Throughout my own childhood, my access to arts education gave me the opportunity to exercise my imagination, investigate meaningful questions, and encounter challenges in a safe and affirming environment. This experience motivates me to make a difference in the lives of children and teens of all ages and abilities through my work as a teaching artist. Whether I'm teaching a multi-week residency or a guest workshop, I encourage my students to take creative risks, collaborate, and own their stories.

HIGHLIGHTS

The theme for Ag47's 2019 season was "Myth." Inspired by this theme, I facilitated a workshop in which participants examined power dynamics in familiar folktales, then subverted those power dynamics through drama. Finally, the participants created triptychs consisting of a poem and two collages. One collage represented the original story; the other, the retelling the participants devised. In the poems, the characters in the stories got to speak out and correct assumptions about their desires and motivations.

At South Loop Elementary, I taught creative drama and acting to aftercare students in kindergarten-6th grade. Below are the performance agreements my 3rd grade acting students came up with.

Above, artists from the About Face Youth Ensemble devise a piece about the 2016 election.

During my apprenticeship at Imagination Stage, I had the pleasure of writing activity guides for two mainstage shows, The Freshest Snow Whyte and Wonderland: Alice's Rock 'N Roll Adventure. I also contributed activities to the guide for The Smartest Girl in the World.

Download Wonderland: Alice's Rock 'N Roll Adventure Activity Guide

When IStage produced The Freshest Snow Whyte in 2017, I had the opportunity to give a touch tour to a group of students from the Maryland School for the Blind. Snow Whyte and her uncle Kanye East are graffiti artists, so to make their art accessible, I got crafty with some felt and Wikki Stix and made some tactiles!

As an intern at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, I contributed Common Core-aligned activities to the teacher handbook for Romeo and Juliet. One of my contributions was a guide to teaching the text through graphic novels, designed for use in ELL classrooms.

Download graphic novel guide

Additional work samples available upon request.

Bex Ehrmann is a freelance director and teaching artist.

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