Our core classes are open to individuals ages 14+ with developmental disabilities. Our curriculum is structured to accommodate many types of learning and generally includes a dance party, warm-ups, theater games and exercises, and group work. We staff each class with two Teaching Artists and 4-6 Supporting Artists, creating a 2:1 participant-to-artist ratio. CO/LAB:core is offered at low-to-no cost, and consists of:
Each semester, we have four classes that meet once per week and culminate in public performances at the end of each semester. Our Fall 2017 classes include Musical Theater Production, two sections of Ensemble Theater, and Puppetry.
Theater topics classes
Developed and taught by our Teaching Artists, Theater Topics Classes are single classes that explore a particular aspect of theater-making. Designed for participants who are new to CO/LAB or who can't commit to a full semester, the focus of these workshops varies from session to session, and can be attended without any prerequisite classes.
Guest artist series
Our Guest Artist Series is an opportunity for the CO/LAB community and the professional NYC theater community to work together. Professional NYC-based artists will come to CO/LAB and teach workshops in their special area of expertise. Past workshops have included devised theater and Balinese shadow puppetry.
Beginning with Camp BlueLAB in August 2017, this new leadership program will connect our veteran CO/LAB actors, who will work as camp counselors, with younger theater students. The CO/LAB Leadership Initiative will allow CO/LAB actors to be artistic mentors, modeling positive leadership for younger participants involved with Camp BlueLAB, and as Supporting Artists in our other CO/LAB:connect programs. The Leadership Initiative is offered to our CO/LAB:core actors by invitation only.
In CO/LAB classes, we teach participants to:
- Contribute positively and respectfully to an ensemble.
- Perform confidently in front of family, friends, and the community.
- Give and receive constructive feedback during the rehearsal process.
- Create a safe, shared space that inspires risk taking and innovation.
- Use techniques for the body and voice to improve diction, vocal projection and body awareness.
- Present their own ideas to generate original material including characters, scenes, songs and dances.
We believe that by collaborating within this supportive environment, participants will take away essential skills – such as communication, focus, and creativity – that can be applied to their school, work, and home lives. Most importantly, at CO/LAB we infuse all activities with a positive, energetic spirit and encourage actors to do the same outside of class!