“Drama is a creation of the spirit… When the whole human being places himself in word and gesture at the service of this creation, then this becomes a path to the spirit. ”
Walking the dog Theater (WTD) bases its education work on the experience that drama offers people an unique opportunity for development. Since its founding, WTD has reached over 100,000 people in the US, Europe, Asia, and Australia and New Zealand with its performances, workshops, courses, and education programs. This has included workshops and productions in prisons and youth detention centers, special needs communities, universities and training centers, businesses, WTD’s Stateline Shakespeare Festival, as well as in-school residencies and after school programs.
Since 2013 the heart of this work has been 3-year courses in Drama and Inner Development. Since 2016 courses have also included Drama and Inner Development for the early childhood educator, focused on the 12 senses. Courses have run in: Taichung, Taipei, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Fuzhou, Xian, Tianjin, and Guangzhou.
Talks and workshops explore drama and its relationship with inner development, its relationship with human development, the art of teaching, team-building, the Michael Chekhov technique, inner and outer biography, and awakening the creative individuality.
Workshops in the Business Environment
“Work is a very serious matter indeed. We freight our work with meaning and identity, and fight hard and long for some kind of purpose in our endeavors. Organizations need to understand the wellsprings of human creativity in order to shape conversations that are invitational to an individual’s greater powers. [The arts] can provide explosive insight, grant needed courage and stir the dormant imagination of individuals and organizations alike.”
David Whyte, Poet
Workshops are tailored to the needs of each organization and have included clowning, improvisation, storytelling, creative writing, public speaking, and inner development.
Strengthening and expanding our imagination facilitates expansion in the business environment. WTD offers workshops to support an organization’s growth and development. While the artistic work enlivens the creative capacities within the individual and nourishes the soul life, the creative process fosters a sense for the whole, benefiting the entire organization.
Every organization seeks to expand its language. At the heart of WTD’s language and speech work is the experience that stimulating our sense of language broadens our perspective and our awareness for what is possible.
Every organization has a story, and communicating that story effectively is a key to a sense of fulfillment. This story is the reason for the organization’s existence, yet it can get buried under the immediate demands of the day-to-day happenings. WTD’s workshops help uncover the personal story and the organization’s story and the conversation they are having together.
The actor learns to think laterally and to bring that process into outer expression. Theater and dramatic exercises focus our direction and help develop an understanding for meaningful action.
“We woke up the ‘between’ space… discovered how clearly language can embody inner truths… a well-guided journey into the inspiration behind the Word!”
–workshop participant, South Australia
After School Drama Program
Since the fall of 2003, Walking the dog Theater has offered after school drama programs for students from grades 7-12 at Hawthorne Valley School in Harlemville, New York.
The semester-long programs involve the production of a play or work on improvisation, with the development of performance skills, ensemble work, games, and drama exercises.
In 2009 and 2010, in collaboration with the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus, WTD created the GhostWALK Hudson: bone-chilling stories written by young local authors were set in historic buildings on Hudson’s Warren Street and brought to life by WTD’s After School Youth Drama Program on walking tours.
Please email [email protected] for current After School Drama offerings.
Shakespeare in Schools
“This is a fantastic opportunity for the kids to learn Shakespeare and language at a much deeper level. It is really incredible. [WTD’s work] is absolutely awesome.”
Greg Wallendall, Theater Director, Beloit Memorial High School, WI
“Students leave the work with a sense for the richness of Shakespeare’s language, how we become beautiful by stepping into it, and how it unifies our intentions with our actions, who we are with what we do. Only Shakespeare offers this experience in such a profound way. He opens up the imaginative world for us and invites us in… Young people have a unique ability, because of where they are in their development, to access the life of a Shakespeare play. Experiencing the life in Shakespeare, they understand what it means to be human. He expresses an incredible love for the nature and potential of the human being. Who isn’t seeking this experience of life?”
David Anderson, Executive Director, in an interview with Amy Stanley of the Beloit Daily News, WI
WTD specializes in creating productions of Shakespeare plays with students from 13 years of age. No other playwright offers as large a spectrum of opportunity to explore all things human, and to exercise thinking, feeling and action in as meaningful a way. Encountering Shakespeare as actors, the young people engage in an artistic and educational experience that is at once personal and creative, particular and universal. WTD encourages students to enter Shakespeare’s powerful, rich language with playfulness and ease. The students meet characters who are inspiring, and bring the stories alive through their imagination. The experience of performing a Shakespeare play completes a process that involves the students’ thinking powers, spurs their emotional maturity, and widens their range of physical and emotional expression and movement. The young people take with them the experience of having faced a challenge and having overcome it, a sense of achievement and success that will accompany them into the future.
“I cannot recommend this company highly enough…I hope they visit many public schools…I know their work meets our needs as educators.”
Classroom teacher, Grant Elementary School, Port Townsend, WA