THEATRE AS A SOCIAL VOICE
Since its inception, live theatre has served as a forum for presenting social issues; as a result, theatre has always been a catalyst for social change. In this workshop, participants will identify and discuss social themes in plays and musicals, and discuss how the work they are doing in their schools addresses the social issues where they live. Participants will learn how the theatre community is one of the strongest and most committed overall to social causes. This workshop discussion will include a brief review of theatre’s role in the fight against AIDS as an example of how the theatre community comes together to affect societal change. Songs, scenes and monologues certainly encouraged, but not mandatory. Open to all.
Joe Norton served seventeen years as the Director of Education & Outreach for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, where he developed programs to raise money and awareness in school theatre departments ranging from middle schools to colleges all across the country. He has been an actor, playwright and producer for various companies in New York City. Joe has been a featured speaker for the American Association of Community Theatre conference, the Montana Theatre Educator’s Conference, and a repeat panelist for NYC’s annual Volunteer Opportunities in the Arts Conference, and the Theatre for Public Health forum at NYU. Joe served on the governing board of the Educational Theatre Association from 2000-09 and currently serves on the New York Chapter Board, as well as on the advisory board for the Northeast Thespian Festival (Hall of Fame recipient, 2009), and attends many chapter festivals as a guest artist as a presenter and adjudicator. He is also on the advisory board for R’Evolucion Latina (founded by In The Heights cast members). Joe is a life-long Thespian, a member of EdTA, NYSTEA, AACT, Theatre Communications Group and the Dramatists Guild. He is the recipient of EdTA’s President’s Award (2007) and Standing Ovation Award (2006) for BC/EFA. He is the author of several plays; his one act play, School Night, is published through Playscripts, Inc (honorable mention, 2010 Fresh Fruit Festival, NYC), and his play, The Truing, was selected by NY Indie Theatre Now as one of the best plays of the 2014 NYC Fringe Festival. In addition to teaching playwriting workshops, Joe is a reader for EdTA’s student Playworks competition, as well as for NYSTEA’s annual student playwriting competition and the KCACTF student playwriting competition. MFA in Dramatic Writing from Goddard College.