In Our Schools: Kinsella Students Participate in Acting Workshop Built Around Coretta Scott King Monologue

FEATURE: In Our Schools: Kinsella Students Participate in Acting Workshop Built Around Coretta Scott King Monologue

Published on Feb 2, 2016
 
On January 7th, Kinsella Magnet School of Performing Arts’ 7th and 8th grade drama class invited Tiffany Young from Hartford Performs to visit their class and present a monologue workshop on Coretta Scott King, an important figure to understand during the month of Martin Luther King Day. 
 
 
 

 
On January 7th, Kinsella Magnet School of Performing Arts’ 7th and 8th grade drama class invited Tiffany Young from Hartford Performs to visit their class and present a monologue workshop on Coretta Scott King, an important figure to understand during the month of Martin Luther King Day.   Students studied Coretta and did a gallery walk on the themes of Tiffany’s monologue in preparation for her visit.  The themes included the civil rights movement, Coretta and Martin Luther King Jr., activists, and non- violent activism. 

In their drama class, they have been working on developing and creating acting choices for characters when preparing for a scene.  Tiffany’s character, Coretta, was a direct example for our students to see.  Students were able to see her acting choices and then ask how she prepared for this work.  This connection was perfect for the drama students.  Students also showed Tiffany their improvisation skills and knowledge of theater.

“It was motivating to see Tiffany so connected to her piece and it made me feel like I could do that.”- Melika Gayle, 8th grade

“Tiffany changed my perspective on Coretta Scott King, she did a lot of preparation for this role.  She changed my view on preparing for a role in acting.” –Madison Stanchick, 8th grade

“Tiffany made me feel emotional because I didn’t really know Dr. Martin Luther King, and she acted like the relationship was real between them.”

-T’san Walsh, 7th grade

“My students asked great questions for Tiffany after her presentation, which made me feel like they really connected to her acting work and the emotional connection of the piece.” –Ms. O’Grady, drama teacher

Tiffany N. Young, a playwright, director and performer, graduated from Norfolk State University with a BA in English/Theatre Arts.   As a playwright, she has produced several original plays for audiences of thousands year after year and created over 100 theatrical sketches seen by thousands, week after week.  Her directing credits include several productions including, but not limited to original plays where Tiffany trained and directed amateur actors within the community as well as professionals actors nationally known from their roles in movies such as Sister Act II, The Michael Jackson story and stage plays such as Medea Goes to Jail, Medea’s Christmas and Lion King on Broadway.  Although Tiffany is most known for her work behind the scenes, she also is a performer and has performed with several professional theater groups in Virginia, New York, and locally with The Hartford Stage Company. Currently, her dramatic interpretation and original monologue of Coretta Scott King has been seen throughout CT by various audiences.  One of her greatest achievements is the founding of the not-for-profit organization, A.C.T. U.P. in which children are taught, impacted and inspired through the performing arts. With several projects in the making, Tiffany is most excited to soon be able to introduce her production company.

Click here to see a video clip of Ms. Young’s performance


Words by Tiffany Young:

Currently, I perform a Coretta Scott King monologue that I have both interpreted and written.  I share with students the processes which it takes to become this character and challenge them to do the same things in their own classrooms.  I talk on the importance of taking risks in both theatre arts and real life and developing character through real life experiences in and out of the classroom.My hope is always that my work has a good impact on the students and all audiences alike. More importantly, I try to remind the students that there is “greatness” within each of them.   I challenge students to “dig deep” to find and develop characters that are out of their comfort zones.  The impact, in my opinion, always lies with the inner challenge I encourage students take.

I have always had a passion for children.  As a student who struggled myself, it was only in my college years that I discovered the link between theatre arts and academic success. I applied my passion of performing arts to my classroom experience and learned to make goals of success for myself.  I believe that when you are passionate about something, you learn to insert that passion into your job, classroom, school work, etc.  I simply, desire to share my passion with students in hope of them succeeding in their own paths.

I hope that students find it within themselves to believe that they too can do anything they desire. On a day to day basis, I hope that students are impacted by my hard work, dedication, determination and understanding that the end result is in the power they possess.

I love what I do because it is my passion, and I get to share my gift and impact the lives of our children.

“Moving Forward:”  So often we get caught up in our failures of the past that we forget the future is still ahead of us.  I encourage every child, student, parent, educator and leader to look towards not just the hopes and dreams of tomorrow but to the work that must be done in order to make a better tomorrow.   In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “We must move forward.”

To learn more about Tiffany Young, go to:   http://www. actup-tyoung.com

 

 

 

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