Community Arts Partner

Participant Details

Community Arts Partner Name
Melanie White
Partner Type
Profile Photo
Individual Bio or
Organizational Statement
Melanie White has been teaching Shakespeare and theatre arts to students of all ages since 1990. In 2001 she designed and implemented a six month integrated Shakespeare residency at Green Hill School, working with juvenile offenders on a production of Julius Caesar in a program that was the first of its kind in the US. She received a Youth Arts Program grant from the City of Seattle to work with students from Inter-Agency school on Shakespeare's As You Like It. She was a teaching artist for Seattle Repertory Theatre from 1999-2002, and has been the Shakespeare teaching specialist at University Cooperative School since 2010.  Melanie has taught Shakespeare, Acting, and Masks & Identity for the City of Auburn and Second Story Repertory, and Shakespeare 101 for UW’s Experimental College. She worked as a teaching artist at San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre, Woodland Park United Methodist Church, and Highline Community College. Melanie has directed more than 50 professional productions and works as a stage manager for Teatro ZinZanni and on occasional corporate events. She holds an MA with honors in Contemporary Shakespearean Practices from the University of Essex in Colchester, England, and a BA in Theatre Arts from Brown University.

Contact Information

First Name
Last Name
3340 36th Avenue S
Address 2

Grade Levels Preferred

Grade Levels Preferred
3rd - 5th, 6th - 8th, 9th - 12th

Artistic Disciplines

Acting; Neutral Mask and Identity; Intro to Shakespearean Text; Creating a Character; Investigating Verse and Text; Stagecraft; Scenework; Exploring Iambic Pentameter; Shakespeare's Life and Times


Previous School Partnerships
Other Trainings or Certifications
Sample Lesson Description: Student / Classroom Residencies
Sample Workshop Description: Teacher Professional Development

Areas of Experience and Expertise

Approved Professional Development Provider
Approved Classroom Residency Provider
Experience with English Language Learners
Experience with Students in Special Education

Lesson Plan

Integrated Art
Cultural Art

Teaching Approach

Teaching Philosophy + Approach
My goals as a teaching artist are to empower and challenge my students, to create a safe and engaging atmosphere for risk and experimentation, and (when applicable) to remove any preconceptions that Shakespeare is hard, elite, or boring. I love introducing theatre and Shakespeare to students who have had little or no exposure to them. Through exploring the text they find that their concerns and insecurities are more universal than they realized, and they see their feelings and experiences captured richly and beautifully. I do not train actors, but rather offer students engagement with and ownership of something that will enrich their lives in ways they may not even recognize or appreciate until much later. When I teach, I plan an assortment of activities appropriate to age and awareness level that are designed to demystify acting and text/Shakespeare, get students on their feet and having fun, and require them to read aloud or dissect text to get it in their minds, bodies, and mouths. Theatre can be a key to understanding yourself and your place in the world, and I love to help guide students through that experience.
Curriculum Integration Possibilities
English/Language arts; History/Social Studies; Creative writing; Art; Music
Special Skills and Areas of Expertise
Extensive experience working with at-risk populations, including homeless teens, incarcerated students, teen parents, drop-outs, and gang-affiliated students. I'm very interested in exploring themes of identity and self in drama, especially with adolescents.
Testimonials from Schools
Jim Riley, Head 3-5 teacher, University Cooperative School,, 206-524-0653 Joel Isaksen, Co-teacher on Green Hill School Residency,




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A student from Interagency Academy in rehearsal for As You Like It
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Students from Interagency Academy in rehearsal for As You Like It
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Students from University Cooperative School perform in A Midsummer Night's Dream
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Students from University Cooperative School perform in Twelfth Night
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Students from University Cooperative School perform in Twelfth Night


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