The New York State Theatre Education Association, a statewide organization of theatre educators, promotes and supports theatre education for students in grades pre-K through 12. On the weekend of January 10-12, NYSTEA held its 24th Annual Student Conference at the Villa Roma Resort in Callicoon, New York.
“Thirteen students from Briarcliff High School attended the conference this year – the 22nd year that I have had the pleasure to chaperone and direct the trip,” said BHS English department coordinator Jamie Mandel. “As a special treat, two Briarcliff students got to shine in performances on both Saturday and Sunday. Charlotte Baer was chosen to perform for the Student Playwriting Showcase and Rachel Kern performed Latin Dance during the closing ceremony. This conference is a testament to how theatre transforms students’ lives.”
This conference creates an opportunity for approximately 850 high school students from all over New York to come together for a weekend of learning and peer interaction. Students attend workshops given by colleges, universities, and other theatre professionals, as well as networking with one another and experiencing a variety of performances throughout the conference.
“For the Student Conference delegates, this is a highlight of their high school career,” Ms. Mandel added. “In over 100 workshop offerings, students received expert instruction in technical theatre, acting, dance, and voice. Meeting and sharing interests with other similarly-minded students from every region of the state is paramount in working collaboratively, gaining self-confidence, and exploring new areas of learning. Studying theatre and attending the conference develops skills needed for the twenty-first century, including critical thinking, problem-solving, applications of technology, social responsibility, and creativity.”