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School Programs (K-12)

Performance: Soundpainting
Mixing physical theatre, new music, and modern dance, Strike Anywhere sculpts their improvisations through a sign language called Soundpainting. The language is comprised of over 1500 signs and allows a conductor/composer to sculpt a performance in real-time with improvising actors, musicians, dancers and visual artists. The technique was created by N.Y. composer Walter Thompson beginning in the late 1970's for use with jazz musicians. It has evolved into a multidisciplinary language that is practiced worldwide. In a Soundpainting, artists are composing in-the-moment. Pre-composed "palettes" of music, text or choreography can be initiated by the Soundpainter and remixed as they are happening. Experiencing a soundpainting is electric. After a few minutes, audiences are able to decode several of the signs and they get wrapped up in the dialogue between the Soundpainter and the improvisers.

40-70 minutes.

For ALL Levels. (Soundpainting Performances can use a theme that your school provides.)

Residency: Soundpainting
In conjunction with a performance of SOUNDPAINTING or as a stand-alone-experience, these workshops will introduce your students to the sign language system of conducted improvisation called Soundpainting. Working as a team or as an orchestra, students will learn to explore themes and create performances by improvising within a tightly structured system.

Soundpainting is a universal sign-language for live-composition. The language is comprised of over 1500 signs and allows a conductor/composer to sculpt a performance in real-time with improvising actors, musicians, dancers and visual artists. The technique was created by N.Y. composer Walter Thompson beginning in the late 1970's for use with jazz musicians. It has evolved into a multidisciplinary language that is practiced worldwide.

Strike Anywhere is one of only three theater companies in the U.S. who Soundpaints. All of Strike Anywhere's members are core members of the Walter Thompson Orchestra (WTO), SA's musicians having worked with the WTO since the late 80's. SA's Artistic Director, Leese Walker, figures strongly in the history of Soundpainting. She was the first actress to be soundpainted and was instrumental in helping inventor Walter Thompson to adapt the Soundpainting language for theater. She is one of only 5 certified multi-disciplinary Soundpainters licensed to teach Soundpainting in the United States.

For ALL levels.

Custom-Designed In-School Residencies
Strike Anywhere provides short and long-term residencies. Strike Anywhere's teaching-artists collaborate closely with a classroom teacher to develop interactive ways to bring the classroom curriculum to life. By applying theatrical forms and exercises to curricular content, students learn on their feet, experiencing concepts and investigating text through visceral training methods. Strike Anywhere has created vibrant, ongoing partnerships with several New York City schools including: Manhattan International High School, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis High School, Brooklyn High School for the Arts, Lycée Français and St. Aloysius.

Windows and Mirrors
Windows and Mirrors is a storytelling residency book-ended by two performances. The professional show kick-starts the residency by modelling what participants will perform at the culmination of the residency. The Windows and Mirrors performance features Strike Anywhere performers sharing true stories about pivotal moments in their lives. Audiences are offered "windows" into the storyteller's experiences as well as "mirrors" when they see themselves reflected on stage. The performance features live music.

Residencies typically consist of 8-12 workshops and place a professional playwright and/or actor in residence with the group. Residencies are available to middle schools, high schools, colleges and community groups. In school settings, the professional show can feature teachers from the host school. Teachers undergo a series of professional development workshops to hone their skills as writer/storytellers and then perform alongside Strike Anywhere's professional ensemble.

The residency focuses on the elements of an engaging story, on solo performance and culminates with every participant performing their own story. The residency can be tailored to address the specific curricular needs of a classroom. Participants will hone writing, editing, listening and performance skills. A curated show highlights a select group of storytellers accompanied by Strike Anywhere musicians.

Community Programs for Teens

Strike Anywhere Theatre is currently accepting applications from college and high school students for internships. An internship provides students with hands-on knowledge of the operation of running a small, non-profit theatre company in New York City.

Student interns will be expected to put in 5-30 hours a week at the office or at the theatre. Students will be treated as members of the theatre company and may attend rehearsals. There is no stipend provided for interns but they may take any master classes that Strike Anywhere offers during the intership period for free.

Students can expect to fulfill diverse tasks such as: web research, data entry, assisting with mailings, running the video camera at rehearsals or taking notes for the director at rehearsals, building costumes or the set, hanging lights, hanging posters and/or delivering postcards. Should a student have a preference as far as how they would like to focus their internship, the company will make every effort to try to meet that desire. However, the nature of working for a small, non-profit, experimental ensemble means that everyone involved must complete a variety of tasks.

The majority of rehearsals will take place at various rehearsal studios in Manhattan. Strike Anywhere's office is currently housed in Weehawken, NJ which is only a 10 minute bus ride from Port Authority.

To apply, please contact Leese Walker explaining why you would make a good intern and why you would like to be involved. Please include your phone number and email so that we can set up an interview with you. You may also contact Leese Walker, Artistic Director with any questions or concerns.

Community Programs for Colleges

Strike Anywhere currently tours performances to colleges and universities throughout the United States. Shows currently available include: SAME RIVER, POP UP:AN ARTISTIC TREASURE HUNT(bilingual French/English), THE BOWIE PROJECT and SOUNDPAINTING. Performances can be used to stimulate discussion, compliment curriculum and inspire students to create their own original work. A post-show discussion with the ensemble is included.

*Workshops or residencies performed in conjunction with one of the touring productions are highly recommended.

Process - Designed to compliment a live performance, process workshops allow students a way into the production by exposing them to the creation process used to devise the show. Workshops in Soundpainting, 3D Jazz or the interview process used to develop POP UP, SAME RIVER and other shows are shared with students through experiential exercises. The techniques are then applied to create new material generated by the students.

Skills Capitalizing on the Strike Anywhere Performance Ensemble's diverse assemblage of artists, skill workshops allow the ensemble to share performance skills unique to the ensemble with your students. Workshops on cross-disciplinary improvisation, devising, interview-based theater, ensemble-building, soundpainting and teaching-artist training are available in addition to specific vocal, dance, and music master classes.

Extended Residencies
Extended Residencies allow students to work in concert with SA Ensemble members on a project. Strike Anywhere can design a performance project specifically for your department and your students. By working alongside professional musicians, dancers and actors, students can gain valuable insight into the realities of ensemble creation and devised theatre. Residencies of one week to one month are available.

Master Classes
Strike Anywhere offers college students a diverse array of educational opportunities. Artist-led master classes allow students to experience Strike Anywhere's creative process first hand, actively expanding performer's skill sets. The ensemble offers master classes in: Interview-based Theater, Devising, Ensemble-Building, Interdisciplinary Improvisation, Soundpainting, Teaching-Artistry, Assessment and Documentation for Arts Education, Voice and Movement, Embodied Shakespeare, Music Theory on the Neck of the Guitar, Guitar Improvisation, and various Trumpet or Brass Master Classes.

Community Programs for Professionals

Master Class Series
Strike Anywhere offers high quality master classes to artists at affordable prices. Along side our own company, we offer professional colleagues the opportunity to expand and develop their craft by bringing world-class master teachers to introduce new forms and refresh core techniques.

Teaching Artist Training
Teaching Artist Institute is for all teaching artists who want to take their teaching to the next level. In this experiential institute, we will explore ways to actively involve the classroom teacher, figure out how to plan more effectively, discover how to turn a good lesson into a stellar one, and try out some practical solutions to common behavior issues. TA's will be encouraged to bring in challenges that they have encountered in the field for the group to problem-solve. You will learn how to structure workshops and residencies so that the aim is crystal clear and you will increase your toolbox of games and exercises.

Master Class on Soundpainting
Each class will “tune” the group using innovative improv and devising methods, teach students 25 Soundpainting gestures, and culminate in a short in-class composition all within a fun, safe, and challenging classroom environment. Co-taught by Certified Instructors Leese Walker and Nolan Kennedy with over 30 years of combined Soundpainting expertise and instruction.
INSTRUCTOR: Leese Walker (Strike Anywhere) and Nolan Kennedy (Letter of Marque)

Professional Development for Educators
Strike Anywhere offers a series of Professional Development workshops for Educators. Workshops are custom-designed to meet the needs of the school. Past workshops have included: Team-building Through Theater, Classroom Management, Creating Experiential Lessons,Theatricalizing the Classroom, Drafting Dynamic Do-Now's, and Sculplting Transitions. Strike Anywhere is an improv-based theater ensemble that creates a joyful space for exploration. Activities are appropriately scaffolded so that participants feel safe and supported. The methodology is one of experiential learning where the facilitator doesn't hold the answers but guides the group to make their own discoveries.
INSTRUCTOR: Elizabeth Dunn-Ruiz & Leese Walker

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