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Lovewell Institute

 

 

Phone:        954-720-6452
Fax:            954-555-5555
Email:         carrie@lovewell.org; info@lovewell.org
Web:           www.lovewell.org 

Services Available:  Series or Residency

 

Description of Services

Lovewell Summer Theatre Festival
Lovewell brings students together to conceive, compose, choreograph, write, research, rehearse, design, produce and perform a piece of theatre with music. Every idea is student generated. While swimming through the creative process, the students must navigate the creative challenges by using critical thinking skills, conflict resolution and putting ideas into action. Through the process, the students are empowered to take handle of their own creative ideas and seek the knowledge and skills in order to have an idea come to life. It is a complete immersion in education while guiding the students to find their own authentic voice.


Educational goals:
The most important thing that Lovewell does is to ignite the spark of creative thinking in students. Creative involvement promotes motivated learning and unity. There is never a losing team in the Lovewell game. Our slogan is "building a cultural community through arts education" and that's exactly what we do. Our programs galvanize our students and rally them around issues of common concern by co-creating publicly performed theatre pieces - maximum ownership, maximum buy-in, maximum involvement.

Employing the Lovewell Method, our staff guides students through the rough waters of bringing order out of chaos, meaning out of data, and resolution out of random events. The themes, characters, dialogue, plot, music, lyrics, design and dances in our productions are generated directly from the imagination, experience, and innate wisdom of the students. The Lovewell Method utilizes creative problem solving, and anyone watching our process knows the high degree of critical thinking that occurs as we develop our projects. The process of creating our shows is a training ground for group dynamics, team-building, organizational strategy, emotional intelligence, and vocational skills.

Another important thing Lovewell does is to help facilitate collaboration. Theatre is an art of unavoidable collaboration. The playwright, the producer, the director, the composer, the choreographer, the actors, the designers, the technicians, the publicists all need to collaborate and communicate at an effective level.

Collaboration skills are a major focus of the Lovewell system. The Lovewell approach is holistic and stresses mutual respect and understanding between all the separate disciplines that must be unified into a successful theatrical production.

Students, staff, parents, and teachers agree that Lovewell Experience is demanding, intense, and challenging. It is total immersion, the one room schoolhouse and the cooperative classroom all rolled into one. It is the inner equivalent of what Outward Bound is to the outside world - in fact some students have called it "Inward Bound." This is part of what makes the Lovewell Method so effective in the way it impacts students with a new confidence in their own abilities and potential, forming deep and lasting bonds as a cultural community, a pattern of lifelong motivated learning, and most importantly - giving voice to their own observations, feelings, and inner wisdom.

 

Methods used:
The first phase of the Lovewell Process begins with what we call the "vortex of chaos" - conceiving the main idea, themes and common goals moving into the creative journey. We then quickly move into refining characters, researching background materials, crash courses in dramatic structure, coaching in songwriting, lyric writing, playwriting, choreography and design. The goal of this phase is to bring order out of chaos. By the end of this phase we will have established the title of the show, the poster design, and a few good songs and scenes. We should also have a good idea of how to tie all the elements into a cohesive theatre piece.

The staff is instructed to allow the students to take the lead. We encourage the students to initiate the ideas in order to give them a sense of maximum ownership and participation. This is at the core of the Lovewell Method because it empowers these students with a new self-awareness that creativity is a powerful inner force that has infinite practical applications. Unconditional mutual support and reverence for the ideas brought forward results in a profound sense of commitment and unprecedented motivation.

The second phase is a frenzy of creation. We divide into 4 groups or departments:

SCRIPT - writers around word processors hammering out the dialogue, plot points, character analysis and structure.

MUSIC - songwriters gathered around keyboards working out melodies, lyrics, under scoring and dance sequences.

DESIGN & TECH - designers and technicians in the shop devising visual and technical aspects of the production in terms of sets, costumes, lighting, props, visuals, and special effects.

DANCE - physical learners and dancers in the studio exploring the possibilities of narrative movement as it relates to the theme and plot.

Students are encouraged to switch groups as their interest and focus shifts. This creates an interdisciplinary atmosphere where students can explore new aspects of the theatre-related arts. The staff meets several times each day to compare the progress being made in each department, making sure we all stay on the same track. During this phase, we put the emphasis on organization techniques, communication skills and flexibility. An attitude of cooperation is essential and the students learn how to work together on a common goal.

During the third phase the focus turns to the performance itself - getting the scenes and songs staged and rehearsed, the sets and costumes finished, and the students and production elements technically polished for performance. Staff offers coaching in performance skills, acting techniques, musical arranging, theatre tech and all practical aspects of getting a production on its feet. Issues dealt with include stage fright, completion of songs, scenes and dances, promotion and publicity, and most importantly – energy management. We strive to balance the manic energy that often culminates at this point with the calm clear confidence of experienced performers. The audience adds the final ingredient. The energy coming back to the performer/creators from the audience is always an indescribable experience. Realizing that the reactions and emotions coming back to them from across the footlights are a direct result of their efforts and artistry, the students experience an exhilaration and sense of accomplishment never to be forgotten. Somebody is not only watching them perform, but also listening to their ideas and appreciating their communication skills on a larger scope. The respect and praise they feel is a priceless addition to their self-image.

 

Indicators of progress:
In order to evaluate each student’s progress throughout the process, we set up an evaluation system that begins with the students themselves. They complete an entrance survey the very first day of the workshop about their own creative expression, perceived talents and abilities, openness to collaboration with other students from all walks of life as well as their preconceived notions about what they expect to gain or learn from their journey throughout the Lovewell process. On the final day, after the final performance, they students are given the exact same evaluation and are asked to complete it. The insight and clarity in which they see the changes that have occurred after being part of such a diverse collaboration, speaks the loudest. Students are able to clearly define the educational enlightenment that has taken place during the process and often times do not realize it has happened until they are asked to re-evaluate at the end of the workshop.

The Lovewell method does not feel as if education is being force fed, but rather, it creates an environment where the student feels in control and can create their own way of learning (within the method.)

 

Assessment methods:
As stated above, we give entrance and exit surveys to the students to document their own perception of their growth through the process. When appropriate (if the workshop is taking place in a school setting,) we will also conduct exit interviews with the teachers who work with these students on a daily basis. Often times, they are the ones who see the biggest difference in the students' behavior and attitude towards learning.

 

Grade Level:

3-12th

Number of Participants:

Min. 20 - Max. 40

Duration:

4 workshops over 4 weeks

Audience/Environment:

At risk, seniors, community-based, school-based, afterschool, summer.

Standards:

VA.D.1.1, VA.D.1.2, VA.D.1.3, VA.D.1.4, VA.E.1.1, VA.E.1.2, VA.E.1.3, VA.E.1.4, all language arts, music, dance and theatre standards

Fees:

$1250 per participant with supplies.

Disciplines:

Visual Arts, Theatre, Music, Dance

Contact: Phone:        954-720-6452
Fax:
           954-555-5555
Email:
        carrie@lovewell.org
info@lovewell.org

Web:
          www.lovewell.org 

 

 
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