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Setting the stage digitally

ASU Gammage helps families stay entertained, educated during times of social distancing

ASU Gammage
April 02, 2020

At a time of uncertainty, and at least a month more of social distancing, families are looking for ways to stay busy and entertained by revamping every day activities through digital platforms.

Like many programs at Arizona State University, ASU Gammage is focusing on online content to help families cope. While performances are on hiatus, ASU Gammage remains committed to its mission of Connecting Communities by launching free, digital tools for self-expression.

“The arts have the power to make the world seem a little brighter. They are a great way to escape. Even though our theater is dark, we know the theater is more than building, and we will continue our mission beyond our stage in a new digital way,” said Colleen Jennings-Roggensack, vice president for ASU Cultural Affairs and executive director of ASU Gammage. “This is just an intermission. When it comes to an end we will once again gather in our theater seats, but until then ... we will see you online.”

Virtual Masterclasses

These free 30-minute classes, streamed through Facebook Live, combine music, dance, theater and visual arts with academic subjects and are taught by artists from The Molly Blank Fund Teaching Artists Program, who have been trained in the Kennedy Center arts integration methodThe Kennedy Center defines arts integration as "an approach to teaching in which students construct and demonstrate understanding through an art form. Students engage in a creative process which connects an art form and another subject area and meets evolving objectives in both." . So far, ASU Gammage has hosted three classes. On Friday, April 3 at 7 p.m., teaching artist Taylor Moschetti is hosting a Masterclass for the grown-ups called "Stir Crazy Improv."

Up next: "Stepping Inside the Author’s Mind" on Wednesday, April 8 at 4 p.m. In this online course, also available through Facebook Live on ASU Gammage’s page, Natalie Trelstad will integrate monologues and literary Common Core standards to determine the author’s point of view.

These classes are made possible with funding from the Abbett Family Foundation.

Lunch Time Talks

ASU Gammage is also using Facebook Live to launch Lunch Time Talks, a mini-series which will give the viewer opportunities to ask questions of theater and art professionals, including Broadway stars such as Krystina Alabado ("Mean Girls," "Spring Awakening" and "American Idiot"), Casey Likes ("Almost Famous") and Sam Primack ("Dear Evan Hansen"). The first event is Monday, April 6 at 1 p.m. with Likes. For more information go here.

Virtual Expressions

Think open mic night, but on Zoom. The first event will be hosted by Tomas Stanton on Tuesday, April 7 at 7 p.m. — complete with Zoom DJ Samuel Peña and featured guests Sean Avery, Kaeron Ray and Alexis Monroe. Musicians, dancers, singers, poets and multidisciplinary artists are invited to share their talents online during a three minute demonstration.

To sign up as a participant go here.

To tune in to the event go here.


ASU Gammage is looking for other opportunities to entertain and educate families by working on partnerships with the Phoenix Public Library, the Gather Storytelling group, NONAME book club, the HIDA Lab and Daniel Bernard Roumain, School of Music professor and longtime ASU Gammage collaborator.

For the latest list of ASU Gammage Digital Connections go here.

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