ETC Integrated Arts Conference Explores Seussical Themes

January 9th, 2006 by Adam

The 11th annual Integrated Arts Conference January 28 at Plymouth State University will show teachers and arts professionals how they can explore Dr. Seuss themes and ideas found in Seussical the Musical, through various forms of art.

The conference is presented by the Educational Theatre Collaborative (ETC), a partnership of Plymouth State University College of Graduate Studies, Friends of the Arts and Plymouth Elementary School, and coincides with ETC’s production of Seussical at the Silver Center for the Arts.

Megan Lambert, literature and outreach coordinator of the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Mass., will present the keynote address: Subversive, Serious Stuff: Sense and Nonsense in the Works of Dr. Seuss.

The conference will also feature seven workshops on different ways to apply ideas from the production using various art forms and curricular approaches. Both staff development and graduate credit are available.

TIGER (Theatre Integrating Guidance, Education and Responsibility), Plymouth State’s professional touring theatre troupe, will perform Safe and Sound All Around, a new, original musical performance on safety created from the writings of New Hampshire children in grades kindergarten through eight. Conference participants are also invited to the Saturday matinee performance of Seussical.

The workshops are:

Oh, the Thinks You Can Think! by Barbara K. O’Brien, Beaver Meadow School; Jeremy Opitz, acting director, Danbury Community Center; and Jaylene Bengtson and Alison Charbeneau, Belmont Middle School. Candidates for the Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Arts, Leadership and Learning at PSU share their experiences in the arts and education through exciting arts-infused student work inspired by the works of Dr. Seuss. The first workshop session will feature primary grade instructors and the second will feature middle school instructors.

I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew! by Gretchen Hildebrand, Andover (N.H.) Elementary/Middle School, 2005 finalist, New Hampshire Teacher of the Year. Integrating art, creative writing, history and mathematics, participants will draw an adventure in scroll form, using a timeline for a plan in this workshop on time, trouble and travel.

The Tiniest Planet in the Sky, by Carol Ellis, Kearsarge Regional High School. Imagining the tiniest planet in the sky and the tiny “Whos” who live there, participants will create a Who, using a variety of materials. Lesson plans, resources, samples and a bibliography will be provided.

The Dr. is In: Dr. Seuss in the Classroom, by Megan Lambert, conference keynote speaker. Explore the picture books and easy readers of Dr. Seuss to discover their rich potential for honing verbal and visual literacy skills in students of all ages.

Anything’s Possible, by Timm Judas, Oxbow High School, Bedford, Vt. Participants will hop and move and “Seuss-ify” their day, demonstrating that movement is more than just play, learning through integration by analyzing Seuss’ works.

Horton Hears a Who, by Irene Cucina, professor of health and human performance, Plymouth State University. Using a variety of movement and kinesthetic strategies, participants will examine how to bring reading to life.

Integration in Action, by Cynthia Vascak, PSU coordinator of art education and project director of the Integrated Instructional Model (IIM). The workshop is an interactive presentation of the research findings from the IIM project and an exploration of the impact of IIM on teaching and learning.

Registration for the conference is $115 and includes admission to all conference workshops and events, staff development certificate, lunch, refreshments and a teacher resource book on Seussical. Contact Susan Anderson, conference coordinator, at (603) 535-2647.

Information on graduate credit is available from Professor Trish Lindberg, M.Ed. in Integrated Arts coordinator and artistic director, ETC, at (603) 535-2647 or by e-mail to Additional fees apply for graduate credit.

ETC information is online at The conference is presented in association with the Plymouth Writing Project, the New Hampshire Alliance for Arts Education and the Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire.

Production dates for Seussical the Musical are January 25 – 28 at 7 p.m.; January 28 and 29 at 2 p.m., at Hanaway Theatre. The 7 p.m. performance on January 28 will be interpreted for the deaf and hard of hearing. Please call in advance for seating for that service. Tickets are available at the SCAC Box Office, (603) 535-ARTS. Tickets are $16-14 for adults, $12-10 for seniors and youth.