Explore dance, music and theatre genres through educational lessons and interactive activities! Please select the genre you are interested in or browse through them all.
 
Each season, new Learning Guides will be added. Be sure to come back to continue expanding your knowledge of the arts!  
 

Dance

Theatre

Music

 

Dance 

Invertigo Dance Theatre: Formulae & Fairy Tales 

Invertigo Dance Theatre’s Formulae & Fairy Tales places the worlds of mathematics, artificial intelligence and cryptography into a vivid, twisted fairy-tale palette. The story casts the life of Alan Turing, mathematical genius and World War II codebreaker, into the Technicolor and mythologized ideas of his favorite film, Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
 
Experience the power of storytelling as modern dance becomes a socio-cultural space of transformation. 
 

Genre: Dance 
Ages: 12 and up 
Key Skills: dance-theatre elements, storytelling through stage and movement, socratic seminar, symbolism 
Standards Provided: Grades  9-12 

Video Workshop - Choreographer Interview

 

 

Kybele Dance Theater 

Kybele Dance Theater is dedicated to building bridges between cultures and genders and creating a multicultural perspective through contemporary dance. The choreography showcases the power of story telling by mixing gestures with accents of technique while drawing upon the choreographer, Seda Aybay’s Turkish heritage. 
 
Gain insight into the choreographer’s process of integrating her culture and heritage into her dances and create your own dance inspired in poetry. 
Genre: Modern Dance  
Ages: 9 and up 
Key Skills: defining modern dance, movement, knowledge of dance vocabulary and technique, analyzing movement  
Standards Provided: Grades 9-12 


Video Workshop - Choreographer Interview

 


 

The 7 Fingers: Cuisine & Confessions 

From Montreal Canada, The 7 Fingers presents a remarkable collaboration of circus, avant-garde dance, spoken word, theatre, comedy and cooking! Life happens in the kitchen! The true stories of these artists are woven into a daring and high energy cirque experience.  
 
Explore the world of contemporary circus arts by engaging in movement, spoken word and storytelling through gesture. 

Genre: Circus Arts 
Ages: 7 and up 
Key Skills: contemporary circus, spoken word, movement, gesture, reflection 
Standards Provided: Grades 9-12 

 


Theatre 

Thaddeus Phillips: 17 Border Crossings

Award-winning theatre director, designer and performer Thaddeus Phillips uses lighting, shadows, humor and his magnetic charm to weave a witty, enlightening and surreal examination of imaginary lines, arbitrary passports and curious customs. 
 
Explore the use of stage props, learn about the history of solo performance and become a theatre critic! 
 
Genre: Theatre 
Ages: 12 and up 
Key Skills: solo performance, use of stage props, writing, social justice 
Standards Provided: Grades 9-12 
 

Isango Ensemble: The Magic Flute  

Award-winning South African theatre company, Isango Ensemble, re-imagines theatre classics in a South African setting, using artists drawn mainly from Cape Town townships. 
 
Create adaptations of classic stories and fairytales. Learn how Isango Ensemble adapted Mozart’s The Magic Flute.  

 
Genre: Theatre/Classical Music 
Ages: 7 and up 
Key Skills: adaptation, fairytale, compare and contrast, writing, stage design 
Standards Provided: Grades 9-12 
 
 

John Steinbeck: The Grapes of Wrath

Read Frank Galati's adaptation of John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath to better understand the 1930's Dust Bowl. This guide will address major themes, symbolism and explore connections in American history and present day. The revised guide will also cover character development and guided dialogue.  
 
The staged readings were presented in partnership with the Santa Monica Repertory Theater company, a local ensemble designed to present classic and contemporary plays with themes that are relevant to young people.   
 
Genre: Theatre 
Ages: 14 and up 
Key Skills: debate, writing, historical connections, class discussions, social-political messages through music 
Standards Provided: Grades 9-12 

Video Workshop - Theatre Tableau

 

George Barnard Shaw: Saint Joan 

Read and analyze George Bernard Shaw's Saint Joan and dive into character study, discuss main themes and learn major plot points through tableau.  
 
Genre: Theatre  
Ages: 14 and up 
Key Skills: analyze, character study, theme, motif, given circumstances, tableau, monologue, stage picture 
Standards Provided: Grades 9-12 
 

 

William Shakespeare: Hamlet 

Study William Shakespeare's Hamlet and learn how to read and understand his words through theatre and speaking. 
 
Genre: Theatre  
Ages: 14 and up 
Key Skills: soliloquy, character study, plot, theme, stage picture, writing, tableau, speaking Shakespeare 
Standards Provided: Grades 9-12 
 
 

William Shakespeare: King Lear 

Explore themes of family, love, loyalty and betrayal with your students as you read, discuss and experience Shakespeare’s King Lear
 
Genre: Theatre  
Ages: 14 and up 
Key Skills: character analysis, plot comprehension, debate, soliloquy, theatre, literature 
Standards Provided: Grades 9-12
 
 

William Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night's Dream  

Read, discuss and reflect on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and dive into character analysis and plot comprehension through physicalizing characters and tableau. 
 
Genre: Theatre  
Ages: 14 and up 
Key Skills: character analysis, plot comprehension, tableau, gesture, motif 
Standards Provided: Grades 9-12
 


William Shakespeare: Henry VIII/Enrique VIII 

Read Shakespeare’s Henry VIII, and explore common themes and characters through tableau and analysis. 
 
Genre: Theatre  
Ages: 14 and up 
Key Skills: plot comprehension, tableau, character analysis 
Standards Provided: Grades 9-12   
 

 

Dale Wasserman: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest 

Read Dale Wasserman's adaptation of Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and explore key themes, analyze major characters and make connections to the present day. 
 
Genre: Theatre  
Ages: 14 and up 
Key Skills: character study and analysis, plot, theme, writing, tableauters, symbolism 
Standards Provided: Grades 9-12 
 


Hattie Winston: The Slave Narratives  

This original play by Ms. Hattie Winston explores the first-hand accounts of formerly enslaved people, as collected by the Federal Writers Project in 1933. 
 
Genre: Theatre  
Ages: 14 and up 
Key Skills: American history, linguistics, oral tradition, writing, identity 
Standards Provided: Grades 9-12 

 


 

Leonard Gershe: Butterflies are Free  

Read the play, Butterflies are Free, and dive into group discussions and writing prompts on themes including freedom, independence, perception and language. 
 
Genre: Theatre  
Ages: 14 and up 
Key Skills: Writing, American history, reflection, character map
Standards Provided: Grades 9-12 

 


 

George Orwell: 1984  

A variety of writing and debate exercises are provided to contextualize George Orwell’s 1984 story and make comparisons to current day issues.  
 
Genre: Theatre  
Ages: 14 and up 
Key Skills:  persuasive writing, creative writing, debate, propaganda, surveillance, dystopia, theatre exercises 
Standards Provided: Grades 9-12 
 

 

Bruce Norris: Clybourne Park  

Study and read Bruce Norris' Clybourne Park and discuss the history of Chicago neighborhoods, the power of words and gentrification. 
 
Genre: Theatre  
Ages: 15 and up 
Key Skills: debate, creative writing, persuasive writing, gentrification, scene development 
Standards Provided: Grades 9-12 

 


 

David Auburn: Proof 

This Learning Guide introduces students to subtext through the characters in David Auburn’s play, Proof
 
Genre: Theatre  
Ages: 15 and up 
Key Skills: writing, subtext, analysis, theme 
Standards Provided: Grades 9-12 

 


Music

Ranky Tanky: Gullah Music 

This GRAMMY® Award winning, Charleston, SC-based quintet performs timeless music born from the Gullah culture of the southeastern Sea Islands.  
 
Explore Gullah history and culture, self-expression and collaboration through the unique sounds of Ranky Tanky and Gullah music.  

 
Genre: Gullah Music 
Ages: 10 and up 
Key Skills: musical elements of call and response, body percussion, and polyrhythms. Song form; children's songs, ring shouts, work songs, and spirituals 
Standards Provided: Grades 9-12 

 


 

Isango Ensemble — uCarmen  

Award-winning South African theatre company Isango Ensemble re-imagines theatre classics in a South African setting, using artists drawn mainly from Cape Town townships. uCarmen transforms Bizet’s classical music with a modern story of a strong, independent South African woman.  
 
Look at similarities and differences between varying adaptations of classic stories. 
 
Genre: Theatre/Classical Music 
Ages: 7 and up 
Key Skills: adaptation, writing, theme 
Standards Provided: Grades 9-12