PERFORM! brings together professional performers with teachers and students in public and private schools across Nova Scotia. Its primary goal is to enhance learning by involving professional performing artists in the delivery of drama, music, and dance curricula.
What We Do:
More than thirty years of arts education research has proven that theatre, dance and music greatly contribute to the development of reading, writing, and numeracy skills in students. At PERFORM! we are dedicated to integrating performance skills into education to increase academic success. Since 1999, PERFORM! has been a joint initiative of Dance Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia Choral Federation, and Theatre Nova Scotia, bringing professional artists to schools to work with students and teachers in developing their own skills and creativity. From African dance, to public speaking, to hip hop, to playwriting, we’ve taught it all. You can find our performers working in performing arts classes and through other subject areas such as English, French, History, Math, and Social Sciences. PERFORM! is committed to providing accessible programming in English and French for all grade levels in public and private schools. We also provide travel remuneration to performers so that rural schools can have equal access to our program.
A well designed, participatory arts education program is essential in developing creative and confident critical thinkers and problem solvers. Evidence further suggests that theatre, dance and music are linked to improved literacy and numeracy skills. A school’s commitment to the performing arts signals respect for the range of multiple intelligences and the different ways in which our students learn. A strong arts curriculum not only contributes to a student’s creative knowledge, it improves overall academic success, enhances self-image and develops social empathy. Youth in arts programs are:
- 25% more likely to report feeling satisfied with themselves;
- 31% more likely to say that they plan to continue education after high school;
- Eight times more likely to receive a community service award;
- Four and a half times more likely to win an award for writing an essay or poem;
- Twice as likely to win an award for academic achievement;
- Four times more likely to participate in a science or math fair;
– From Youth Development by Shirley Brice Heath and Elisabeth Soe
Pamela Halstead is a director, dramaturg, actor, teacher and arts administrator. She has worked across Canada in a number of capacities. Having started her career training at Dalhousie University, she spent the next decade working primarily as an actor and teacher until focusing her path more toward directing, dramaturgy. During this time she apprenticed under numerous directors exploring a variety of processes including: Dean Gilmour, Bob White, David Kennedy, Ruth Smillie, Ron Jenkins and Sarah Stanley. As an arts administrator, Pamela was the Artistic Producer for Ship’s Company Theatre (Parrsboro, NS) from 2004 – 2009 and the Artistic Director of Lunchbox Theatre (Calgary, AB) from 2009 – 2013, returning to that role in 2014 in an interim capacity. Between these two organizations she produced and/or directed over 60 new Canadian works and dramaturged many more. Pamela is co-founder and Co-Artistic Producer for DMV Theatre (Halifax, NS) and Artistic Advisor to Valley Summer Theatre (Wolfville, NS). Pamela has taught at Forest Heights Community School (Chester Basin, NS), been a guest director and instructor at Dalhousie University (Halifax, NS) and was the International Directing Consultant for Petersfield Arts School (Petersfield, UK). She ran Theatre New Brunswick’s Young Company and Youth Theatre Program (Fredericton, NB), has been a teacher and director for Quest Theatre’s Artist in Residency Program (Calgary, AB), instructed at the NS High School Drama Festival (Halifax, NS), expanded the drama camp program at Ship’s Company Theatre (Parrsboro, NS) and created the Education Comes Alive Program at Lunchbox Theatre (Calgary, AB). Pamela is a former Chair of Theatre Nova Scotia and has served on numerous other boards, juries and committees across Canada. In 2013 Pamela was awarded the inaugural Evans Award at the Calgary Theatre Critics’ Awards. The Evans Award is awarded to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the vibrancy of the Calgary theatre community.
About the Website
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