for human services professionals, educators, counselors, clergy, and other youth workers who wish to apply exciting and dynamic theatre techniques in their work with youth.
Past theatrical experience is not required!
Effective prevention education through theatre demands a long term commitment on the part of youths and their adult trainers. But many agencies and workers are stymied by the very simple problem: how do you get the young people in the door? More importantly, once you've got them, how do you keep them involved? This lively, hands-on workshop provides a powerful,
energizing experience. You'll take part in proven activities designed to help
you reach out to at-risk teens. You'll receive important tips and invaluable advice on recruitment and team building. You can create a dynamic program that teens will happily
return to again and again.
Roy G Biv and the Seven Emotions
If you were an art teacher, you wouldn't ask a student to "be" red, orange, or yellow. Rather, you would show the student how to choose and
use the proper tools and materials to produce a colorful canvas. Yet, in the performing arts,
young actors are often expected to deliver emotionally charged, "real" performances without
being given any tools to work with! This workshop presents a proven, powerful way to train
youthful actors to access their own actor's tool box, and liberate their expression-safely.
Using exercises developed by Viola Spolin, Mr. Burns, and others, participants will learn a
process for opening adolescents to the rich and potent emotional reality of the stage.
Building a Performance
Proven techniques for facilitating the creation of original theatre on the topics important to
your group. This workshop will introduce you to basic acting and improvisation, show ways
to develop powerful plot /performance structures, and suggest accessible and affordable
media/technical elements. Presented in a way that makes creation of a unique, original
performance piece not only less frightening, but downright fun!
Developing your youth theatre, teaching and directing, building your perfomance team may be the most lively, fulfilling, and fun work you've encountered in years. But without producers, theatre can't happen! This workshop provides a practical, no-nonsense look at the "front of the house" job functions: finding
and using the resources needed to build and sustain a youth troupe. You will learn ways to
develop effective community partnerships, seek grant and business funding, and maintain useful records and numbers. You'll also receive invaluable practical tips on touring with a youth theatre show.
What do past workshop participants say?
The following are quotes from evaluations of Mr Burns' workshops at
"He was terrific! (The workshop) was very real. "--Frank, counselor
"Upbeat and serious and very informative." --Helen, agency administrator
"Dynamic, enthusiastic presenter."--Juan, youth outreach worker
"I enjoyed this program, it was extremely informational. It is certainly a great way to
get to children and young adults!"--Tracy, volunteer youth worker
"More!"--Jean, youth worker
To discuss availability, fees and scheduling, please contact:
34 Benedict Street
Saratoga Springs NY 12866
Writer, director, actor, and educator Michael Burns has specialized in applying theatre
techniques to the needs of human services agencies and schools for the past twenty years.
Mr. Burns has taught and directed young people for The American Folk
Theatre, CAPTAIN of Shenendehowa, the Alcohol and Substance Abuse
Council of Saratoga County, Spaha, Inc., Shenendehowa Advocates for
Gifted Education, Saratoga County BOCES, Very Special Arts (At
Greene Correctional Facility) and numerous schools and community
theatre groups. He developed and ran The Northway Construction
Company, The In Lieu of Detention Theatre Co., and the Spaha
Performance Group youth theatre troupes, served as Artistic Director of
Saratoga's Home Made Theater, and was the founder/director of The
Mop & Bucket Co. improv comedy troupe. Mr. Burns is the author of
several produced plays, including Alexander Hamilton: First American,
Alice in Wonderland (adaptation) and Close The Kitchen Door. He
currently teaches theatre at The Charlton School, a residential facility for
girls in Saratoga County NY. First You Sit on the Floor is his first book, written in response
to frequent requests by attendees of his workshops.
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