Primary discipline: Theatre
Areas of Specialty: Theatre Integration (Literacy and Social Studies), Playwriting, Teacher Professional Development
Based in: Seattle
Rachel Atkins is a Seattle-based playwright and teaching artist. She is the scriptwriter for Living Voices/Theatreworks USA, the educational theatre company with whom she has twelve different multi-media shows in ongoing national touring repertory. Her plays have been seen locally with Book-It Repertory Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle Children's Theatre, Seattle Public Theater, The Empty Space, Annex Theatre, Brownbox Theatre, Sound Theatre Company, Live Girls!, Infinity Box Theatre Project, Forward Flux Productions, Fantastic Z, Washington Hall, Bainbridge Performing Arts, and 14/48: The World's Quickest Theatre Festival; and regionally at Perseverance Theatre (AK), Harvard Radcliffe Summer Theater/American Repertory Theater (MA), One Theatre World/Cleveland PlayhouseSquare (OH), Independent Actors Theatre (MO), North Country Cultural Center for the Arts (NY), Explora Theater (NM), Moonlit Wings Productions (VA), and Virginia Theatre (IL). A member of the ArtsWA Teaching Artist and Creative Advantage Arts Partner rosters, she works as a master teaching artist for Bringing Theatre into the Classroom, Book-It, Arts Impact, and ACT’s Young Playwrights Program. Previously, she was the Scriptwriter/Dramaturg and Director of Education for Ardeo Theatre Project in France. She graduated from Dartmouth College and holds her Masters in Educational Theatre from New York University. Rachel was honored to be a 2010 Theatre Puget Sound Gregory Award nominee for Outstanding Playwright. Her play Black Like Us (Original Works Publishing) received the 2014 Gregory Award for Best New Play, two Seattle Times Footlight Awards, including Top World Premiere, and was a 2014 American Theatre Critics Association Steinberg New Play Award nominee.
My teaching philosophy is based in cultural responsiveness and co-intentional education: starting where the students are and empowering them to participate in their own learning. I place strong emphasis on the development of student-centered work. My “best” students are often the classroom teacher’s “worst:” the students who learn kinesthetically, interpersonally, visually, who need to talk ideas through out loud, or get up on their feet and try them out.
I believe in the power of theatre integration to increase a student’s understanding of all curriculum areas, as well as building and practicing essential social-emotional and 21st century skills. When students become what they are studying, stepping into the shoes of a character from a book or a figure from history or an element in an electrical pathway, they make connections, develop empathy, and deeply engage with what they’re learning—and they don’t forget it.
Suitable for Grades: K-12
Preferred Grades: 3-12
Curriculum Integration Possibilities: Literacy/Reading/Writing, Math, Science, History/Social Studies,Other Arts Disciplines
- Leading Professional Development workshops for K-12 Teachers
- Working with at risk students
- Working with students who are English Language Learners