What is FATE?
FATE stands for the Florida Association for Theatre Education. It began in 1979 when a group of Thespian sponsors decided something needed to be done to save theatre arts in Florida. We are small but mighty.
Why should I join FATE?
FATE is the major voice speaking for theatre education in Florida, advocating for inclusion of the arts as core curriculum, reminding legislators and administrators that it is theatre and the other arts that develop the skills essential to students’ success. We are the only professional organization speaking to legislators, DOE and the public on behalf of you and every Theatre Arts educator in the state. You need to add your voice to ours; the more FATE members there are, the louder our voice.
At the same time, you will receive frequent updates and calls to action when something in Tallahassee is threatening your program. You can also tap into a wealth of knowledge through contact with other members who have faced and overcome the kind of obstacles confronting you.
I am already a Thespian sponsor, what is the difference?
ITS is for the students; FATE is for you Stay up to date with legislation that could affect your programs, learn the latest techniques and curriculum, be aware of how theatre helps meet not only state, school, and district level academic goals, but also supports success on standardized tests. Know that you are not alone as drama is mostly a “one person operation”, learn more about theatre certification and so much more. ITS and FATE must go hand in hand. FATE is what prepares you for your students and helps you help them.
How do you handle the “drama” that comes with a drama department in order to bring the troupe together?
The best way is to stop it before it happens. Be sure to document the “episodes” as those are usually the students who can come back and haunt you. Plan a Leadership Day with your troupe like a mini retreat day. Think about eventually doing one in your district. It will naturally separate the “Sarah Bernhardt’s” because the students will take care of it for you.
Can you just have parent fundraisers without calling it a Booster Club?
Absolutely. As long as your school and district rules are followed for fundraisers, by all means let your parents be involved without the extra paperwork and responsibility.
How do I start a Booster Club without allowing the parents to take over?
Having a Booster Club has its plusses and minuses. If you want to start a club, be sure all the rules and regulations how the club will be organized are clearly documented totally in writing. Develop a mission statement. Be very clear where the money will be and how it will be spent. While you cannot handle funds, you can make the decisions how it is to be used. The Booster Club is for you, your students and your program. Talk to your band director at school to help you with how to get started. Inquire at FATE or online as there are some drama booster clubs throughout the state.
Do you have (or want to have) a technical theatre class at your school?
Technical Theatre Design and Production courses (previously called Stagecraft) are state courses available for all schools in Florida. Several departments have Technical Theatre classes because it helps with your program’s opportunity to reach a variety of students. While most drama teachers are stronger in performance, offering Technical Theatre gets those students involved who like being behind the scenes. Many of teachers have local community and university people, as well as experienced high school Technical Theatre teachers help them get the class off the ground. You have a wonderful resource of such teachers in FATE. Check us out. And having a Technical Theatre class makes getting those sets done a lot easier!
My district job is to get our adjudicators. Where can I start?
Start right here. Who better to ask than theatre educators from around the state who know exactly what you need. Many FATE members are willing and able to be adjudicators.
I am having some difficulty
with a play selection at my school. What can I do to convince my
administrator and parents that the production is worthy for us to do?
Let those concerned read the script and explain what and how you are planning to do it. Emphasize the importance of why you need to be true to the script. Make a copy of the FATE Freedom statement and let the committee read it. Check with other FATE members who have done the production and what were the reactions. Align and integrate the production with another curriculum like doing To Kill A Mockingbird with the English department.
Are there any successful recruiting techniques for a greater variety of students, especially boys?
Some of us have seen big changes thanks to all the High School Musicals, and shows like Glee as our students walk in with an interest in the performing arts already, but recruitment can be a challenge still in many schools. Try “bring a friend” meetings, or talking to other organizations on campus who might be in the off season such as sports teams or marching band where students (and their parents and coaches) may be looking for activities to keep them busy after school. Also try enlisting teachers who already support your program to help with recruiting by talking it up in their classes. Most of all make your program one that welcomes newcomers with frequent low-commitment and social activities where anyone is welcome. Make it a mission of your program to grow, and consider a membership or recruitment student officer position to help work on it all year