First Stage to offer "Les Paul, Wizard of Waukesha" workshop for schools

First Stage was honored to receive a grant from the Les Paul Foundation to create and implement an Arts-Integrated Teaching Through Theater program based on Les Paul’s extraordinary life and musical accomplishments. The weeklong program, facilitated during our 2014/2015 season, utilized dramatic activities such as role-play, improvised scene work, movement-based exercises, and pantomime to explore Les Paul’s legacy and specifically his impact in Waukesha, Wisconsin. During the workshops, students explored his songs, his use of rhythm, and his exemplification of the Four P’s of Performance (Project, Plant, Purpose, and Personalize). By engaging in the dramatic arts, students also re-enacted important moments from Les Paul’s life and explored his innovative inventions.

Thanks to the generosity of the Les Paul Foundation, First Stage reached 6 schools in Waukesha through the Les Paul workshops, reaching a total of 375 students and their classroom teachers!

We're excited to announce that First Stage will now offer “Les Paul, Wizard of Waukesha” as a workshop option as part of our Theater in Education programming. The workshop is available for any interested classroom throughout Southeastern Wisconsin. First Stage looks forward to sharing the impact of Les Paul’s music and life with more young people and classroom teachers in our community.  

Workshop Description:
Les Paul, Wizard of Waukesha
 (Grades 3 – 5): Examine the life of Les Paul and discover the local legend's many attributes which have forever influenced music. Through dramatic activities, students will explore the innovative, problem-solving, and creative skills of Les Paul and how such attrubutes are an inspiration in their lives and future pursuits. (CSS.ELA-Literacy: RI.3.1, RI.3.3, RI.3.4, RI.4.2, RI.4.3, RI.4.7, RI.5.5, SL.3.3, SL.4.1.D, SL.5.2).

Visit our website for more information about First Stage’s Teaching Through Theater workshops (facilitated in your classroom).

What educators had to say about the Les Paul workshop:

“The Les Paul workshops for our third graders were great. The material was perfect for our study of the history of Waukesha.  The presenter was very enthusiastic and held all of the students’ attentions. We would like to participate next year in the workshops. Both third grade teachers agree, it was a great program.”
– Third Grade Teachers at Meadowbrook School

“…People in the music industry don’t go a day without thinking about how much Les Paul has changed their lives, but for the average 3rd grader this might not be the case. It is, however, the case now thanks to this workshop. Kids usually had a small grasp before the workshop about who this guy was, but after the workshop they started to listen to music a little differently. After the first day of teaching I would encourage the students to go home and listen to their favorite band or artist and think if that song would exist without the inventions Les Paul brought into the world.” – J.T. Backes, First Stage Teaching Artist

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