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Voices of Inspiration and Rebellion: An English and Theater Arts Collaboration
young man on stage

Want to truly personalize student learning and raise student voices?  Build a course where every written word is also spoken and permit students to declare their truths. Voices of Inspiration & Rebellion, an English and Theater Arts collaboration is a interdisciplinary, heterogeneous course devoted to moving students from beliefs to written composition to spoken delivery.  

Our year-long course for high school seniors identifies, develops and then brings each student’s most authentic voice to realization – first on the page and then to an audience of their peers in spoken presentation.  By seamlessly integrating traditional English literacy skills with the speaking and performance practices of Theater Arts, our students analyze, compose, embody and finally present diverse work driven by choice and passion.  Carefully integrating the sequential skills of theatre ensemble-building, our course teaches students first to trust each other.  From there, students identify and then publicly share strongly held beliefs without fear, and also to listen with care when their peers do the same.  And in doing so, they arrive at a truer understanding of themselves, develop a deeper empathy for others, and graduate able to effectively and confidently share their voices with the wider world.  

As with all things, our students’ own words are the best evidence of the success and value of our model:  

“[This course] gave me the skills to find a voice I didn’t know I had.  In my classes in college I am articulate and well spoken to the point where my professors pull me aside after class to tell me I have wonderful commentary on our projects, something I have never been acknowledged for prior to Voices. . . You helped me find my confidence both in presentations and in writing. . . Voices of inspiration and Rebellion makes such a difference because it is an original, outside of the box type of class. I do not think for a second that I would have honed in on this skill-set had I taken another English class my senior year of high school. Even two years after I graduated, I still often reflect on how fond I am of your class.”


Hall Voices of Inspiration and Rebellion Documentary (YouTube video)


Anne McKernan   |   |   (860) 561-6624

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  • College & Career Ready
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  • Social & Emotional Learning