Flushing Town Hall Teaching Artist: Adam Crescenzi
Adam Crescenzi is an artist and an educator who has spent the past ten years making theatre with students in grades K-12 in over thirty New York City Public Schools. He currently works as a teaching artist for Theatre Development Fund, Theatre for a New Audience, New York City Center Encores!, Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts, and American Place Theatre. For the past five years, he has been an Artist-in-Residence at Public School 3: John Melser Charrette, teaching acting to elementary school students and directing them in original productions of his children's theatre plays, one of which, It's All Greek to Me!, was published last year by Playscripts Inc. Last spring, Adam's 5th grade playwriting class had their plays performed at The Signature Theatre by the original cast of Kenneth Lonergan's This Is Our Youth: Josh Hamilton, Mark Ruffalo, and Missy Yeager. He previously taught English through theatre to recent immigrants for the Mayor's Office of Adult Education program, 'We Are New York: Theatre for Change.' He assistant-directed the Off-Broadway premiere of Morris Panych's Vigil at the Daryl Roth Theatre, starring Malcolm Gets and Helen Stenborg, and the world premiere of Rick Elice's Dog and Pony for New York Stage and Film, directed by Roger Rees. He has studied with world-renowned Shakespearean vocal coach Cicely Berry, performed with the Upstate Theatre Company in Drogheda, Ireland, and worked with the late Nobel Peace Prize nominee Augusto Boal at the Center for the Theatre of the Oppressed in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Last year he was a panelist for the Screen Actor's Guild Foundation Panel Event, 'The Nature of Creativity'. Originally from Milford, Massachusetts, he graduated from Vassar College with a Bachelor of Arts in Drama and from New York University with a Master of Arts in Educational Theatre in Colleges and Communities. Both a founder and facilitator of the Greenpoint Group of The Artist's Way, Adam now lives in Brooklyn, with his best friend, a number of plants, and, quite possibly, a ghost.
The Shakespeare Residency
Demystify the difficulties of reading and understanding Shakespeare and his language as students will be dually posited as audience members and performers, allowing them to develop a deeper comprehension and appreciation of Shakespeare's verse, characters, and ideas. After working with the text (the play will be determined before the residency) students will have the opportunity to see a professional performance at Flushing Town Hall. Additionally, this program will provide students with a sense of theatre history- as in Shakespeare's day, the show will be performed by all men, which gives rise to comparisions of gender politics and identity, both then and now- as well as shocaseing Shakespeare's gift for comedy, showing students that just because something was written a long time ago, doesn't mean it doesn't have any bearing on their lives, or the society and culture of the world today. Recommended residency length would be 10-12 workshops led by the Teaching Artist, with additional writing and reflecting exercises facilitated by the participating classroom teacher. For Grades 6-12.
Literature to Life
Students in English Language Arts classes will explore the characters and themes of a classic work of literature, through drama-in-education strategies. In each workshop, students will be exposed to a variety of both acting and writing exercises, enhancing creative skills in both areas. Each student will acquire a portfolio of original writing while enhancing their performance skills. With input from Adam Crescenzi and the collaborating classroom teacher, each student will select one or two pieces which will then be performed in a unique "collage" play in which each student is showcased presenting their own work to an audience of family and friends. This residency is geared for those in grades 4 and up.
Literature to Life II (Community Playwriting)
Geared to students who are interested in creating a unique original piece of theatre. Students will work together and participate in a variety of creative writing exercises that lead to the culmination of a single text. Based on the size and scale of the residency, this text can either be performed by the students themselves, or performed by professional guest actors in a staged reading format; either performance would be directed by Adam Crescenzi. For Grades 9-12.