Amy Gilewicz
MemberTeaching Artist
aurorabondonna@aol.com
A Little About Amy Gilewicz
For as long as she can remember, Amy Gilewicz has loved the performance arts and always sought to entertain her audience. ?I was a bit of a thespian since birth,? she remembers. ?I loved to entertain my family and friends with improvisational skits for as long as I can remember. I have neighbors from my hometown of Marion, Ohio who still like to tease me about a rolling performance I once did on skates imitating Michael Jackson.? That desire to entertain people has led her to share her experiences and lessons with many and varied audiences over the years. Amy left her hometown of Marion in 1995 to pursue her Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre and Elementary Education with a minor in Studio Art from Allegheny College in Meadville, PA. Since her time there, she has received teaching certifications in Elementary Education in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New Jersey. ?The training I have done through Erie Arts & Culture has helped me to develop a teaching artist persona that is the combination of my two realms into one voice,? said Amy, reflecting on her experiences with Erie Arts & Culture?s Arts in Education program. ?As a part of it, I took two graduate classes at Edinboro University, as well as attending the last two summer learning labs there.? Amy?s experiences as a teaching artist have allowed her to share her knowledge, experience and love for her subject matter with several audiences. Between 2001 and 2003, she became a full-time drama teacher at Sharon Elementary School in Robbinsville, NJ, where she helped produce many different theater-related projects. These projects included: piloting a K-4 drama program that integrated the main lessons of theatre into a classroom curriculum; writing and directing a play for the 4th and 2nd graders; collaborating with the music and art teachers to produce a cross-curricular production for the 1st graders: and creating an after-school program that involved improvisational games and skits culminating in an end-of-session performance. In May 2013, Amy was a guest teaching artist as a part of a TAP grant at Harding Elementary School, where she worked with the 6th grade class on a video project that expanded on visual character tools they were creating with another teaching artist, Mike Bocianowski II. She has also worked with Carpe Diem Academy, an after school program offered through Mercyhurst University that works with grades K-2 to provide a combination of curriculums in math and reading with those of arts and culture. Besides her teaching artist credits, what are her acting credits? Since her early work as Mammy Yokum in her high school?s production of ?Little Abner?, she has worked extensive with the Erie comedy troupe ?In All Seriousness? who specialize in improv, sketches, and interactive shows presented to audiences throughout the Erie area. In 2012, she played Marge in the Riverside Inn production of Pageant Play, and in 2013 she played a shepherd girl in the PACA presentation of Christmas Part 2. Reflecting on her theatre performances, Amy said ?I have found my theatre experiences to be some of the most rewarding moments in my life. I always love exploring a new character and getting to look at life from a new perspective. I also enjoy the confidence and comfort with public speaking that my experiences in theatre have provided me.? On reflecting on her career as a teaching artist, Amy said ?I love what I do. I?ve watched students who were too self-conscious to speak in front of their peers grow to have the confidence to participate in a performance activity?feuding students learn to collaborate, cooperate, and support each other. I have seen students who were struggling with a particular concept finally get it when theatre is a part of the learning equation. I know the value of what an engaging lesson can do for students? mastery of a topic, and how theatre is a natural vehicle to deliver engaging material.?
 
Mission Statement
"Tell me and I will forget. Show me and I will remember. Involve me and I will understand.? ~Chinese Proverb In my line of work I get to involve students and watch them understand. I am a Theatre teaching artist with an emphasis on creative dramatics. Theatre is the presentation of a predetermined story to an audience. It is performance-based and product-oriented. The difference between theatre and creative drama is that while theatre is primarily concerned with the audience, creative drama focuses on the process and the participant. Dramatic play is an important part of early childhood development, and is instinctual because it allows children to explore the world from the focus of personal interest and knowledge. To let students build on what they already know through self-discovery, experience and individual expression is the magic of what I get to do as a teaching artist. The value of creative drama extends beyond our early years and helps build language and communication skills. It encourages collaboration, problem solving, conflict resolution, as well as breaking down perceived barriers, and gaining new perspectives. When I teach I feel I reach my students on multiple levels: in the pursuit of understanding the topic or subject at hand, in the development of theatre principles, and finally and perhaps most profoundly, in growth as a person. My lessons ask that students share parts of themselves and take risks in a way that fosters growth while improving self-esteem and building character. I fully understand the responsibility I accept as an educator and the privilege I receive every time I interact with children. I love my job.
Disciplines:
Theater
Specialties:
Comedy
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The mission of Erie Arts & Culture is to strengthen the vibrancy and vitality of the Erie Region and enrich the lives of our people through the advancement of arts and culture.
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