10 Essential Tips for Theater Educators to Recharge This Summer

Zach Dulli Archive

By Zach Dulli, The Scene

As the final curtain falls on another school year, theater teachers, directors, and educators face a well-deserved break. Summer, far from being just a pause from the routine, is a crucial period for recharging and rejuvenating. It’s a time to step back, reflect, and prepare for the upcoming year. Here are ten tips to help theater educators make the most of their summer, ensuring they return to school refreshed and inspired.

  1. Reflect and Document: Start the summer by reflecting on the past year. Document what worked well and what could be improved. This reflection can be a personal journal, a blog, or even video entries. It’s a valuable resource for planning next year and can serve as a motivational reminder of your growth and adaptability.
  2. Attend Workshops and Conferences: Engage in professional development by attending theater workshops, conferences, and seminars. These events, such as the Broadway Teachers Workshop, Broadway Weekends, and the International Thespian Festival, offer valuable networking opportunities and provide workshops that can reignite your passion for theater education and bring fresh ideas to your programs.
  3. Explore New Material: Immerse yourself in scripts and scores you haven’t had the chance to explore during the busy school year. Consider different genres and unfamiliar works to expand your repertoire. This exploration might uncover the perfect play or musical for your next production, injecting fresh energy and excitement into your theater program. Check out Broadway Book Club for a great way to grow your play library.
  4. Reconnect with Your Art: Summer is the ideal time to reconnect with why you love theater. Attend performances, read plays, watch musicals, or participate in community theater. Engaging as an audience member or performer can reignite your passion and provide new insights and inspiration.
  5. Take a Creative Workshop: Participate in a workshop outside your expertise. Whether it’s dance, painting, or writing, stepping out of your comfort zone can enhance your creative expression and teaching methods.
  6. Plan a Retreat: Organize or attend a retreat focused on your theater work. This can be as simple as a weekend away with fellow educators to brainstorm and share ideas or a more structured retreat with sessions led by guest artists and educators. The change of scenery can stimulate creativity and enthusiasm.
  7. Collaborate and Network: Summer is a great time to build networks. Reach out to theater professionals, arrange coffee meetings, or set up virtual calls with educators from different regions. These connections can lead to collaborative projects and enrich your teaching resources.
  8. Rest and Rejuvenate: Never underestimate the power of rest. Ensure you schedule a time to relax and do things that make you happy outside the theater. Whether it’s hiking, reading, spending time with family, or watching an entire season of a TV show in one sitting, taking time to recharge is crucial.
  9. Set Personal Goals: Use the summer to set personal and professional goals for the coming year. These might include directing a play you’ve always wanted to stage, enhancing your technical skills, or growing a theatre program.
  10. Prepare Early: Begin planning for the next school year early in the summer. Organize your syllabus, plan the year’s productions, and start gathering resources. Early preparation can help alleviate back-to-school stress and let you enjoy the end of your summer break more fully.

This summer, take the time to recharge both personally and professionally. By engaging in artistic growth, reflection, and relaxation, you’ll return to your theater program with renewed energy and fresh ideas, ready to inspire the next generation of theater artists.

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