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Welcome to the Arden Theatre Company blog, where we share behind-the-scenes stories and current happenings with you. You will hear from the Arden staff as well as actors and other visiting artists, and we hope to hear from you, too. If you have an idea for a topic, please post a comment about it. We can't wait to hear what you think!

On an unseasonably warm and rainy late Wednesday afternoon in early February a group of timid yet very excited and curious Philadelphia public school teachers arrived at the Arden’s Hamilton Family Arts center to partake in the first of three professional development workshops that will be offered at the Arden to the participating faculty of Arden for All partner schools.

Arden for All Partner School Teachers work together to strengthen team building skills in the classroom.

Arden for All Partner School Teachers work together to strengthen team building skills in the classroom.

The evening consisted of a meet and greet and then a fun and active workshop on how to integrate improv and theatre games into the classroom. These games and activities are designed to  inspire 21st-Century skills, such as collaboration, team work, and utilizing creative imagination. Taught by local improv teaching artist, Tara Demmy (a former Arden Apprentice), the workshop also instilled “thinking quick on your feet” skills to enhance classroom engagement. The night ended with a light dinner and a performance of the Arden’s production of Funnyman.

Arden for All Partner School Teachers enjoy a laugh during an improv activity.

Arden for All Partner School Teachers enjoy a laugh during an improv activity.

The workshop began quietly with teachers getting to know each other through a name game and by the time we were 15-20 minutes into it, the sounds of uproarious laughter and applause permeated through the Hamilton Family Arts Center! By the end of the workshop, the teachers created a common bond and this energy spilled into conversations while having dinner about how they planned to use the exercises not only with their students but also with fellow colleagues at their perspective schools! They vowed to share their results via video and photos with each other and the Arden! By the end they became a team and felt a part of the Arden family. As we headed to the theatre to see a show together, it definitely felt like a mission accomplished!

Arden for All Partner School Teachers with Improv Teaching Artist, Tara Demmy (far left) and Director of Educational Outreach, Jose Aviles (far right).

Arden for All Partner School Teachers with Improv Teaching Artist, Tara Demmy (far left) and Director of Educational Outreach, Jose Aviles (far right).

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