Liberating minds, expanding possibilities
I am blessed to be a Teaching Artist for The Acting Company. I have worked with students and teachers in 41 states. Love teaching teenagers. They touch my heart.
I have been on the road as a teaching artist for many years; many days, many weeks teaching, reaching out, trying to inspire, often to the uninspired, in classrooms across America. When I began my journey, some fourteen years ago, our country and its classrooms functioned in a more cohesive manner. Students attended high school because they wanted to learn, they wanted to go to college, they wanted to get the hell out of whatever town they came from so they could fulfill their dreams. Students still have those same dreams, but those dreams are harder to come by in 2013 than they were in 1998. Dreams for students, for most of us, seem harder to come by because of a shift in our economy, which has shifted the economics of learning, shifted the national mindset about the importance of true learning in our schools, and in our country.
Did the workshop meet your expectations? Did you enjoy it?
- ‘I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.’
- ‘It gave me an insight on myself and what I want.’
- ‘It went beyond my expectations because it was more bizarre.’
- ‘It took me out of my comfort zone and made me see things differently.’
- ‘She’s the most amazing person I’ve ever met. Her perspective on life has really opened my eyes to what I want in life.’
- ‘I think that this workshop is the best workshop that I’ve been to in ages.’
What will you take away from this workshop?
- ‘To enjoy and not to be afraid to imagine.’
- ‘I will use meditation to be creative.’
- ‘Make the most of every opportunity that gets thrown at me and to be more optimistic.’
- ‘I will learn to think less and just do things for fun, let go and stop worrying.’
- ‘To never give up on my thoughts and dreams.’
- ‘ I have learned new ways to create and write without it having to feel like work.’
- ‘”Don’t be afraid to dream” is a quote I learned and shall live by.’
Xavier High School, New York, NY
“This year we had the privilege of having a teaching artist from The Acting Company, Lois Walden, come to all these classes (3x a day) for a week to engage the students in a deeper understanding and appreciation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, which they had read already. This culminated in all the students going to see The Acting Company’s production of Hamlet at The Pearl Theater.The whole experience from setting up the arrangements with Joe Parks, to Ms. Walden’s compelling ‘performance’ in the classes to sitting in the theater watching Hamlet unfold – was fantastic for us. I was amazed that we were offered the week-long workshop for free and for the students it was a unique and memorable time! M s. Walden challenged the students to see Hamlet through a different lens, had them up on their feet, down on the floor and wrestling with the text. The students brought this experience to the production and it helped make it a fully sensorial understanding of Hamlet and the other characters.”
Birmingham, Alabama, USA
“Thank you so much for bringing your expertise and passion to share with my theatre students.”
- ‘Thank you for opening me up to this new realm of acting. I treasure you as a person and will always remember the lessons you taught me. Thank you beyond words. ‘
- ‘Thanks so much for doing the workshop for us! It taught me so much! Thank you again!’
- ‘Thank you for the workshops, I learned a lot, especially about myself!’
- ‘Lois, Thanks for it all. All of it! This week has just been phenomenal! I hope that the Acting Company can come back before I graduate. Great workshops – great show!’
- ‘Thank you so much! This workshop has really helped me with a deeper meaning!’
- ‘Thank you so much for showing us a little piece of heaven.’
George Green’s School, London, UK
“In 22 years, I have never seen anything quite like it”—Karen Sullivan, Student Well Being Teacher
In September 2013, I had the great good fortune to work with 28 fifteen year old students at George Green’s School on the Isle of Dogs in London, England. They were a wonderful group, but all groups have the potential for wonder. “Creating the Space,” which is what I call what I do, opens up possibility, enhances self confidence, engages the mind to break free from its chatter, and helps the spirit soar. Here’s what I hope for the students I teach; dream, create, break down the walls, open your eyes, reach for that which you have been told is beyond your reach, question authority, and feel, even if it hurts.
Read the article on Lois featured in SecEd – the UK magazine for Best Practices in secondary education