Triad Stage to launch expanded Learning Program, seeks Learning Director
Greensboro, N.C. – Triad Stage today announced plans to launch a comprehensive expansion of its Learning Program, and the opening of their search for a full-time Learning Director. The expanded program will serve middle and high school students through lifelong adult learners.
The new Learning Program is a significant component of the business model changes undertaken by the company last year that included a successful $500,000 fundraising campaign completed in the summer, a condensed season schedule that now mirrors the academic calendar, and reduced operating costs.
“Over the course of the last year, we’ve implemented a lot of successful innovations designed to address the changing arts landscape in the Triad,” says Founding Managing Director Richard Whittington. “Expanding our Learning Program and the addition of a full-time Learning Director enhances the work we do on our MainStage and is the fulfillment of a 16-year dream.”
Nationally, despite the documented advantages of arts in education, arts education offerings are declining. In a national study asking teachers whether they spend more, less or the same amount of time on specific subjects, 51% of teachers say that art and 48% report music are receiving less instruction time in the face of mandated state testing of other subjects (NEA). Only 45% of US secondary schools offer theater in the curriculum at all (US Department of Education).
Triad Stage looks forward to working alongside other organizations engaged in theater education in the Triad, among them City Arts, the Community Theater of Greensboro and Peppercorn Theatre, to expand offerings to more students. As the largest not-for-profit professional theater in the Triad, Triad Stage recognized an opportunity to step up its Learning Program to help fill the gap left by the closing of the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival, whose robust education program served 8,600 Guilford County students annually until 2014.
“As part of our Strategic Planning, Triad Stage’s Board of Trustees, leadership and staff recognized both the value and the need for the theater to provide more educational opportunities for the community,” says Triad Stage Board Chair Mindy Oakley. “We are excited to be taking this important step toward creating a comprehensive program to increase access to arts education and develop the next generation of theater-goers.”
Learning has been one of Triad Stage’s core values since the company began in 2001. Triad Stage already provides free programming aimed at deepening the audience’s experience through its Theater+ Series of post-performance conversations with actors, designer and noted experts. More than 4,200 North Carolina students attended matinee performances and took advantage of student pricing last season. This season, Triad Stage launched its Professional Training Program to house and train six full-time apprentices in administration and production. Triad Stage recently announced openings for nine apprentices next season.
Triad Stage has partnered with a number of local universities to provide opportunities for area high school and college students. The company hosts the annual NC Young Playwrights Festival, produced by the North Carolina Theatre Arts Educators and UNCG Theatre Education, and in 2016 they partnered with NC A&T State University to produce the inaugural Greensboro regional finals of the national August Wilson Monologue Competition. Triad Stage has also provided educational opportunities to local university students on stage and backstage since its first season, and the company will announce two partnerships with area universities on February 20 when it unveils it’s 2017-2018 season in two announcement events (details below).
Formalizing a Learning Program under a Learning Director will allow Triad Stage to expand its outreach to local schools and broaden the educational opportunities offered by the company. Triad Stage expects to partner with local school districts on Project Discovery, a program to integrate theater into the regular curriculum of middle and high school classrooms. They also plan to offer evening and summer classes for teens.
“Triad Stage’s Learning Program is all about discovery, creation and innovation. It’s a two-way street whereby the teaching artists gain as much from the students as the students receive from the instructors,” says Founding Artistic Director Preston Lane. “We’re committed to a process-based program where the emphasis is on understanding the craft of theater and becoming better citizens as well as better artists.”
Triad Stage will announce its 2017-2018 Season and launch its annual Season Pass Renewal campaign in both Winston-Salem and Greensboro on Monday, February 20 at two events open to the public. The company will hold a breakfast announcement event at 9 a.m. in Winston-Salem at the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts, 251 Spruce Street N. In the evening there will be an announcement event at 7:30 p.m. at The Pyrle Theater in Greensboro, 232 S. Elm Street. RSVP by email for either event to Justin Nichols, Development Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOUT TRIAD STAGE
Triad Stage is a professional not-for-profit regional theater company based in Greensboro’s downtown historic district. All Triad Stage productions are created in the Piedmont Triad of North Carolina using the best of local and national talent. Triad Stage gratefully acknowledges the support of its Season Sponsors: Blue Zoom, the North Carolina Arts Council, ArtsGreensboro and The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County. In addition, Triad Stage recognizes supporters of its current education programs, including VF Corporation, Lincoln Financial Group, The Hillsdale Fund, The Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro and The Toleo Foundation.
All Triad Stage productions feature the bold acting and breathtaking design that have been nationally recognized by The Wall Street Journal and by the American Theatre Wing, founder of the Tony Awards®, which named Triad Stage one of the top ten most promising theatres in the country as a recipient of the 2010 National Theatre Company Grant. Triad Stage has also earned accolades including “Best North Carolina Production of 2010” for The Glass Menagerie by Triangle Arts & Entertainment magazine; “One of the Best Regional Theatres in America”, New York’s Drama League; “Best Live Theater” (thirteen years running), Go Triad/News & Record; and “Professional Theater of the Year” (2003, 2011), North Carolina Theatre Conference.