Jeff Bennett’s Acorn Circle Educational Programs

The in-classroom programs are based on the NYS Social Studies Learning Standards and Themes. Most of the programs have a focus New York State history, as well, as a few programs on United States history. All the in-classroom programs engage the students on the specific topic.

Some of the programs have been converted to student readers that contain more in-depth historical information. Throughout each student reader, there are questions to answer and exercises to assist with reading and comprehension. Please see website for a listing of the student readers.

Barbara Slate – You Can Do a Graphic Novel, Comic Book, Meme, or Zine

Students learn how to create a graphic novel beginning with a six page comic. It doesn’t matter if they can draw. Stick figures are an expressive way for the reluctant artist to begin. Participants are encouraged to bring their sketchbooks and characters they may already be working on. They will learn about The Creative Process, how to write a Character Study, focus on the beginning, middle, end and twist of a story, and Create Layouts.

If the program is an assembly, Barbara talks though the program with on-screen illustrations of the process. The school is to provide a computer, projector and screen.

UAlbany Performing Arts Center

Guest artist performances:
Monday, October 15, 2018 at 10am – “Beyond Sacred: Voices of Muslim Identity”
This documentary style theatre work by Ping Chong + Company illuminates the daily experiences of five young Muslim Americans who have come of age in a post-9/11 society and are building their lives in a time of continued fear of and violence towards Muslims. Their true stories create a beautiful and intensely poignant cry for tolerance at a time when such sentiments are more necessary than ever. Please note: This performance is sold out. A waiting list is available.

Friday, November 9, 2018 at 10am – San Jose Taiko
Mesmerizing audiences since 1973 with the powerful, spellbinding and propulsive sounds of the taiko, these talented performers express the beauty and harmony of the human spirit as they create new dimensions in Asian American movement and music. Inspired by traditional Japanese drumming, they have broadened this historical art form with other world rhythms including African, Brazilian, Filipino, Latin and jazz, bridging many styles while still resonating with the Asian soul in America.

Thursday, March 28, 2019 at 10am – “The Gun Show”
Award-winning playwright E. M. Lewis tells the story of America’s relationship with guns through the prism of her own personal experiences, from rural farming community to big city. Leaning neither right nor left, the play jumps into the middle of the gun control debate and asks “Can we have a conversation about this?” Performed by Christopher Smith, it’s “…a powerful show, an important show, and a show everyone should see.” ~ BROADWAY WORLD

UAlbany Department of Music and Theatre performances:
Thursday, October 18, 2018 at 10am – “Godspell”
A troupe of actors helps Jesus Christ stage parables with games, storytelling techniques and a hefty dose of comedic timing. Written by “Wicked” creator, Stephen Schwartz, “Godspell” reminds us of the importance of kindness, tolerance and love.

Thursday, November 15, 2018 at 10am – “A Streetcar Named Desire”
In the sweltering heat of New Orleans, Blanche, a fading Southern belle, arrives mysteriously at her sister and brutish brother-in-law’s doorstep. Colliding with their volatile marriage, Blanche grasps after her own crumbling reality. This Pulitzer Prize-winning American classic is a riveting story of fate, desire, and desperation in the pursuit of happiness. Please note: This performance is sold out. A waiting list is available.

Thursday, March 7, 2019 at 10am – “Our Country’s Good” (snow date: 3/8/19)
A boat full of murderers, thieves and marine officers arrive on the shores of Australia. There, an ambitious young lieutenant is set the task of directing a cast of convicts in a play. A true story of the first convict colony, this extraordinary work is about the value of the theatre and the redemptive power of art.