Summer Series July 27th Edition

Opening Act Summer Series

Monday, July 27, 2020

Summer is here and Opening Act is ready to Yes, And … with a weekly roundup of notable events, helpful resources, and delightful distractions to keep you connected, inspired, and activated through the summer months. Delivered to your inbox every Monday morning, the OA Summer Series will keep you up to date on what’s worth knowing so you can relax and enjoy your summer!

If you have friends or relatives who would like this weekly resource guide, you can tell them to sign up here.


Hi Noon Improv Thursdays @ Noon

Hi Noon Improv (Thursdays @ noon ET, 30 minutes) Did you know that just 20 minutes of improv practice promotes overall wellbeing? Crank up the a/c and join Opening Act’s Jeremiah Thompson (Act 2 Fellow) and Cathleen Carr for this weekly, free, funny, 30 minute improv boost to keep you connected and resilient! No experience necessary and all are welcome! Registration is required!  

Halima Henderson

Feel better by doing Yoga with Halima! (Monday @ noon, Friday @ noon, Saturday @ 11:30am, Sunday @ 10am) ET. Teaching since 2014, Halima’s Vinyasa yoga classes focus on proper alignment and straightforward yet challenging sequences in a light-hearted, welcoming environment. Halima believes a mindful practice can decompress and strengthen the body, mind, and spirit! Off the mat Halima is a NYC based actor and Opening Act teaching artist who’s a proud U of Michigan alum. Classes are Pay What You Can.

Calling all Arts Orgs – Keep Those Interns (Especially Now)!
 Catch Opening Act’s Executive Director, Zareta Ricks, moderating this live streamed webinar on Wednesday, July 29th from 1pm – 2pm ET. Featuring Ami Scherson (Equity in Arts Leadership Program Associate, Americans for the Arts), Carol Loja (2020 Diversity in Arts Leadership (DIAL) Intern, Opening Act), Sarah Branch (Programs and Act 2 Coordinator and former DIAL Intern, Opening Act), and Kilea Francis (Act 2 Fellow, Opening Act). This conversation is centered on the importance of paid internships in advancing our next generation of leaders in the field. Discussion will also focus on how to make virtual internships meaningful and impactful for everyone. Register here!

All we have is this trailer but it’s enough to spark curiosity for Beyoncé’sBlack is King dropping Friday, July 31st on Disney Plus.

We here at Opening Act are digging into Abolitionist Education as defined by Dr. Bettina L. Love. Take a moment to read more from her in this Education Week piece: An Essay for Teachers Who Understand Racism is Real.

WHAT?! Matthew Greene, Opening Act’s Act 2 College and Career Program Manager, was just named Winner of the Best New Song Prize 2020 (Stiles and Drewe Prize), along with Amir Shoenfeld for their soon to be hit ‘I’m Your Guy’ from their musical in development, Benny in Beta. Enjoy Tyrone Huntley (Jesus Christ Superstar) performing the number here! Congratulations Matthew!

Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) is so important to developing young people into thoughtful, accountable, and empathetic adults. Theater and improv supercharge SEL in the young (and old) alike. However, the application of SEL can be problematic if it is not placed squarely in an antiracist context. Dr. Dena Simmons gets us caught up on this national discussion with her issue brief, Applying an Equity Lens to Social, Emotional, and Academic Development.

Homemade popsicles are what’s happening this week with this hot, hot, heat!

Perhaps we can stay cool by dreaming of winter … Opening Act Teaching Artist, Stephanie Anderson, is part of the creative team behind this NYU Steinhardt production of The Winter’s TaleThis innovative, virtual performance features a neurodiverse ensemble of 23 young performers! Two opportunities to catch the broadcast, Friday, July 31st @ 7pm ET and Saturday, August 1st @ 2pm ET (Actor talkback immediately following the 8/1 performance).

We can’t stop sweating here at Opening Act! During this week’s heat wave, take a break at your closest cooling center, head to your local playground’s splash pad, take a dip at the pool, or cool off by the beach. Did you know the custom of uncapping fire hydrants has been in practice since the heat wave of 1896? Anyone over 18 can ask the local fire department to uncap the hydrant in these extreme temps. Stay safe and hydrated out there!

Free Professional Development workshops focused on digital skills-building, self-care, and collaborative art-making for administrators, educators, and artists (of all ages). The NYC Arts in Education Roundtable hosts these free, weekly sessions through August on Thursdays @ 4pm ET. Full line-up and info to register here!

Today we cheer on Opening Act students, Muhammad AliLatavia HallAdara Rosemont, and Jennifer Solon as they start The Barrow Group’s 3-Week Teen Acting Intensive! Awarded scholarships through a partnership between Opening Act and The Barrow Group, these incredible young artists will collaborate with other teen actors from across the country, learning script analysis, scene study, and so much more! Break a leg!!!

Thanks for reading and please reach out with suggestions and submission ideas to and don’t forget to follow our Act 2 Fellows on Instagram!. See you next Monday!

Got your back!