Roger Jerome: Workshops and Residencies

Roger Jerome has been a featured workshop-leader and artist-in-residence in the UK since 1965 and in the USA since 1988. He has a number of specialties on offer.

Process-Drama

Process-drama is the use of improvisation and role-play in the school curriculum. Linked to socio-dramatic play, this approach has been highly developed in Europe, especially in London and N.E. England. It is aimed at all students, as a crystallizing part of their overall education. It has particular usefulness in the Arts and Humanities, where to "stand in other people's shoes" is a powerful extension of awareness. Roger offers single, half-day, full day, or longer workshops, in which the principles are presented and then practical activities and discussion examine this excellent way of learning.

Specific Topic Residencies

Specific topic residencies of half-week, full week, 2 week and longer duration are available. In serial meetings with school-students, Roger develops a topic into theatrical form by organizing students into creative teams who devise, prepare and then present their dramas to an audience. They function, in effect, as playwrights. The realization of their creative potential is something which stays with students forever. Roger has directed many scores of such activities since 1965 and, since coming to the USA, he has been stimulated by the wealth of American history, be it Blennerhasset, women in the Civil War, the Arizona Child Abduction, Ellis Island, or whatever. In the last ten years, he has worked as part of the Ohio Arts Council's Arts in Education scheme, and details of this are available. In 2009, he devized a program based on "To Kill a Mocking Bird", with high school students studying the book.

Joint Artist/Student Presentations

Joint Artist/student presentations are a development of Roger's solo shows. He is able to stay longer with the students and extend the theatrical complexity of their involvement. This has occurred in Somerset, Plain City and Cleveland, OH where "A Christmas Carol" has been costumed and the student-participants have used dialogue as well as action. Thus, a show can be presented to the parents and community, avoiding the usual extra burden and strain upon teachers who have to maintain their ever-demanding curricular duties. For example, "Merlin Remembers" can be extended over two days as follows:

Day One
Roger meets with four fourth grade classes, two in the morning, two in the afternoon. Each class focuses on one of these topics in drama-work: Knights of the Round Table/The Giant/Avalon/The Battle of Camlaan.
Day Two
Meeting each group again, Roger prepares them for their participation in specific parts of the story. Simple props and costuming can be included. At the end of the day, "Merlin Remembers" is presented to the whole school, with the participation of the four specific groups.

Theatre Skills

With his high-level, extensive professional acting resumé, Roger has a lot to offer the American theatre student. The limitation of the US tradition of "real character" training, embodied in the occasionally hysterical gurus of New York studios, should be challenged by an extension of vocal, physical and improvisational skills. "Presentational" shouldn't be a dirty word for actors—it's part of their raison d'être. Demonstrations, master-classes, lectures, workshops, and longer courses are all ways in which Roger has taught in a wide variety of American colleges and high schools. He is particularly skillful in voice-training.