Looking for a safe, creative space to test your writing, delivery, or improv skills with a social justice lens? From Page to Stage: Speech & Improv is the class for you! We interviewed the instructor, Carolyne Haycraft, to gain more insight into her class, teaching style, and passions.
Carolyne Haycraft, MFA Directing, M.Ed, English and Drama, moved to NYC from Australia to study acting after completing her undergraduate degree. For over two decades she has engaged youth in social justice theatre, violence prevention programs, and self-defense training for young women.
Question: What drives your passion for teaching or passion for the subjects that you teach?
Carolyne Haycraft: I’m driven by a love of teaching and the power of theatre as a tool for transformation and change. Teaching theatre, acting, and improv classes provide students with opportunities to experience new situations, challenges, ideas, and emotions. There is a lot of research on neuroscience and how the brain doesn't recognize the difference between a real-life experience and an imaginary experience, so providing students with different roles and situations can make a huge difference in their growth and development especially if a child has experienced trauma. Drama can create a different set of experiences to counterbalance negative experiences. I believe that drama is a very important subject/tool that can be integrated into almost any other subject to help build confidence, learning, and skills. Teaching summer camps for Saturday Academy is one of the highlights of my summer.
Question: What are you most excited for your students to learn about in your class? What activities are you most looking forward to guiding?
Carolyne Haycraft: Every day we work on improving our social-emotional learning skills. We always do community circles, acknowledgments of each other and ourselves. I love teaching improv, as it includes lots of fun games that enable students to take risks and build their confidence, collaborate and build interpersonal skills. Emotional intelligence and social justice are at the core of my curriculum and creating opportunities to talk about equity and social justice is crucial for creating change.
Question: What is the most important takeaway from your class?
Carolyne Haycraft: Having fun learning. Working together, being kind, the importance of creativity, and acknowledging the importance of human relationships.
There are only 5 seats left in Carolyne's From Page to Stage: Speech & Improv class! The class begins on August 2nd at Open School East for students in grades 9-12.