After we had to cancel all the shows on our stage around mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic, Steppenwolf Education quickly pivoted to virtual programming to continue serving our constituents—teens, educators, and early career professionals—and the community at large. Since launching in late March, our virtual programs have reached thousands of people worldwide. Check out video recordings, lesson plans, and creative challenges below.

MAKER MAY

Maker May featured artists

MAY 2020

Maker May is a two-part workshop series where guest artists share about their own creative process and offer us a Maker Challenge that we can take on from our own living room. Participants get to see first-hand how these guest artists create and respond to weekly Maker Challenges. Look up #virtualStepEd on social media to see people’s responses to the Maker Challenges.

what people are saying

"It introduced me to two new artists that I plan to follow hereafter, an art form that I knew little about, and allowed creative engagement. More of this!  Loved!"

"This workshop was an excellent jumpstart for my writing process. I needed a fresh approach to brainstorming a topic. And this writing prompt, along with the discussion from the presenters, did just that. There are several precious gems of advice from Ian and Sam that I will carry with me in my writing going forward. THANK YOU!"

timeline

WEEK 1: MAY 5 AND MAY 7
(Captions provided)
Samantha Irby and Ian Belknap shared with us the history of their collaboration, their thoughts on “live lit”—literature that is meant to be performed—and what they’ve been up to during quarantine. Irby and Belknap then challenged everyone to write a paragraph on “what you miss about your pre-lockdown life.”
Prompt

WEEK 2: MAY 12 AND MAY 15
(Captions and ASL provided)
Erika L. Sánchez reflected on her career as a writer, her creative process and offered us writing exercises we can use to generate materials for poetry. Sánchez also went through her process of editing and revision and gave tips on shaping the final product.
Prompt

WEEK 3: MAY 19 AND MAY 21
(Captions and ASL provided)
Erik Hellman and Jessie Fisher reflected on the history of their popular Erik & Jessie & Everyone You Know variety show and reminded us of the irreplacable role of live audience. Borrowing from their essential idea that a variety act is also a gift to the audience, Erik and Jessie challenged us to create an Act of Artistic Generosity for the people we care about.
Prompt

WEEK 4: MAY 26 AND MAY 28
(Captions and ASL provided)
Elizabeth Flauto, theatrical costume craftsperson with 20 years of experience, presented on the history of masks throughout human history and helped us rethink our relationship to our current protective gear. Flauto also challenged us to create a mask (or concept for a mask) that combines practical needs with one's own self-expression.
Prompt
*Video recording coming soon

FOR TEENS, EDUCATORS AND EARLY CAREER PROFESSIONALS

MARCH – APRIL 2020

Weekly virtual programs were produced with Steppenwolf Education’s core constituents—teens, educators and early career professionals—in mind. On Tuesdays, through our “What’s Next?” series, we talked with established industry professionals on their careers, the creative industry and exchanged tips on how to navigate career development in the wake of COVID-19. On Wednesdays, we provided teen-specific programs including writing and acting workshops, engagement with industry professionals and creative challenges to stay connected during this time. On Thursdays, we held panel discussions and training workshops to provide all educators with tools to pivot to remote learning and artmaking.

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

"This conversation [with Barford and Shapiro] was insightful, inspirational, and incredibly grounding for me. It reminded me of why we do what we do and that this isn't permanent. I can't wait to sit in a room full of strangers and tell and share stories again soon! Cheers to the Chicago theatre community for lifting each other up and being fundamentally good humans!" participant from"What's Next?" series

"This was such an amazing experience during this rough time. I felt so full of joy being surrounded by people just like me." partcipant from a teen program

"It was especially powerful for me to hear that the challenges I've been facing are what others are dealing with as well. I've often felt like I was swimming through mud alone and now feel like I've been thrown a life raft!" participant from an educator program

timeline

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25, 2020
Creative writing workshop for teens: Using Music as Inspiration led by Steppenwolf Teaching Artist Fatima Sowe
Lesson plan
*Video recording is not available for this workshop

THURSDAY, MARCH 26, 2020
Creative writing workshop for educators: Engaging with and Responding to Erika L. Sánchez’s “Forty-Three” led by Steppenwolf Teaching Artist Greg Greffrard
Lesson plan
“Forty-Three” by Erika L. Sánchez

TUESDAY, MARCH 31, 2020
“What’s Next?” Conversation with Ian Barford, Steppenwolf ensemble member, and Anna D. Shapiro, Steppenwolf ensemble member and Artistic Director

THURSDAY, APRIL 2, 2020
Artmaking workshop for educators: Staying Grounded and Creative in your Space with Steppenwolf Teaching Artist Wilfredo "Freddie" Ramos, Jr.
Lesson plan

TUESDAY, APRIL 7, 2020
“What’s Next?” Conversation with David “dStew” Stewart, Production Manager at Disney Parks Live Entertainment
*Video recording is not available for this workshop

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 8, 2020
Acting workshop for teens: Scene Study with ensemble members Kate Arrington and Jon Michael Hill
*Video recording is not available for this workshop

THURSDAY, APRIL 9, 2020
Panel Discussion on “Adapting Curriculum and Artmaking to Online Platforms” featuring Sophia Chung, eD Cisneros, Coya Paz, and Michael Rohd
Resources for educators
*Video recording coming soon

TUESDAY, APRIL 14, 2020
“What’s Next?” Conversation with Angela Salinas, Executive Director of Haven Chicago
*Video recording coming soon

THURSDAY, APRIL 16, 2020
Artmaking and Centering Delight led by Steppenwolf Teaching Artist Greg Greffrard, featuring Ross Gay
Lesson plan
*Video recording coming soon

TUESDAY, APRIL 21, 2020
“What’s Next?” Conversation with Jeff Perry, Steppenwolf ensemble member

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 22, 2020
Inside the Designer’s Studio with Scenic Designer Arnel Sancianco
Design challenge instructions

Virtual Programs

Steppenwolf Education celebrates the learner, maker and appreciator in each of us. We commit to breaking down barriers to ensure access and equity for all. As we stay home to stay safe during the Coronavirus pandemic, register for our FREE virtual programs to connect with the arts community and participants around the world.

REGISTER NOW

PROGRAMS SPONSOR

KLEPAK FOUNDATION STEPPENWOLF EDUCATION VIRTUAL WORKSHOPS

Ralla Klepak was a trailblazing attorney, advocate, singer and educator, driven by a passion for social justice and the power of the performing arts to promote world peace. Steppenwolf is grateful to the Ralla Klepak Trust for the Performing Arts for their generous partnership, which provides resources to “keep the (virtual) lights on” for teens and educators during the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic and create first-of-their-kind industry models for online theater education engagement.  

Virtual Programs

Steppenwolf Education celebrates the learner, maker and appreciator in each of us. We commit to breaking down barriers to ensure access and equity for all. As we stay home to stay safe during the Coronavirus pandemic, register for our FREE virtual programs to connect with the arts community and participants around the world.

REGISTER NOW

PROGRAMS SPONSOR

KLEPAK FOUNDATION STEPPENWOLF EDUCATION VIRTUAL WORKSHOPS

Ralla Klepak was a trailblazing attorney, advocate, singer and educator, driven by a passion for social justice and the power of the performing arts to promote world peace. Steppenwolf is grateful to the Ralla Klepak Trust for the Performing Arts for their generous partnership, which provides resources to “keep the (virtual) lights on” for teens and educators during the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic and create first-of-their-kind industry models for online theater education engagement.