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Resource book that inspires student ownership and empowers teachers to build playgrounds with Shakespeare's text.
Resource book that inspires student ownership and empowers teachers to build playgrounds with Shakespeare's text.
Resource book that inspires student ownership and empowers teachers to build playgrounds with Shakespeare's text.
122 backers pledged $6,950 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Shakespeare's Ensemble: Creative Ownership Book

$6,950

122

WOW! WE'VE HIT OUR MINIMUM! Now on to our 1st stretch goal - $9,000.

That means two awesome things have happened:

  • Rewards unlocked - School bundles at 50% off plus Facilitator's Editions & on-site teacher training.
  • An instant upgrade to all rewards with the new book (paperback or digital) because it funds professional documentation during this summer's final research stage with educators.

THE PROJECT:

Shakespeare's Ensemble: Creative Ownership Project is a resource book with online support created by Creatively Independent that draws students to Shakespeare's playground because of their own point of view and curiosity, not because they "have to". Over five years, we've refined our process—combining play, mindfulness, and ensemble devising. Our work focuses on the student in front of you making it accessible and challenging for middle school through grad school - amateur to professional.

WHAT IS CREATIVE OWNERSHIP?

For five years, we've explored this process with three shows:

1. HAMLET (2011)

Hamlet (2011) Minerva Stage/Creatively Independent - community actors teens-40s exploring gender roles with largely female cast.
Hamlet (2011) Minerva Stage/Creatively Independent - community actors teens-40s exploring gender roles with largely female cast.

2. A Midsummer Night's Dream (2012)

A Midsummer Night's Dream (2012) Nease HS/Creatively Independent - high school ensemble's first time devising inside Shakespeare.
A Midsummer Night's Dream (2012) Nease HS/Creatively Independent - high school ensemble's first time devising inside Shakespeare.

 3. Henry V - adapted into "To The Breach" (2014)

 Henry V  (2014) Creatively Independent/Rotations Theatre, Germany - young professionals in a highly stylized production with only 5 ensemble members

TOPICS INCLUDING IN THE BOOK:

  • Making the material relevant through the students' eyes by activating their identity, intetion, and potential impact
  • Establishing collaborative rituals and routines in the classroom to promote creative flow
  • Freeing up teachers' limited resources (like time and energy) with ensemble building
  • Cutting a play to challenge and support your current group. We include our edits of A Midsummer Night's Dream, Hamlet, and Henry V to show the range from traditional to drastic/interpretive edits
  • Tools for every class/rehearsal process: Productive Play, Embracing Risk, Failing Gloriously
  • Being inside the process - the student-teacher collaboration
  • Responsibilities: student-led projects within a production
  • Casting: how to assess and draw out unique skill sets within each student
  • Guiding and backing off: when to push, provoke, support, and stand beside
  • Activating creative ownership beyond Shakespeare

THE BOOK'S NOT DONE YET... We have one more research stage - teachers.

Stage 4: A Midsummer Night's Dream will be devised May 30- June 18, 2016 with Creatively Independent and an ensemble of teachers. During this stage, we'll create the Facilitator's Edition with extra coaching and exercises, plus online videos of the process.

As well as professional artists, these enthusiastic folks are full time, adjunct, and freelance teachers in middle school, high school, college, professional development and international institutions.

(Top L-R: Tanya Perez, Meredith Fox, Maggie Keenan-Bolger, Matthew R. Wilson, Malia Nicolini; Bottom L-R: Ricky Watson, Erin Crites, Chris Beaulieu, Jax Jackson)
(Top L-R: Tanya Perez, Meredith Fox, Maggie Keenan-Bolger, Matthew R. Wilson, Malia Nicolini; Bottom L-R: Ricky Watson, Erin Crites, Chris Beaulieu, Jax Jackson)

WHY A KICKSTARTER ?

Stages 1-3 were co-funded by Creatively Independent and other theatre companies, schools, arts foundations, and ticket-paying audiences.

Stage 4's need to focus on process takes out those key funders and makes your contributions essential towards our minimum goal of $6,000. We have kept the budget tight and already raised 50% of our costs to ensure housing, rehearsal and performance rental, and technicians.

OUR MINIMUM GOAL IS $6,000

This gift allows us to supply a modest stipend for our ensemble for their time and talent as they research with us at CI's Virginia retreat and Catawba College, May 30-June 18, 2016.

8* teachers x $250/week x 3 weeks = $6,000

*Chris Beauieu is the 9th ensemble member, but as co-founder of Creatively Independent is waiving any stipend, as is Jess Pillmore for directing.

STRETCH GOAL #1 - $9,000: Allows us to professionally document the final stage and include those resources in the book and online.

STRETCH GOAL #2 - $12,000: Provides 50% of the book's editor and graphic designer's fees.

KICKSTARTER IS ALL OR NOTHING! TO SEE THIS THROUGH, WE NEED YOU! 

**We can give schools a solid foundation in creative ownership with your help! Getting the word out, donating, and making a ruckus... It all becomes an investment in creative ownership for all!**

The need for ownership is crucial to creativity and education. As poet Adrienne Rich stated, “when someone with the authority of a teacher, say, describes the world and you are not in it, there is a moment of psychic disequilibrium, as if you looked in the mirror and saw nothing.”

We fully believe ensemble devising, play, and mindfulness are necessary tools for a student's journey towards owning their answers to:

  • Who are you? (Identity)
  • What do you want? (Intention)
  • How does that extend beyond you? (Impact)

But for many educators, devising is either very new or used solely for creating new works; play is used in small doses; and mindfulness is more theory than practice. We believe it is because educators do not have the resources to learn, explore, and incorporate these tools with ownership themselves.

This must change.

And it can with your help!

This isn't about Shakespeare.

This isn't about arts education.

It's about empowering students to own their creative point of view through arts education and Shakespeare.

This shift would drastically alter education as we know it, addressing:

[VIDEO] By Lavilla School of the Arts/Aimee Barusch, a long time client, showing how our work reaches the students and staff beyond the skill - towards self-discovery.

Thank you for your time and support! Please spread the love and share the campaign with anyone who believes in progressive education, the arts, the student's voice, Shakespeare, and creative ownership.

So much love to you, rock stars! Your generosity is an investment in education that inspires and empowers!

ABOUT CREATIVELY INDEPENDENT

Co-Founders, Christopher Beaulieu and Jess Pillmore, have been teaching artists for over twenty years, empowering educators and sparking students with customized curriculum. In 2005, Creatively Independent was born from a desire to promote sustainable artistry and activate the arts in education, bringing back a balance of education–drawing out that which is latent–and training–passing down proven techniques. CI travels internationally tours 250+ days/year engaging students from toddler-professional in residencies, keynotes, consultations and physical theatre performances. Combined, Chris and Jess have directed/choreographed over 60 shows from Off-Broadway, Fringe, International, Regional and Educational. Chris is the current Movement Committee Chair for the Southeast Theatrical Conference, as well as a graduate of Dell’Arte International. When not on the road, CI is expanding their 7-acre retreat in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Every summer, CI develops new works and offers professional development in teaching artistry and play. CI’s Artistic Director, Jess Pillmore is a published author. HowlRound features Jess’s Sustainable Artistry series her provocative essay on ageism towards children in education appeared in Psychology Today. Her book, Creatively Independent, was supported by international best-seller and frequent Ted speaker, Seth Godin. She is currently writing "A Fire Just Waiting", a new musical about a modern Joan of Arc featuring folk singer Ani DiFranco's music.

OUR TRAINING & AWARDS

JESS PILLMORE

TRAINING: MFA Interdisciplinary Arts (Goddard), BA Theatre (FSU), Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, Movement Studio (NYC), Society of American Fight Directors, Pilobolus

AWARDS: Best Female Actor Combatant (Nat’l SAFD), Founder’s Award (Nat’l SAFD), Best Musical (Dir. /Chor., Minneapolis Fringe w/ Neo-Futurists)

CHRISTOPHER BEAULIEU

TRAINING: Shakespeare & Co., Dell’Arte International, Society of American Fight Directors, Pilobolus

AWARDS: National Endowment for the Arts grant, Paddy Crean Award (Society of American Fight Directors)

TESTIMONIALS

"Chris has a gift as a director... Jess clears away the weeds to reveal a path to engage the real art and convergence of play.”

- Michael Fields (Producing Artistic Director, Dell'Arte International)

“It was a pleasure and a revelation watching Christopher open up a safe, joyous environment for the students to rediscover their sense of play. Through his use of deceptively simple children’s games, he took the temperature of the room, made instant assessments, and, by asking astute questions, allowed the students to make their own discoveries, have ownership of their work, and empowered them to go deeper into the material with greater ease and facility. I fully intend to use these techniques in my own classroom- I cannot recommend Chris highly enough!”

– J. David Brimmer (Assoc. Prof. NYU/Tisch & SAFD Fight Master)

“What Jess Pillmore is outrageously, poetically and inspiringly suggesting is that if we are willing to be responsible for the Consequences of our actions, we are free to make the choices we have yet to dream of making and in doing so open the floodgates of creativity and cooperation within ourselves and those around us. This just might lead to a world where the ‘golden rule’ is not a quote but a way.

- Daniel Stein (Clinical Professor, Head of Movement and Physical Theatre Brown Univ/Trinity Rep. MFA Acting Program)

Thank you! Please share far and wide!

Thank you from the Creatively Independent team: Griffin, Skye, Jess and Chris
Thank you from the Creatively Independent team: Griffin, Skye, Jess and Chris

Risks and challenges

With over 20 years of devising under our belts, and 10 years producing successful projects (plays, albums, books, tours), there is no risk in completing Stage 4, finishing the book and delivering our thank you goodies.

The true risk will be in our artistic choices, solely... And your help allows us to take more risks during the project! Your support enables us to focus on the process, break more ground in arts education and truly help educators and students with our research.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    TONS OF RESOURCES

    Solid base in creative ownership with these workshops & coaching sessions in book form.

    3 Digital downloads:
    1. Our first book, "Creatively Independent: Life on Your Terms with Play, Community & Awareness"
    2. "Sustainable Artistry: Why the Arts Needs All of You" (Kickstarter-exclusive) essay compilation of Jess Pillmore's HowlRound column with bonus essays just for you!
    3. Two CI cut scripts (Midsummer & Hamlet - 90-110 minute runs/each) that will be featured as case studies in the Shakespeare's Ensemble book.

    - Retails $20 -

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    DAILY CREATIVE PROMPTS

    Preview the new book with creative prompts delivered to your inbox daily during the process. That's 18 sparkling email gems over 3 weeks that will help you access your creative ownership with devising prompts, exercises, and examples of failures/successes within the process.

    Plus TONS OF RESOURCES

    - Retails $35 -

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    EARLY DIGITAL BOOK

    Get Shakespeare's Ensemble as .pdf and .epub before its official release.

    Plus TONS OF RESOURCES & DAILY CREATIVE PROMPTS*
    *Delivery times are earlier for these

    - Retail $50 -

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    EARLY SIGNED BOOK

    A signed copy of both Shakespeare's Ensemble and Creatively Independent.

    Plus PDF PRIMERS & DAILY CREATIVE PROMPTS*
    *Delivery times are earlier for these.

    - Retail $80 -

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    ASK AWAY - EMAIL COACHING

    Ask Chris and Jess up to 2 questions about devising inside Shakespeare and we'll send you a detailed email answer. This is rare access to pick our brains one-on-one to assist your next Shakespeare project!

    Plus TONS OF RESOURCES & DAILY CREATIVE PROMPTS & EARLY DIGITAL BOOK (ebook delivered September 2017)

    - Retails $100 -

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    OPEN REHEARSAL ACCESS

    Get the inside skinny on how we devise Midsummer. With this offer, you'll get access to our secret (shhhh!) Facebook group for the cast and creative team. Here you'll be able to observe the process in real time with resources, script updates, daily tasks/challenges only available to the ensemble AND live stream access to the final show.

    This is an extremely valuable crash course in devising inside Shakespeare and how to utilize technology in arts education!

    Plus TONS OF RESOURCES & ASK AWAY-EMAIL COACHING & EARLY DIGITAL BOOK (ebook delivered September 2017)

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    SCHOOL BOOK BUNDLE (5+5)

    Give your school the resources they need with this pack of 5 Shakespeare’s Ensembles and 5 Creatively Independent paperbacks.

    Perfect for educators in the Performing Arts and Literature.

    - Retail $200 -

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    SUSTAINABLE ARTISTRY COACHING

    (1) 90-120 minute phone consultation with Jess exploring one major aspect of your artistic and/or business focus. It includes a detailed questionnaire to focus your intention for the talk, a recorded mp3 of the call and a follow up email of “What If?” Challenges (additional ways to adapt the work in the near future).

    Plus TONS OF RESOURCES & EARLY DIGITAL BOOK

    - Retail $280 -

    **We'll schedule a time together between July 1-December 31, 2016**
    ebook delivered September 2017.

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    ONLINE CLASSES/COACHING

    Grab a seat in one of two online courses/coaching sessions:
    - An Inspiring Vision - for new and seasoned educators of all subjects. Learn how to dream again and design curriculum that motivates and prepares!
    - A Class Above - for teaching artists or artists transitioning to teaching. No more guns for hire! Create workshops only you can teach.

    These game changing courses are 3-weeks with daily prompts, resources, group support, and one-on-one coaching.

    Plus TONS OF RESOURCES & EARLY DIGITAL BOOK.
    *ebook delivered September 2017.

    - Retail $350 -
    *You can choose your course theme and session time (June 20-July 7) or (July 25-August 11)
    http://creativelyindependent.net/online-course-offerings/

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    20 BOOKS + 1 FACILITATOR'S EDITION + SCHOOL'S NAME IN THE BOOK

    We will include your school in the new book as one of our fabulous patrons announcing it as a front-runner in arts education.

    You'll also receive 20 early paperback copies of Shakespeare’s Ensemble and 1 Facilitator's Edition.

    Perfect for educators in the Performing Arts and Literature, elementary-college.

    - Retail $550 -

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    COME TO PLAY @ OUR RETREAT

    You're invited to participate in our exclusive Play Retreat (Austinville, VA). Explore the evolutionary power of play in your artistic process. With this donation, you get free tuition for either 2016 or 2017's week-long retreat. (Dates below**)

    Camp with us on our 7-acre retreat. Play inside workshops led by CI co-founders. Bond with fellow artists in all fields. This is big! We usually open this to only 10 players who have worked with us before.

    Plus TONS OF RESOURCES & DAILY CREATIVE PROMPTS & ASK AWAY - EMAIL COACHING.

    *Tuition only. Participant must be 18+. Travel and camping gear are part of your magic, rock star.
    **Dates: July 17-24, 2016 or JULY 2017 (t.b.d.) Limited openings.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    40 BOOKS + 2 FACILITATOR'S EDITIONS + SCHOOL'S NAME IN THE BOOK

    We will include your school in the new book as one of our fabulous patrons announcing it as a front-runner in arts education.

    You'll also receive 40 early paperback copies of Shakespeare’s Ensemble and 2 Facilitator's Editions.

    Perfect for educators in the Performing Arts and Literature, elementary-college.

    - Retail $1,100 -

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    DIRECTING/DEVISING COACH

    Directing a devised show can be daunting, but we have your back! Let us help you engage your students in your next Shakespeare play or course block.

    With this exclusive package you'll receive:
    - (3) 90-minute phone consultations:
    1. Pre-production: aesthetics, vision and casting
    2. Beginning of rehearsal: establishing and implementing tools for devising
    3. Mid-rehearsal: troubleshooting and risk-taking
    AND
    (1) Google Hangout or Skype observation of 30-45 minutes of rehearsal with a follow-up 30 minute consultation.

    It includes a detailed questionnaire to focus your intention for the talk and a recorded mp3 of each call.

    And access to live stream our Stage 4 Midsummer.

    Plus TONS OF RESOURCES & DAILY CREATIVE PROMPTS & EARLY DIGITAL BOOK.

    *ebook delivered September 2017

    - Retails $1,000 -
    **Times will be scheduled during the 2016/17 school year.**

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    60 BOOKS + 3 FACILITATOR'S EDITIONS + SCHOOL'S NAME IN THE BOOK + ON-SITE TEACHER TRAINING

    We will include your school in the new book as one of our fabulous patrons announcing it as a front-runner in arts education.

    You'll also receive 60 early paperback copies of Shakespeare’s Ensemble and 3 Facilitator's Editions and one full-day teacher training in the creative ownership process.*

    Perfect for educators in the Performing Arts and Literature, elementary-college.

    *Travel not included. Teacher training will be scheduled within 2017-18 school year and we'll bring your books!*

    - Retail $2,150 -

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Funding period

- (31 days)