Meredith of Drama out of the Box did a series of Improv Skills for Teens at the Shrewsbury Library and it was a great success! We had kids coming back week after week to learn and have more fun. Meredith has a real talent for engaging young adults!
Drama Out of the Box is exactly what I was searching for when I wanted an outlet for my creative, dramatic, expressive side. Thank you for providing free, fun, full of laughter Improv classes at Bigelow Library! Meredith is an exceptional, enthusiastic and supportive teacher for people of all ages.
My 7 yr old LOVES this program! Every time we leave, she wants to know when we're coming back- and is excited to go even if it's been a while!
Hi my name is Erika and I did the class-it was very fun. It made me feel calm. We played 3 very fun games. I can't wait to go back! I am in 4th grade.
My children love coming to these classes! They are so much fun. I cannot wait to bring my Girl Scout Troop!
Drama Out of the Box has been the best experience for my 6yo daughter! She can be shy at times and this class really helps to bring her out of her shell. She couldn't stop raving about how much fun she had last time I picked her up from class. She even promised to do chores if I let her go back again!! If you're looking for a great place for your kids to build their self esteem, work out some energy and learn how to think on their feet, then this is the class for you!!!
I attended the Adult Improv Workshop and it was so much fun! It brought me out of my comfort zone, I met new people and had lots of laughs. My son attended the Children's Improv Workshop. He is on the quiet side but had a fun experience and would love to participate in another session. Meredith is a wonderful teacher, introducing activities appropriate to her audience and ensuring that all participants are having a fun worthwhile time. Her passion for arts awareness/education is obvious and I wish her the greatest success with Drama out of the Box!
After the Anti-Bullying Workshop, our students have more tools at their disposal now for dealing with bullies and stopping bullying from happening. More importantly, they now believe that they can change a bullying situation and that standing up to a bully is not as scary or overwhelming as it might at first seem. The students really enjoyed the hot seat activity. Their comments were insightful, creative and demonstrated a deep understanding of the many layers of a bullying situation. The students were able to get inside the heads of the characters in a bullying situation and understand the motivations and possible outcomes of all the people involved.
Meredith is an amazing teacher, who connects with all learners. My students are all learning English as a second language, and are early on in the language acquisition progress. (They are all level 1 or 2 on the WIDA scale for English Language Learners). As a class, they can be quite challenging for teachers, since information has to be presented clearly, succinctly, and in a variety of different modes. Meredith has a strong rapport with my class, and is an expert at supporting their varied needs. The kids love drama. All my learners are able to participate; even those who are only just beginning to put together sentences in English. Meredith introduces games that are clearly explained, entertaining, and that allow students to safely use their energy: moving their bodies, trying out new roles, and learning as they go. Students have fun and are able to engage in drama games that are energetic and creative, but then also are able to come back and refocus. Meredith has her own behavior management system which works wonderfully with my class. Drama with Meredith re-centers my students: when I pick them up from her class they are always happy, calm, and ready to learn. Meredith also incorporates curriculum from other areas into her teaching. While in her class, my students learned about telling time and symmetry---topics I covered later in the year during math. She did a wonderful unit with my students on oral presentation skills: something which can be particularly challenging for new English language learners. Under her guidance, two of my students who nearly always shy away from raising their hands, were able to impress their classmates and participate in a public speaking activity. I believe that Meredith is able to get the most from her students because she knows them individually. She takes time to check in with individual students and to adapt lessons to the learning needs of different classes. She inspires the best from her students through high expectations, a fantastically fun learning environment, and thoughtful lessons which consider the needs of diverse learners. Seeing Meredith with my class is a wonderful gift: I invariably want to just stay and watch.
Meredith collaborates with her fellow teachers and aligns the drama curriculum to support the academic curriculum. For example, Meredith and I worked together on a six-week immigration unit for my fourth grade class. She used her creativity and imagination to provide the children a unique immigration experience in her drama class. Meredith created a program to simulate what it may have been like for many of the immigrants to arrive at Ellis Island. She developed different stations that immigrants would have had to pass through before being allowed to enter the country, and recruited her director, the assistant principal and fellow teachers to play the roles of the station officers. Her efforts led to a greatly enhanced immigration unit that the students will never forget.
I have observed Meredith set clear objectives in my second grade class. She sets goals that establish routines and her classroom management allows for students to easily reach these goals. Meredith does a wonderful job reaching all of her students in a short 55 minute period. Her quiet and caring demeanor provides an atmosphere of respect and her lessons differentiate not only for students who have learning disabilities but also for students who are ELL. She provides challenging material for students who are able to perform at this level. Meredith is well aware of her students and their needs. One of Meredith’s many strengths is her communication with classroom teachers. She takes much of her free time to connect with classroom teachers to help better understand the needs of the students in her class.
Having had the opportunity to observe Meredith in the classroom, her students come to life as she purposefully channels their enthusiasm into learning. In our conversations, I have been impressed by the way she promotes performance standards in the classroom and engages students in being reflective about their own learning. Meredith has also been active in her own professional development, participating over the years in numerous curriculum development study groups and workshops related to drama and its connection to other content areas such as literacy, mathematics, and science. In addition, Meredith could offer a workshop from her practice developing in-role drama units with students where third-grade students experience life in a colonial school or where fourth-grade students participate in an immigration-to-America unit. I have seen firsthand the power of these units to engage students and think her work is truly outstanding.