With the support of the Maryland State Department of Education, Olney Theatre Center has developed a network of Educational Connections to engage students in the excitement of live theater and to involve them in the creative process. Through our touring company, National Players, and the work of our teaching artists, professional performances of the world's great dramatic literature and challenging creative writing workshops are accessible to students in every school district in Maryland. Many of Olney Theatre Center's Educational Connections can reach, inspire and excite your students as well.
The National Players bring literature to life in special 90-minute matinee versions of the works of Shakespeare and other classics. Nearly every student performance in Maryland is preceded by a workshop and followed by a lively post-show discussion of the play with the acting company. Teachers are provided study guides and other resource materials in advance to help enrich the performance experience.
In-School Workshops Are Available Year-Round.
An introduction to illusion and the methods of creating believable, safe stage fighting. Through practice and demonstration, participants learn classic hair pulls, slaps, and punches to build dynamic stage fights.
Acting & Improvisation
Explore methods, exercises, and tricks of the trade with the acting company. From amateurs to professionals to those who never thought they'd walk the boards- a great class for public speakers of all interests and backgrounds!
Speak the Speech: Decoding Shakespeare
This engaging class illuminates the journey an actor takes to bring Shakespeare’s words to life. Through verse work and scene analysis, see Shakespeare through new eyes as you tackle language, characters, and situation.
The Noise Within: Discover Your Voice
Acting isn't just about speaking loudly! Learn the basics of breath control, sound placement, and being heard above the crowd. From presenting boardroom reports to performing an eight-show week, this class is for everyone.
Script to Speech: Playwriting
An interactive introduction to playwriting where audience participation provides the basics of dramatic structure and the creative process. Useful as a pre-show activity, this workshop builds excitement about the coming show, and put the audience in touch with their creativity.
Text in Context
A great compliment to students studying the play's text or experiencing theatre for the first time. With the actors providing guidance, mine the story's action, characters, and theme for consistent relevance today and broader discourse across studies.
With advanced notice, the company can design and teach workshops tailored to specific curricula and interests. Have an idea? Share it with us!
Other things we do
Resolving to reach our most under served audiences, National Players' prison outreach program brings performance skills and expressive techniques to communities that most in need. Often conducted in collaboration with partner schools/venues.
Teacher Training/Arts Integration
As performing arts professionals, the Players are living their dynamic actor training, and can provide teachers with proven tools to engage students and deepen their understanding of literature, interpersonal communication, and freeing the creativity within anyone.