A Living Newspaper
A Living Newspaper is a collaborative classroom residency at Actors Theatre of Louisville focused on playmaking based on current events and human rights. Led by an Actors Theatre teaching artist, a classroom of high school students collaborate over the course of ten sessions to create a short performance piece exploring a topic of large social relevance. Using news articles and other news sources as a primary text, students breathe theatrical life into current events, presenting large social issues through drama, poetry, music, movement and more.
History of a Living Newspaper
The tradition of living newspapers began with the Federal Theatre Project, a branch of the Works Progress Administration as part of the New Deal. From 1935-1939, otherwise unemployed actors, playwrights and directors were hired to dramatize large, pressing issues concerning human rights. They were designed to be both informative and entertaining, and appeal to its audience on both political and emotional terms. Drawing inspiration from this truly American tradition, as well as a curriculum developed by the University of Texas at Austin’s Humanities Institute, A Living Newspaper residency is the perfect tool to teach students critical social analysis, collaboration, creativity and communication skills.