School Program 2: The It Gets Better Workshop

This is an activity‐based work­shop in which stu­dents will work closely with It Gets Bet­ter com­pany mem­bers on per­for­mance activ­i­ties and in small group dis­cus­sions. Through age‐appropriate impro­vi­sa­tion, role‐playing, and the­ater games, stu­dents will explore such top­ics as bul­ly­ing, self‐image, and LGBT issues regard­ing rela­tion­ships with friends and fam­ily, and more.

Stu­dents will watch selected videos from the It Gets Bet­ter Project and respond with their own per­for­mances in the form of poems, songs, skits, and audio/video record­ings. Recorded mate­r­ial will be col­lected in these ses­sions to be incor­po­rated into the online and/or live project.

Ide­ally this ses­sion will be held with an LGBT stu­dent group and/or Gay‐Straight Alliance group, though it is also appro­pri­ate for stu­dent lead­ers, the­ater or speech stu­dents, or a mul­ti­cul­tural stu­dent group. To the best extent pos­si­ble, it is impor­tant that the par­tic­i­pants feel free to par­tic­i­pate in a safe space where they feel com­fort­able inter­act­ing authen­ti­cally with­out fear of reprisal from their peers.

NOTE: Parental per­mis­sion slips/releases must be solicited in advance of this work­shop by local fac­ulty. (90 min­utes; max­i­mum par­tic­i­pants: 20)

The ini­tial It Gets Bet­ter Project was an online grass­roots response to a national epi­demic of bullying‐related sui­cides among LGBT Amer­i­can teenagers.

Founder Dan Sav­age, an out‐and‐proud author and lec­turer, cre­ated the first video to offer hope, sup­port, and encour­age­ment that there is life after high school, and that how­ever bleak things may seem, they will get better.

Spo­ken from one indi­vid­ual to another,from celebri­ties and heads of state to the peo­ple next door, the mes­sage is the same: all peo­ple deserve love and respect. The most vul­ner­a­ble among us should know that they are not alone.

The It Gets Bet­ter Work­shop allows stu­dents to share and learn along­side Com­pany artists, who also serve as pos­i­tive men­tors and role mod­els, par­tic­u­larly for LGBT youth.

Stu­dents are encour­aged to express their own views, with­out judg­ment, in a fun and edu­ca­tional atmos­phere to reduce homo­pho­bia and bond with other mem­bers of their local com­mu­nity. The com­mon goal is to “make it bet­ter right now” and in their own back yard.

This pro­gram addresses the fol­low­ing edu­ca­tional cri­te­ria:
NA‐T.9‐12.8 — Under­stand­ing con­text by ana­lyz­ing the role of the­atre, film, tele­vi­sion, and elec­tronic media in the past and the present.
NA‐M.9‐12.8 —  Under­stand­ing rela­tion­ships between music, the other arts, and dis­ci­plines out­side the arts.
NA‐T.9‐12.7  - Ana­lyz­ing, cri­tiquing, and con­struct­ing mean­ings from infor­mal and for­mal the­atre, film, tele­vi­sion, and elec­tronic media pro­duc­tions.
NA‐T.9‐12.2 —  Act­ing by devel­op­ing, com­mu­ni­cat­ing and sus­tain­ing char­ac­ters in impro­vi­sa­tions and for­mal or infor­mal pro­duc­tions.
NA‐T.9‐12.6 —  Com­par­ing and inte­grat­ing art forms by ana­lyz­ing tra­di­tional the­atre, dance, music, visual arts and new art forms.
NLENG.K‐12.12 Apply­ing lan­guage skills.

For more infor­ma­tion, please con­tact Lee Stick­ler,
GMCLA Man­ager of Youth Out­reach and Pro­gram­ming

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