Blue Heron Tales, Texts & Theater

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June 3-8, 2018
Fort Worden State Park
Port Townsend, WA

For the sixth grade students at Blue Heron Middle School in Port Townsend, WA

During Tales, Texts & Theater, the entire sixth grade student body of Port Townsend’s Blue Heron Middle School will work with vital, contemporary artists in a variety of disciplines—creative writing, theatrical movement, music, and visual art—for a weeklong immersion in creativity.

Beginning each day with a core subject, students get an in depth concentration on a genre of their choice. Then they explore by learning about other art forms in their other three classes, seeing how the different arts interconnect.

Each afternoon, the core artist faculty show and talk about the work they do. At the end of the week, students share their creative experiments with the community in a student showcase performance.

Since 2001, this innovative collaboration between the Centrum, the Port Townsend School District, the Washington State Arts Commission, and PT Artscape, provides both students and teachers a model experience in arts immersion.


Art as Activism, Theater with Jéhan Òsanyìn
Art as Activism will explore how through theater, young people are artists and activists at the same time.  Create your own theater using improvisation, character development, playwriting, and scene development.  This class relies on the participants’ creativity and willingness to have fun and explore difficult subjects.

Acrobaticalist Ninja Theatre!  – Stage combat with Tomoki & Kiyota Sage
In Acrobaticalist Ninja Theatre, you will learn some basic combat choreography, as well as “tricks of the trade.” Tomoki and Kiyota teach basic rolls, falls, and tumbling. They will have you work on kicks, blocks, and dodges – all while moving in and out of slow-motion!

Giant Puppets with Margie McDonald
Bring Giants to life. Students will work together to create large puppets using simple materials such as cardboard, wire, fabric, sticks and tape. The Giants come to life on stage for Friday’s Student Showcase, accompanied by an invented narrative.

Percussion: The Roots of Steel Pan with Angie Tabor
This course takes students through a fun, high-energy, hands-on musical journey tracing the roots of the steel pans in Trinidad & Tobago. Students will explore the traditional music created by a determined youth culture, who, in spite of many obstacles, continued to find ways to make their music. Instruments will include Tamboo Bamboo, found metal objects, and authentic steel pans!

Ukulele, Seriously!  with Bruce Cowan
You can make a lot of music with this easy-to-learn instrument, and Bruce has taught hundreds of beginners. Learn to play the basic chords of simple songs. Learn about the fascinating Hawaiian origins of the ukulele. We can pick all kinds of songs and make music in small groups with friends. And it’s not just ukuleles; we’ll need lots of singers and people who want to play other instruments, too. Let’s make music together!

Unusual Drawing Techniques with Seriously Strange Materials-Nhatt Nichols
This class works on the idea that you already know how to draw, because you already know how to see. We’ll be learning to translate the world around us – as we truly see it – onto paper, using coffee, bleach, and inks we make ourselves. Learn fantastic ways to make your drawings exciting and dynamic by exploring mark making, scale, chiaroscuro, and drawing with movement, all while exploring new mediums and tools.

West African Dance with Etienne Cakpo
Learn basic dance moves and drum rhythms from the Benin-Ghana coastal region of West Africa. This class is appropriate for boys and girls of all experience levels. The dances have graceful and strong movements that require undulation of the back and bending of the knees. Dances integrate traditional, social and spiritual dances as well as modern movements commonly found across West African countries.


Etienne Cakpo

Etienne Cakpo is a professional dancer, choreographer and musician from Benin, West Africa. He teaches and performs traditional African dance from Benin as well as contemporary African dance styles. He performs with the contemporary and traditional music and dance ensemble, Gansango Music & Dance.


Bruce Cowan

Bruce Cowan is a local teacher and guitarist/singer who was swept up in the ukulele craze. For five years, his organization Ukuleles Unite! has been providing lessons, song circles, and open mics around Port Townsend. (Watch for them in the Rhododendron Parade!) He has taught ukulele at Centrum in Port Townsend and the Augusta Heritage Festival in West Virginia. Now retired from Port Townsend schools, he teaches lessons and workshops when he isn’t causing other kinds of trouble.


Margie McDonald

Margie McDonald is the artistic director for the Port Townsend Wearable Art Show now heading into its sixth year. Margie’s work in Wearable art and sculpture has been exhibited in the New Zealand World of Wearable Art Exhibition, Bainbridge Island Art Museum, Museum of Northwest Art, Northwind Arts Center and Simon Mace Gallery.


Nhatt Nichols

Nhatt Nichols fell in love with drawing comics in her 20’s and decided to she wanted to dedicate her life to being able to draw them better. She gained her MFA from The Royal Drawing School (England) in 2011, and went on to teach as part of the Gifted and Talented program in London schools through the Royal Drawing Clubs. She has shown her work all over the US and the UK, and is currently teaching at The Port Townsend School of Art, Corvidae Press, and draws the monthly comic for The Local of Jefferson County.


Jéhan Òsanyìn

Jéhan Òsanyìn is a Seattle-based artist, educator, performer, and playwright.  Her solo show, yankee pickney, premiered at Theater Schmeater in March of 2017.  Before that she performed with several Seattle theaters such as Seattle Public Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre’s Other Season, and Intiman Theatre’s Emerging Artist Program.  She has been a theatre educator since 2002.  In 2014 she founded, Earthseed, a youth development organization that uses theatre in wild spaces to decolonize those spaces and the bodies that pass through them.


Tomoki and Kiyota Sage

Tomoki and Kiyota Sage are both part of NANDA, an acrobatic, comedy, juggling group that has been performing around the Pacific Northwest for over ten years. Tomoki has recently been involved with Key City Theatre, playing Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream as well as a number of other productions. He also has been choreographing the Port Townsend High School’s spring plays. Kiyota works as a web and graphic designer and although he spends many hours at the computer, he can still do a back flip, no problem. They taught at Tales, Texts & Theater a number of years ago and it remains one of their favorite teaching experiences. They’re both looking forward to joining the team again.


Angie Tabor

Angie Tabor is an independent drummer/percussionist and educator. She holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Music Performance, and has toured throughout the US, Europe and Asia, performing extensively in a wide variety of musical settings ranging from jazz to pop, and rock to Broadway. Angie can be heard playing Steel Pans in her Caribbean-infused band Caribe (, or swinging on Drums with the Olympic Express Big Band. She teaches Percussion at Swan School and maintains a studio of private students.


Tales, Texts & Theater is funded through the generosity of community sponsors. Donations from Homer Smith Insurance Company, Kristin Manwaring Insurance Company, Clarity Enterprises, and Port Townsend Education Foundation add to funding provided by Centrum, PTArtscape, 6th grade families, and the Port Townsend School District to make this experience an ongoing program.

Additional sponsors include the Washington State Arts Commission, Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, the Congdon Hanson Family, and nearly a thousand individual donors whose generosity celebrates the power of creativity to change lives.

For more information, please contact Martha Worthley at 360.385.3102 x120.