ArtForce: Performing Arts 2017

Marian University

Grades 9 -11

June 12 – June 30

ArtForce: Performing Arts 2017 began on June 19th, with the final performance taking place on June 29th. ArtForce provided students with the opportunity to both create and deliver an outstanding final performance based off of Hansel and Gretel, but with their own creative twist. In comparison to the previous year, the cast was able to lengthen their performance due to the extension of a second week by the camp. By delivering an astonishing performance the participants were able to display the confidence and knowledge they had acquired through their two week exposure to the performing arts.


“You did an outstanding job of awakening my creative acting personality that had diminished during my dedicated time in school this year. I gained so much. Thank you!”

~Performing Arts Participant

Program Summary

The ArtForce: Performing Arts program exposes students to direct service-learning at Marian University. At Marian, the participants are able to experience the dedication and commitment that it takes to put on a show. Participants are lead through the process: from planning, creation, through implementation, and finally reflection.


The students were able to see the hard work that it takes to create a stage performance through workshops that contributed to their ability to put on their final performance. Through the workshops they gained beneficial “creation” experience in playwriting, costume design and set design.

Our Partnerships

The two week long program of ArtForce: Performing Arts was made possible by Arts for Learning’s partnerships with Marian University and No Exit, a theatre company who has the philosophy of creatively engaging their audiences by promoting civic and social dialogue between artists and the community. ArtForce participants had the unique experience of being able to prepare and perform at the Marian University Theatre, and were able to work alongside three NoExit teaching artists.

The Creative Team

ArtForce: Performing Arts 2017 instructor and teaching artist Ryan Mullins has been a company member, director, and lighting designer with NoExit Performance since 2008. To prepare for the Performing Arts portion of ArtForce, Ryan created lesson plans that fell into a curriculum that would enhance the knowledge of the participants in regards to the theatre production process and theatre techniques. Along with Mullins, company member Beverly Roche and executive director of NoExit, Lukas Schooler, provided workshops on topics such as scriptwriting and mask-making. Along with the instructors, the students also had college mentors, Joe Barsanti and Shelbi Berry. Barsanti and Berry did an exceptional job on giving the students insight on pursuing a career in the performing arts.


The instructors made sure to not only give the participants the freedom to express their individuality through theatre, but also provided them with challenges to push them out of their comfort zone and complete any task given to them. The development and growth of the theatre students throughout the two weeks were testimony to the effectiveness of each of the instructor’s teaching.


The Learning Process

Art Force: Performing Arts students began the program Monday, June 19, with the final performance taking place on Thursday, June 29th. Participants went to Marian University Theater Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to receive instruction. For each week of the program there was a significant development theme. The first week focused on the theme of creation. The students were introduced to different forms of media and techniques that contribute to theater production. The workshops the students attended were delivered by veteran Arts for Learning artists. The students also began creating artwork for their unique portfolios. The second week of the program the students were presented with a fast paced schedule. The students were given the opportunity to teach their newly acquired knowledge in theater skills to the STEM camp at Marian. During their teaching, the students introduced theatrical terminology and techniques to the young students.

The performing arts participants of 2017 were fortunate enough to get the inside scoop on the Indiana Repertory Theater through a field trip. The students received a workshop from Beverly Roche from No Exit, whom not only is employed at the IRT, but also made it possible for the students to travel to and receive a tour. On the tour, the students were able to visit important rooms such as the costume design room, the prop creation workshop, and the stage creation workshop. The tour gave the students an insight on all the behind-the-scenes work at the Indiana Repertory Theater. As the final week concluded, the students impressed the Visual Arts participants, the STEM students and Arts for Learning staff with their stage performance of Hansel and Gretel. Despite only having a week to prepare for their show, the students defied the odds and made it possible to deliver an exceptional production they created within a short period of time. To wrap up the week, for the first time ever for ArtForce, the performing arts students were able to travel to Ivy Tech to provide their support to the Visual Arts students in their culminating art exhibit

Closing Thoughts:

ArtForce: Performing Arts 2017 became a home away from home for the aspiring theatre artists. The NoExit team was able to develop a bond among the students. During the program the students were able to share their talents, passions, and aspirations with each other. The participants were able to relate and interact with each other to aid one another in improving their knowledge and skills within the performing arts. The students were able to overcome challenges placed in their way, which helped them gain confidence and reassurance within their field of interest. 

Written By:

Sandy Rivera

Summer Intern, 2017

Indiana-University Purdue University Indianapolis, Class of 2019

     B.S. Education