New in 2017!

We have had a busy start to the year here at Ludlam Dramatics, but we wanted to take a moment to introduce you to our new Winter/Spring 2017 product line!  Here is a brief overview of our new products and why we love them!

New Theatre Posters

As you know, our highest goal is to create resources for your classroom with valuable, theatre-specific content that is visually stimulating.  With that in mind, we have just released three new posters to add to your collection!

Elizabethan Theatre

To expand upon our Theatre History line of posters (including Greek & Roman Theatre and Commedia delle’Arte) we have added a poster breaking down the Elizabethan period and its impact on modern theatre.  As many states’ curriculum includes the study of Shakespeare and the study of Theatre History, we feel that this poster is perfect for all levels of theatre students as well as for cross-curricular usage.

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Get it HERE!

Run Crew Breakdown

Another goal with all of our products and resources is to make sure that we include more than just actors and performers.  We have been very intentional about including technicians and the technical elements of theatre arts into our poster and products.  The newest technical poster we have is our Run Crew Breakdown!  This design charts the basic roles and responsibilities of the backstage/booth crew during the actual run of a production.  Each crew is described and connected to the Stage Manager to illustrate the chain of command during a show.

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Get this one HERE!

Theatre Skills Poster

We debuted this poster at the TETA TheatreFest in Texas last month and it was a roaring success!  Using a word-cloud design, we have compiled a list of the real-life skills that are taught in the theatre.  Simple and clean, this poster is a fabulous reminder that theatre class is more than just public speaking.  Skills that are sought after in the workplace and in the world at large can be introduced and mastered through so many avenues in the world of the theatre and this poster is a lovely way to validate the significance of theatre on its practitioners!

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This is available HERE!

Other Resources and Gear

The Stage Compass

We are super-excited to introduce this little bit of brilliance to your classroom!  The stage compass is a printed card that is meant to be worn around a necklace or lanyard to orient the student on stage.  It is the perfect tool for parts-of-the-stage games and for adding differentiation into your classroom.  As we mentioned, we like to keep the technicians in mind, so this is also a great tool for your beginning tech crew to orient themselves from onstage or in the house.  The reverse side of the compass card includes common blocking vocabulary for a quick-reference to keep directors and actors communicating effectively!

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Get a Stage Compass HERE!

Tee Shirts

We rolled these out toward the end of 2016, but they are fabulous enough to mention!  We currently have four t-shirt designs for the Theatre Lover!  These shirts are available in sizes XS-XXL and are made of vinyl pressed onto soft, ring-spun cotton, unisex t-shirts.  We strive to make our shirts affordable and fashionable so they can be enjoyed by all!

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Tee Shirts take a few extra days to create, so allow a little time for us to get it to you!

New Buttons

Everybody is looking for that button that just grabs them!  We have added two more to our line that we think you and your students will love!  These are great as rewards, good show gifts, or just pieces of flair!

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We hope you love this new stuff and that it makes your classroom a better place!  Be sure and let us know if you would like to place an order!

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Mutual Benefits: Sports and Theatre

Pop culture, the media, and many social avenues are trending toward promoting the “Us v. Them” mentality. As fellow arts educators, we can certainly commiserate with teachers of the arts about athletics departments and the financial, admin support, and student interest imbalances that some experience. However,  we would rather take a moment to remember what it’s all about: gifting students with the tools to go into the world as balanced, healthy, well-rounded adults.

With that in mind, let’s explore some of the ways that sports and the arts can work together to benefit the student, and take a position of support for what each department has to offer.

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New Year’s Resolutions for the Theatre Teacher!

A fresh, shiny, new year brings a fabulous chance to set some new goals for the classroom. Here are a couple of our favorite ideas for New Year’s Resolutions specifically for Theatre teachers (submitted by Theatre teachers). Use these to get inspired about 2017!

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Get every student involved during classes and programs.  -Johnathan A.

 

Try out or create a new-to-me lesson at least once a month. -Sylvia C.

 

Have more patience with THAT class. -Annalise R.

 

Read more scripts. -Tom L.

 

Make changes to classroom walls and furniture configuration. -LeNae R.

(Editor’s Note: You can check out some ideas on how to use those walls as teaching tool in a previous post!)
 

Purge and catalogue the costume and props storage. -Jenny L.

 

Promote the department and our accomplishments more. -Chase B.

 

Share good lessons with other theatre teachers and get their best lesson ideas from them. -Charlie S.

 

Learn about an area of Theatre in which I am not well-versed. -Rosa T.

 

Invite an audience into my class. (Senior citizens, another class, admin, superintendent, parents) -Jose G.

 

Attend a conference and learn more about my craft. -Shirley M.

 

We think Theatre teachers are a special kind of awesome and we want you to keep up the good work in 2017. Continue learning, inspiring, encouraging, challenging, and loving. Keep teaching compassion, awareness, inclusivity, creativity, and acceptance. The future of the art form is in your hands and we at Ludlam Dramatics can’t wait to see what you will do with it! Happy New Year!

What is your resolution as a teacher? Please share in the comments and keep us posted on your progress throughout the year.

How My Theatre Degree Prepared Me to Be…An Entrepreneur!

“A Theatre major?  What will you do with that degree?”

If you’ve got a Theatre degree, or have considered getting one, you have likely encountered this question. It is typically followed by, “Well, I guess you could always teach.”  (Sound familiar?)

While we at Ludlam Dramatics are really into the idea of Theatre teachers, we recognize that not every BA/BFA in Theatre plans to be an instructor. Not everyone in the general public understands how useful Arts degrees can be!

To that end, we are beginning a new blog series in which we will interview some of our favorite Theatre undergrads and find out how their degree has helped them with the non-theatre jobs they do now.

I’ll go first!

I am Jennifer Ludlam and I have a BA in Theatre from Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas. The Ludlams have had several jobs since leaving college, including a stint as the technical directors at a community theatre and many years in the classroom teaching creative dramatics. I now partner with my husband in running Ludlam Dramatics and have a thriving business as a professional Belly Dancer. I have worn a lot of hats since graduating, but perhaps one of the most adventurous is that of an entrepreneur!

Since 2010, I have owned and operated four small businesses. It’s been an amazing ride and I owe a lot of it to the lessons learned in the Theatre. Here are some ways my Theatre degree prepared me to be an entrepreneur:

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And I owe it all to you, Theatre.

Courage.

It takes a lot of guts to get out there onstage and “be” someone else in front of an audience. It also takes a lot of guts to quit your nine-to-five and strike out on your own. Just as you prepare for a role one rehearsal, one line, one beat a time, you build a business one dream, one task, one action at time.  Many days throughout the process, I have had to remind myself that if I can get up in front of an audience, I can do anything.  More people are afraid of public speaking than are afraid of death. Theatre gave me the courage to go for it, knowing that there would be rejection and struggle and vulnerability.  It also gave me the knowledge that the reward is worth every bit of it.

My first entrepreneurial effort was a fitness dance studio centered around adults. Fitness is a tough industry. There is a constant ebb and flow as people wax and wane in their own personal motivation. Most days were spent trying to convince potential clients that this business could be what they needed to reach their fitness and wellness goals. I quickly learned that motivation is not something that can always be contagious.  You just can’t want it for them. But, I also figured out that courage IS contagious. My willingness to step out of comfort zones inspired the clientele to do the same thing. Before long, they were trying new foods, changing the way they responded in relationships, and unapologetically being themselves in life! By being in the spotlight whether it was comfortable or not, the people around me were encouraged to take a look at themselves and find their own spotlights. And isn’t that the essence of theatre, after all?!

Resourcefulness.

Running a small business is expensive. It can tax your finances, your time, your emotions, your physical well-being, and your relationships. Guess what? Working on a show can do the same things. Putting work into show after show cultivates character traits that promote personal maturity. It is the perfect training ground for financial budgeting, efficient task management, self-care, and nurturing relationships. These skills are essential when you own your business.

Improvisation.

Many years of re-using materials from the last set, mixing old paints to get the perfect new color, and creating a rehearsal space out of anything made for some mad thinking-outside-the-box skills. My second business was an outdoor fitness program for moms with young children. We used the environment as our gym and did not have any equipment except a resistance band. Giving the moms a great workout while entertaining the kids in their strollers required pulls from every bag of tricks that I had acquired. The task required quick thinking and a lot of creativity. Even the simplest of improvisational activities in class helped me to hone these skills.

Businesses today are as unique as the business-people who birth them. There is not an instruction guide for every creative idea, so most days include a lot of trial and error. The improvisational skills learned onstage and in class help with creative thinking, finding a solution for any problem, and a drive to keep things moving. It is imperative to listen, think, and respond appropriately to a huge variety of situations.

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Rules of Improvisation or Essential Guide to Business-ing?

Organization.

As a Stage Manager, I was ALWAYS multitasking. Since even the best stage managers aren’t able to add hours to the day, we figure out systems that work for our own brains to make everything run smoothly and efficiently. With so many plates spinning, the most adept SM’s are able to find shortcuts that save time and stress without compromising on quality. This skill is necessary in many careers, but I have found it most useful in business ownership.

There are so many jobs outside of Theatre that can benefit from theatrical skills. Some more abstract, some more practical, but all of them useful. I look forward to exploring this topic and encouraging young artists to explore the theatre in higher education and to Live Life Dramatically!

Do you have a Theatre degree and are working a non-Theatre career?  Tell us how Theatre prepared you!