Teaching Roster

Susan Hazen Guthrie

Contact Name: Susan Guthrie

Email: Click to email

Phone: (256) 468-7077

Artistic Disciplines:
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Susan Hazen Guthrie Regional Theatre Stage Director & Master Teacher of Voice & Speech, specialization in language& verse literature. Ms. Guthrie served on Artistic Staff of Alabama Shakespeare Festival as director& specialist voice/speech& verse literature. Other posts: vocal& verse coach Steppenwolf Theatre Co, faculty positions Roosevelt & DePaul Universities. She has directed for Victory Gardens, Lighthouse,& Whirlwind Performance Co, Chicago.

Acting/directing credits include Stage One, The Louisville Children’s Theatre, Missouri Repertory Theatre, Athens Children’s Theater, Missouri Theatre Ensemble, Ohio Valley Summer Theater, Theatre Workshop, Columbus Ensemble Theatre,& Huron Playhouse. Guest Director & Choreographer at Wagner College NYC,Dana College, University Nebraska, Creighton University,& served on faculties of William Woods& Ohio Universities (tenured).

Ms. Guthrie trained with Master Teacher Claire Davidson at BADA, London; Kristin Linklater & Arthur Lessac.

She is the founder of TWELFTH NIGHT, The Theatre Co, educational arts organization, offering innovative classical literature through educational residencies& production. She’s authored Shakespeare in the Classroom, The City Shakespeare Projects,& The Teacher’s Poetry Companion. Nationally recognized as a curriculum specialist in Arts Integration, Guthrie has authored creative-based study guides& resource materials for schools, literary organizations, museums. Susan is a poet, recently published in NO’ALA,& performs in New York& Chicago. She is a Coweeta Poet, director/performer, “The Space Between Us” & “Where the Soul Sails” authoring the title poem. She’s a Sundial Writer heard on WLRH. She is a lecturer for the New York State Alliance for Arts Education & served as NYC Regional Coordinator, Poetry Out Loud. She is a Teaching Artist for the Alabama State Council on the Arts & Alabama Alliance for Art Education. She continues to serve throughout the country as an Artist for the New York, Illinois,& Nebraska Arts Councils, a Humanities Scholar for Nebraska Humanities Council,& as Teaching Artist for National Endowment for the Arts& Poetry Foundation.

Shakespeare in the classroom

Sample Programs Offered

Program Title: Shakespeare in the Classroom: Iambic Pentameter

Program Type: Arts Integration

Program Description:

IAMBIC PENTAMETER, The Rhythm in Shakespeare

This is an introduction of the rhythm Shakespeare used, was required to use in all writing. The lesson is physical and experiential, fast-paced, moving through easily achieved activities which build to an in-depth study of the rhythm and its application in dramatic verse literature. Consistently 10 syllables with five stressed syllables per line, interpretative skill broadens as students learn Shakespeare’s deft wielding of this weapon to defy the Church and monarchy of his time, create full characters beyond what is created today, and directly communicate with anyone who will explore this rhythm. Shakespeare will write irregular rhythm to show a character’s state of mind or proclamation of a lie, violence in combat or trust, and support moral teaching. Sometimes irregular verse is spoken by a villain trying to appear true, changing to perfect iambic pentameter only when he divulges his evil plans and truly evil heart.

Rhythm is physical, so it is taught physically; transitions to text; and development of student interpretation. All work follows Creative Drama: activity, in-depth exploration, assessment through inquiry and development of ideas from individual and group.

Lesson Plan Example: Download File

Program Title: Shakespeare in the Classroom: Stage Combat

Program Type: Arts Integration

Program Description:

STAGE COMBAT: A Gruesome Illusion from a Perfect Partnership

Shakespeare is rife with violence, but then so is most entertainment. Stage Combat is the polar opposite of violence. It is taught with the Honor Code of Safety and on the working principle that the victim is in control of every fight move. Stage Combat is safe, a choreographed and measured phrase of movement, which requires higher-order thinking on multiple physical and mental levels, and creation and coordination with another human. To study and create combat, a knowledge of history is required; as is physical control. The excitement to participate is often a useful management tool.

Students partner with someone similar in height. This often separates cliques. Partners learn hand-to-hand moves in extreme slow-motion with the understanding that moves and fights are rehearsed every rehearsal and prior to every performance. Eventually students choreograph their own fights, motivated and with lines. When mastery is evident, situations from Shakespeare plays and text scenes will be student choreographed and performed.

This lesson is learned and advanced at other class sessions, but once combat goes into a scene, students are monitored, watched, and critiqued to insure safety.

Lesson Plan Example: Download File

Program Title: Shakespeare in the Classroom: Creative Drama

Program Type: Arts Integration

Program Description:

CREATIVE DRAMA: Teaching Method, Unique Strategy

Creative Dramatics is a teaching method that can be used with any curriculum where a story is involved. In and of itself it involves an empty space, a group, and a group leader. Everything and anything needed will be created out of nothing except the imagination of the participants. This kind of work has never been more important than in the life of children and youth today. Everything is an output of someone else’s vision or a predetermined worksheet. Creative Drama opens the student to higher-order thinking, problem-solving, critical thinking, participation in a group, and the listening and processing that follows.

Fast-paced and fun activities change the space and silence lists of rules, focusing the class on what possibilities are coming next. Transition into story or chapter or scene which is told in storytelling manner brings the group together. The students tell the story back to the leader; story is cast and is on feet before anyone has time to be shy or recalcitrant. Playmaking is the story in motion and the critique session which follows. Students are simply asked what worked — comments/feedback; and what didn’t — comments/feedback. Discussion includes what to change or add. Playmaking continues 2-4 times — however long the leader determines its use. Final activity is a chance for students to relax and reflect on moral or situation or consequence. They are asked to share this — the learning is internalized, the response is authentic.

Lesson Plan Example: Download File

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