Podcast: Hank Stratton and Ted Kraus on the Importance of the Performing Arts

On today’s podcast, Tom speaks with Hank Stratton and Ted Kraus from the University of Arizona. Hank teaches acting and Ted Kraus is the Technical Director at the School of Theatre, Film, and Television. Together, they represent performance and production.

Tom and Hank both see the theater as a place for problem-based learning, where students learn soft skills that translate into every profession. They believe that theatre teaches self-awareness and empathy, as well as project management skills, and would like to see all young people participate in the performing arts, from elementary school through college.

Listen to today’s conversation to hear their stories, experiences, and collaborations in the theatre that illustrate how performing arts experiences are a great example of deep learning.

Key Takeaways:

[:15] About today’s episode.
[1:02] Tom welcomes Hank and Ted to the podcast!
[1:09] Hank speaks about when he first began acting and his experiences in high school theatre.
[2:20] Did Hank participate in other arts outside of acting?
[2:43] The similarities in theatre and music performance.
[4:17] Ted speaks about his path to the theatre.
[5:55] What originally drew Ted to the “back to the house” (AKA production).
[7:14] Would Ted consider himself a capable project manager?
[8:07] About the High-Quality Project Based Learning project.
[9:01] Ted and Hank discuss the parallels between production and performance, as well as self-assessment and soft skills.
[12:05] How does Hank make the case for theatre for visiting students?
[14:47] What young people learn about empathy from both acting and behind-the-scenes production.
[17:05] What kind of participation would Hank see in K-12 education for the performing arts if he could just wave a magic wand?
[21:35] Does Ted believe that every student should participate in at least two performing arts in every grade span?
[23:52] Do Hank and Ted agree with the sentiment that teenagers who do world-class work are a result of really tough feedback in a safe space.
[25:24] How Hank and Ted help students develop a picture of “good.”
[31:26] Hank and Tom’s recommendations to where listeners should follow-up on to learn more!

Mentioned in This Episode:

University of Arizona
Project Management Institute (PMI)
High Quality Project Based Learning (HQPBL.org)
Buck Institute for Education

The Man Who Came to Dinner

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Getting Smart Staff

The Getting Smart Staff believes in learning out loud and always being an advocate for things that we are excited about. As a result, we write a lot. Do you have a story we should cover? Email [email protected]

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