Macha Monkey Productions

fearless, funny, female theatre

Education


Macha Monkey in Seattle Schools


Monkey Works: empowering students to create a play

For more information, please contact Ann Marie at monkeyworksseattle@gmail.com


This program is supported, in part, by a grant from the Washington State Arts Commission (also known as “ArtsWA”) and the National Endowment for the Arts.
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About Monkey Works


Monkey Works is a two-month playwriting and performance residency for 3rd through 5th graders that integrates theatre arts with a social studies topic. Past topics have included land rights, suffrage, immigration, labor, and the U.S. election process.

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Thanks to generous underwriting from the Washington State Arts Commission (ArtsWA) and past support from King County Arts Commission, Monkey Works was created over a period of five years with Charlene Smith-Brown, a classroom teacher at Seattle’s Hawthorne Elementary School.

2009 marked the first year that Macha Monkey tested its curriculum with a second pilot school – Thornton Creek at Decatur. Macha Monkey aims to bring the program to additional Seattle schools. If you would like to discuss bringing Monkey Works to a school near you, contact Macha Monkey's Education Director Ann Marie Caldwell at monkeyworksseattle@gmail.com.

What distinguishes Monkey Works as an educational experience?

  • Cooperative learning – Monkey Works scholars collaborate to write their play as a group
  • Student agency – through journaling, students explore issues of identity and everyone contributes to the final play script
  • Media literacy and reading fluency – these key skills are improved by Monkey Works through current events and historical research and repeated oral practice
  • Respect for students’ past experiences – cross-cultural competency and reflective practice are cornerstones of Macha Monkey Teaching Artist training
  • Native language incorporation, English learning through family involvement – all students receive interview assignments to involve their own households in the playwriting process; Macha Monkey includes native tongues in a Monkey Works script when English is new to a student, a proven method for language learning
  • Dialogue – students learn to put themselves in another’s shoes, meeting important OSPI writing benchmarks at the same time
  • Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence – theatre helps students excel in many areas, and brings out talents that aren’t often discovered in the classroom