Teaching Roster

Laurie Melnik

Contact Name: Laurie Melnik

Email: Click to email

Phone: (904) 708-6382

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Laurie is the Executive Director of the Southeast Center for Education in the Arts where she also oversees theatre education programming and devises original works with young people. Two recent works, #MakingMemories and Without a Cover (Sin Portada), were developed with support provided by the Lin Wright Professional Teaching Grant Award from the American Alliance for Theatre and Education. She has an M.F.A in Theatre with a concentration in Theatre for Young Audiences from the University of Central Florida, an M.P.A. in Nonprofit Management from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and is a 2013 Holmberg Arts Leadership Institute alum.

Artist Work Samples

Sample Programs Offered

Program Title: Find Your Voice! Devising Original Works Around Tough Subjects

Program Type: Arts Integration

Program Description:

Find Your Voice! guides middle and high school students through a play development process that further explores tough subjects from selected adolescent literature or a burning community issue. Students learn how to collaboratively develop an original play through applied theatre techniques that are tailored towards their needs and program outcomes. Students collectively develop an original script where ideas emerge from a provided a script structure, themes from an adolescent novel, or guided idea generation through improvisational role-play. No matter how play ideas form, students walk away with a script they have written and shared with an audience of their peers.

Lesson Plan Example: Download File

Program Title: Off the Digital Canvas: A Character Development Exercise

Program Type: Arts Curriculum

Program Description:

Visual art from digital museums can serve as great source material for character development while helping students strengthen visual literacy skills. This program can be facilitated as a teacher workshop where educators actively learn character development strategies based on a work of art or an artist residency that help upper elementary, middle school, or high school acting students further develop their craft. The program guides participants through a still image exercise based on George Seurat’s A Sunday on La Grande Jatte (1884) where physical character choices (e.g. facial expression, gesture, pose, and posture) are practiced in isolation.

Lesson Plan Example: Download File

Program Title: Performing Change: Stepping in Role as Influential People

Program Type: Arts Integration

Program Description:

This program can be facilitated as a middle school drama residency or a teacher workshop where middle school drama and literacy teachers are guided through a unit where participants create a three-part tableau based on a given situation from the graphic novel, Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller by Joseph Lambert. Participants support their interpretations of words and phrases and provide text-based evidence for describing how a given situation affects the characters. Participants will portray how overcoming an obstacle changes Annie Sullivan and Helen Keller through expressive physical choices supported by the text.

Lesson Plan Example: Download File

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