Fueling Creativity in Education Podcast

What is the connection between theatre and creativity?

In this dynamic and insightful episode of the “Fueling Creativity in Education Podcast,” hosts Drs. Matthew Worwood and Cyndi Burnett welcome the award-winning expert in youth-driven theater, Dr. Jim Devivo. The trio dives deep into the transformative role of theater techniques in the classroom, discussing how these techniques not only help students become comfortable with public speaking and expression but also foster an environment where creativity flourishes. Jim shares the intriguing idea of the classroom as a theater, expanding on how storytelling and engaging students in physical space can create a conducive learning experience. Together they explore the significant impact of theater training on effective communication and why students, especially in their high school years, can benefit from acting classes.

Matthew recounts a compelling audition anecdote from his time at the Guild Hood School of Music and Drama, which sets the stage for a discussion on improvisation and its role in developing students’ quick thinking and creative problem-solving abilities. Cyndi reflects on the difficulties of encouraging students to step out of their comfort zones and shares a heartening story of a reluctant participant’s transformation. Highlighting strategies to support shy students, Jim provides practical advice and emphasizes the creation of low-pressure participation opportunities. To conclude, the episode provides Jim Devivo’s top three tips to promote creativity in the classroom, emphasizing the power of diverse perspectives, student involvement, and the magic of embracing silliness. 

[when my students enter the room for the first time I have them make barn animal noises] and then I tell them we've probably done the sillyest thing possible, and everything else should feel a little bit easier.

Featured Guest

Dr. Jim DeVivo is a specialist in youth-driven theatre. He teaches middle school and high school theatre for Holmdel Township Schools and is an adjunct professor with the Program in Educational Theatre at NYU. For 15 years, Jim produced the New Jersey Young Playwrights Festival for which he received a NJ Governor’s Award for Arts Education and NJ Theatre Alliance Award of Excellence. He continues this work through an online platform called the Young Playwrights Guide. Jim has a B.F.A. in theatre and English and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Educational Theatre from New York University. He lives at the Jersey Shore with his wife, Bridget (also an award-winning theatre teacher), and together, they direct a troupe of three children and one pug… some of whom take direction well.

Episode Debrief

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