Something extraordinary of its kind

Creativity, expression, writing, and collaboration

Whoopensocker is an education residency focused on creativity, expression, writing, and collaboration. It is also a dynamic community building experience for the whole class. Using a combination of performing and creative arts exercises, Whoopensocker’s ensemble of teaching artists bring in a toolbox of new ideas that work toward building the next generation of classroom experiences and focus on self-empowering all students. This six week residency was designed for elementary schools developed by Dr. Erica Rosenfeld Halverson, UW-Madison School of Education in partnership with Theatre LILA.

Our Team

Erica Halverson, Mayor (and UW Professor of Curriculum & Instruction)

Erica is a wizzard

Jessica Witham, Deputy (and Education Coordinator)

Jessica is also a wizzard and it’ll be great!

Amanda Farrar, Other Mayor (Education Coordinator)

Amanda is the best

Creative Process

Part One: The Whoopensocker team of teachers come into the classroom! 

Your school will bring our team of teaching artists into your classrooms for a 6-week session meeting once a week for 90 minutes. A team of three senior teaching artists and 1-2 apprentice teaching artists (trained at UW-Madison) spend the session with the students, exploring different aspects of dramatic structure and creative writing. The children are introduced to improvisation games and given the chance to act out the group stories/work with guidance from the teaching artists. Then they are given notebook journals, instruction, and break out to work in small groups to begin creating more stories together with the Whoopensocker team. Each week, every student will have helped to build at least one original story that they perform for the rest of the class

Part Two: The student’s creative writings become a show for the whole school!

No Tickets required…

Whoopensocker and Theatre LILA actors come together and create a vaudeville-style, sketch comedy performance of the student’s writing. They gather the children’s journals and begin the process of selecting the pieces that will become your school’s Whoopensocker SHOW! The student’s work becomes a performance which we bring into your auditorium about two weeks after the last classroom session and perform for the whole school. The students are applauded for their work as the actor’s take the stage and perform a 60-90 minute sketch show. Students’ voices are recognized and their creativity is validated through adult, professional performers taking seriously the writing of children. It is a fantastic culmination of their creativity, celebrated with students and staff.

The numbers

Whoopensocker engages with professional teaching artists to share the joy of creative writing, expression, and performance. In the 2018-2019 school year, residencies will take place in Thoreau, Sandburg, Emerson, Lincoln, and Stephens Elementary schools as well as Packers and Northport Community Learning Centers and Middleton Youth Center.

Schools & Community Centers

Student Art Makers

Teaching Artists

Original Stories

Amazing stories written by young artmakers