Single Carrot Theatre Educational Programs and Community Partnerships
Questions? Contact Director of Education Jessica Garrett for pricing and scheduling information, or to hire Single Carrot to teach your next workshop. You can reach Jessica by phone (443-844-9253) or email (Jgarrett@singlecarrot.com).
We believe the arts should be a right, not a privilege. Theatre can complement and enhance the classroom, and can impart to a student pride that sometimes may seem elusive in conventional education. Much as an athlete may benefit from teamwork and camaraderie, so do those who engage in theatre, only in theatre arise additional benefits in learning language and presence. Single Carrot Theatre’s (SCT) work onstage and in the community grows from the conviction that participatory cultural experiences facilitate learning, and artistic expression is civic engagement.
The Moment is Now
Single Carrot Theatre has always aspired to rehearse, perform, build, and learn under one roof. The company’s current address, at 1727 N. Charles Street, does not have the capacity for simultaneous engagement in these activities. The theatre’s future, permanent home at 2600 N. Howard Street does. In addition, increased seating capacity (from 75 seats at N. Charles Street to 99 at N. Howard Street) and functional space will enable the company to share its work with a growing number of community members. As the SCT mission indicates, the theatre believes it is critically important to engage the community, and especially young people, through art. A furnished classroom, which has been absent from the theatre’s temporary homes at Load of Fun and on N. Charles Street, will have a direct impact on our ability to deliver quality education and community programming to key constituents.
Programs and Projects
Nearly 10,000 young people have participated in education programs offered by SCT. Offerings range from free afterschool literacy enrichment classes to student matinees, in-class visits with actors and artists, and a touring assembly program. Staunchly committed to making the arts accessible, SCT subsidizes ticket prices with its earned and contributed income: no ticket has ever cost more than $25.00, and tickets are always free for Project PLASE residents.
SCT offers low-cost courses for community members of all experience levels over the age of 16. This season’s offerings include Acting with Experience, Physical Theatre, Creating a Solo Performance, Directing, Fundamentals of Design, Puppetry, and Clowning. We are especially proud to introduce Fundamentals of Design this year, as similar technical courses in Baltimore have heretofore been available only through universities.
Theatre for Literacy
Now in its fifth year, Theatre for Literacy is a free afterschool program co-sponsored by SCT and the Enoch Pratt Free Library. Teaching artists from SCT work with six- to eleven-year-olds weekly from October to May at the library’s Orleans Street Branch. Children expand their vocabularies, improve story comprehension and retention, and strengthen the connection between language and movement as they stage a children’s book adapted for them by SCT. A healthy snack is provided by SCT at each session. The program culminates in a final performance for friends and family, which, for many of these students, is a rare opportunitiy.
Barclay Youth Safe Haven
SCT works in partnership with the Greater Homewood Community Corporation to share theatre with underserved children every week. Students in grades K-5 at Dallas F. Nicholas Sr. Elementary School spend an hour each week with SCT company members. Special emphasis is placed on developing prosocial behaviors, boosting student self-confidence, literacy, public speaking skills, self-discipline, and peer collaboration. 2013-14 is the inaugural year of this program.
High School Conservatory
Summer 2014 will be the sixth year Single Carrot Theatre offers this two-week acting intensive for students entering grades 9-12. Students are tasked with forming an ensemble — defined by SCT as “facilitating a production with like minded peers” – and addressing producorial challenges that include securing a performance space and developing a marketing plan. Top artists and Baltimore and beyond visit the conservatory to teach electives in stage combat, playwriting, and voice for the actor. Scholarships are available, and breakfast is provided. The program culminates in a final performance for friends and family.
Through Young Audiences of Maryland, SCT artists travel across the state to perform Rumpled!, the company’s original adaptation of Rumplestiltskin, for students in grades K-8. Rumpled! uses humor, voice, movement, and love as access points for exploring darker themes of cheating, lying, and plagiarism. Students have an opportunity to share their thoughts and ask questions during a post-show discussion with the actors.
SCT is in the exploratory phase of developing an additional script for school tours. Topics of interest to the company include bullying, environmental issues, home safety, and civic engagement.
Pre-K at Play
SCT partners with Baltimore City Public Schools as a Pre-K at Play program host. Roughly twenty-five preschoolers spend the day at Single Carrot, participating in ensemble-led games and activities that encourage fun and imagination through storytelling.
SCT ensemble members have led workshops and discussion series at a number of nearby educational institutions, including Education Based Latino Outreach (EBLO), Baltimore School for the Arts, The Park School, St. Paul’s School, University of Baltimore, Community College of Baltimore, Goucher College, Loyola College of Arts and Sciences, Johns Hopkins University, and Towson University. Subject matter is tailored to the needs of students and teachers, but has included script analysis, a play’s historical context and present-day relevance, social entrepreneurship, and new play development.
Student matinees are scheduled show-by-show and school-by-school. SCT hopes to institutionalize and expand its student matinee program to enhance the theatre-going experience for students, but secure funding is required to assure actor availability, transportation for participating schools, and subsidized tickets.
Open rehearsals and post-show discussions allow audience members to become more engaged in the theatrical process. Open rehearsals are an opportunity for patrons to observe the dynamics between actors and their director, and to get a closer look at how a fully realized production takes shape. Attendees are given the chance to share feedback with the cast.
Post-show discussions feature artists and designers, and typically address topics relevant to the work onstage as well as the community.
SCT offers teambuilding workshops for employees looking for better ways to work together, bond, and communicate. Workshop participants have included the Greater Homewood Community Corporation and the Association of Independent Maryland and DC Schools. Company members have also worked with teachers at The Park School on integrating theatre in math and science classrooms.
Walters Art Museum
In partnership with Art on Purpose and My Sister’s Place, Single Carrot Theatre staged “The Odyssey Project” — homeless battered women’s stories, told through the lens of Homer’s Odyssey – at the Walters Art Museum.
SCT offers free tickets to all Project PLASE residents.
Baltimore Museum of Art
SCT is regularly commissioned to create and perform original works at the BMA.
Baltimore Crisis Response
SCT made weekly visits over six months to Baltimore Crisis Response, Inc., an emergency facility for persons with severe mental illness. Company members worked with clients to practice verbal and nonverbal communication, as well as crisis management. The National Alliance on Mental Illness partnered with Single Carrot to produce Fight the Stigma, a performance created by professional actors and community members affected by mental illness.