Theatre is pleased to introduce a new slate of classes geared towards social justice and creating space for underrepresented voices. Due to the evolving status of COVID-19 related restrictions in Washington State and across the country, SCT is hosting Summer Drama School classes in an exclusively virtual setting and is using this position as an opportunity to reach, elevate, and champion new voices.
“SCT continues to examine our internal practices toward becoming an anti-racist organization and better serve our youth. We have a long way to go, but in this necessary time we hear our community and vow to continue serving by doing our part,” says Johamy Morales, SCT’s Director of Education. “As a leader in the arts community it is our responsibility to uphold the voices and stories that continue to be underrepresented in our field, and to champion more equitable access to programming, on our stages, behind the curtain, in our classrooms, and as we engage and work in service to our community.”
Among the new slate of classes is ‘The Art of Drag’, a one week class designed for LGBTQ+ youth and their allies which will explore the cultural and historical significance of Drag Performance while teaching students how to create their own drag persona. Taught by local Seattle Drag Queen, Isis, and Drag King, Dan D'Lite, this class aims to create a comfortable space for LGBTQ+ youth to grow and create.
Also included is Rise Up: Triple Threat, Rise Up: Short Plays & Stand Up: Playwrights for Change, a series of classes designed for students who identify as Black, Indigenous, or People of Color where they can explore and create works written for them and aimed to ignite the power of social change through different areas of drama. Through the playwriting course, students will learn the fundamentals of storytelling based on their own experience. A variety of Triple Threat courses will celebrate musicals like The Wiz, In the Heights, and Allegiance written specifically for communities of color and will be instructed by BIPOC teaching artists.
Finally, a variety of Sensory Drama classes are being offered and are designed for students with disabilities, particularly those with sensory processing challenges, to explore drama with accommodations that meet their needs. Visual schedules, captioning, ASL, and accommodating motor movement will be used as the foundation for these classes and led by Teaching Artist and SCT’s Sensory Drama Specialist, Maddie Napel.
To make all offerings as accessible as possible, financial assistance is being offered to those who meet federal guidelines through the simple process of a one-time application. SCT will evaluate these applications on a case by case basis depending on the needs of the family with the goal of being as accommodating as possible. Payment plans will also be made available for those who may need it.
“It is our goal to embrace the opportunities provided by these unprecedented challenges to better connect with families and the world,” said Morales, adding that 24 students have registered for June classes who live outside of Washington State. “Because classes are being held online, we can reach students from new communities and invite them to learn through our expansive curriculum, including our new and diverse offerings which allow educational space for underrepresented voices.”
SCT’s virtual summer classes are available for students 3.5-18 years old. To learn more about SCT’s summer programming, including July and August registration dates, please visit our website. For updates on SCT’s evolving position on COVID-19 and how it is affecting the theatre and it’s programming, please visit our blog.