CODE Conversations/Panels

CODE Conversations are honest discussions with educators and artists working in drama and dance performance and education. Each conversation will dive deep into experiences, lessons learned and obstacles overcome on the stage and in the classroom. Is there a topic/guest you wish we'd feature? Contact president[at]

Episode 1 - Project Humanity's Towards Youth 2019

Featuring Andrew Kushnir, an actor, playwright, director and the artistic director of Project: Humanity, and Zorana Sadiq, a Toronto-based actor, musician, and arts educator, who performed in the premiere production of Project Humanity’s Towards Youth in 2019.

Episode 2 - Dance in the Elementary Classroom

Featuring Ayesatta Conteh in a discussion of the importance of dance in the elementary classroom.

Episode 3 - Recognize, Reflect and Refocus: Addressing Anti-Black Racism in the Dance and Drama Classroom

CODE invited educators and academics to discuss important questions and topics gathered from CODE membership. The panel is moderated by Dr. Seika Boye, and features panelists: Michelle Rodney Bartalos, Wallis Caldoza, Ayesatta Conteh, Dr. George Dei and Debbie Nicholls-Skerritt.

Episode 4 - Islamophobia and the Drama and Dance Classroom

Featuring educators Rizwana Kaderdina and Sultan Rana discussing Islamophobia and how to address it in the drama and dance classroom.

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If you see something you wish we would run again or have a suggestion for a webinar/workshop topic, please share with your regional coordinator.


  • The Neurodiversity Project: Dismantling Systemic Ableism in the Dramatic Arts - In 2018, Allyson Bradley and Ciaran Federico collaborated with students to create The Neurodiversity Project, a one-act play about what it is like to go through high school as neurodivergent. Produced for the NTS Drama Festival, this play was a work of confronting and dismantling systemic barriers to make drama education more accessible and inclusive. Learn about this extraordinary project and discuss practices which help to remove barriers to student inclusion and increase accessibility for learners of all neurodivergent and physical abilities. - March 31, 2022


  • YPT: rhiannahboi95 Workshop & Show - Watch a virtual screening of the award winning play, rihannahboi95, by Jordan Tannehill and participate in a short workshop following the viewing.On December 6th, from 4-6pm, CODE members are invited, free of charge, to view a screening of Jordan Tannehill's rihannahboi95 and participate in a post-show workshop to explore the themes in the play, to inspire ideas and practical tools you can bring into the drama classroom. - December 6, 2021
  • Écrire à plusiers mains avec Hélène Dallaire - L’atelier est un survol pratique d’une ou des approches de création collective pour l’écriture d’un texte pour la scène. Gratuit pour des membres. Nous allons explorer ensemble le processus de création entre-autre par des exercices de la pensée divergente, le remue-méninge, la synectique. Nous allons voir certaines stratégies utiles pour l’écriture collective. Nous parlerons des notions de développement des personnages, la situation initiale, le conflit, la situation finale. - September 29, 2021
  • Playwriting Workshop with Matthew Heiti - This workshop will discuss how we can use the practice of playwriting to bring students, teachers, and communities closer together, during a time when we can't help but feel the distance between us. We will break down the practical tools of the playwright, and how we can incorporate writing exercises in a classroom setting. More specifically, we will look at how the classroom can use regional 'myth' as a way of engaging students in the process of making personal meaning through the exploration of communal stories. - April 29, 2021
  • YPT: The Best Friend Blanket Fort Show, Workshop & Q&A - This special experience exclusive to CODE members will include: Access to a livestreamed performance of a new short play, “The Best Friend Blanket Fort Show” by Marie Beath Badian from YPT’s Right Here Write Now online play festival; A pre-show workshop with a YPT artist educator exploring the themes in the play, to inspire ideas and practical tools that you can bring into your drama classroom as soon as the next day; A special post-show experience, “In Conversation with Marie Beath Badian”, available exclusively to CODE members. - April 21, 2021
  • Dance in the Virtual World: Composition Tools and Techniques for Creative-based Movement Work with Sheri Talosi - Teaching Dance virtually may seem like a wild idea, especially when students are not comfortable turning their cameras on in class. However, once the initial shock wore off, the creativity and excitement started to flow! In this workshop, Sheri will share some of the experiences, tools, and tips she developed this year while teaching Dance in the Toronto District School Board’s Virtual Secondary School. Her classes focus mainly on the individual creative process using a variety of compositional tools and techniques to create movement. She will actively lead participants through a few compositional experiences, share the structure of her daily virtual classes, and talk about creative assignment ideas that have been successful in this virtual world. These techniques can also be used in the non-virtual world, in Drama classes, and also can be adapted for intermediate grades. - March 18, 2021
  • Making "Sense" of Stories through Drama with Patrice Baldwin - Drama can be used, to help whole classes meaningfully exploring real and fictional characters, situations and events. This online session will explore the true story of Annie Edson Taylor’s journey over Niagara Falls in a barrel. The session will be based on a picture book, ‘Queen of the Falls’ by Chris van Allsburg, but will also make use of historical photographs and texts. Participants will be taken step by step through a complete drama unit. - February 4, 2021


  • CODE Fireside Chat - Do you have questions about adapting dance and drama teaching to a hybrid model or about using drama games for virtual teaching? Are you looking for support in a physically distanced classroom? Connect with CODE on Zoom to ask questions about teaching drama and dance in any panel in the time of COVID. - January 7 & 14, 2020
  • Setting Up the Virtual Drama Classroom - Join us for our first online PD session of the year, which will provide teachers with practical strategies for teaching drama online. Topics will include adapting games for online platforms, using breakout groups for collaborative learning, and strategies for adapting work for in person, asynchronous, and synchronous formats. - August 31, 2020


  • Directing Intimacy - CODE is offering a 3 hour Saturday workshop for secondary teachers with Siobhan Richardson, a stage combat and intimacy director, to teach strategies for directing students in scenes with intimacy. See highlights here. - April 7, 2018


  • Diana Tso: Speaking Up in Solidarity for Women in Violence through Drama - A dynamic Intermediate/ Senior workshop that empowers our voices to speak stories of women silenced by violence through EXPLORING past and present histories at home and globally using text, movement and music to EXPRESS transformative and creative ways for change and social justice with a playwright whoes upcoming play, "Comfort" is inspired by the resilience of women in war and the comfort women of WWII. - December 2, 2015


  • Integrating Drama and Social Studies in the Reflective Classroom - Dr Philip Taylor, associate professor at NYU, Director of Doctoral Studies, Dept. of Music and Performing Arts Professions is facilitating a workshop for Junior-Intermediate-Senior teachers. - Wednesday, November 27th, 2013


  • Bringing Picture Books Alive through Drama with Patrice Baldwin - This drama session explores the picture book, ‘The Princess’ Blankets’ by Carol Ann Duffy. Through Storydrama participants will enter an imaginary world partly of their own making. They will use a range of drama strategies (using sound, words, movement, image) to collaboratively explore the universal themes of love, marriage, trust, fear, parenting and environmental sustainability. Although the book creates the frame for the drama, the participants will make it their own and the outcome of the drama is in the hands of the participants. The drama approaches used will be transferable, for use with other picture books and texts. - October 23, 2012
  • Bringing Poetry Alive through Drama with Patrice Baldwin - This drama is based around an ambiguous poem, ‘The Listeners’ by Walter de la Mare. Using a range of drama strategies, participants will imagine and explore together what is both evident and inferred in the poem itself. Actively and collaboratively participants will explore and develop character/s, setting/s and plot/s in ways that will deepen that their understanding of the poem itself and also give opportunity for its narrative extension and elaboration. The drama approaches used will be transferable, for use with other poems and text types. - October 22, 2012
  • Creative Movement and the Elements of Dance - The Elements of Dance will be the backdrop for participants as they explore a variety of activities to get students engaged in creative movement and the creative process. Practical strategies, sample resources, and assessment and evaluation tools form the CODE Curriculum Resources will be shared and modeled for participants. Light snacks will be provided. - May 16, 2012
  • Teaching the Joy of Creative Dance - A one-day workshop for generalist elementary teachers - Saturday May, 13 2012
    • What are the lements of dance?

    • How can I use them to help my kids create their own dances?

    • What resources exist for elementary teachers?

    • Where can I find lesson and unit plans and webcasts?

    • Special lunchtime PhD dissertation exhibit: Visible Traces of Motion: Making the Learning Visible in Creative Dance Education

      Plenary session with provincial educators of all levels

  • Drama and Literacy: The Magic of Ritual - This hands-on drama workshop will explore ways of incorporating drama into literacy programs. Participants will work from a dramatic text to create their own welcoming rituals, using elements of movement, music and voice. These rituals will be brought together through the use of Process Drama. Finally, participants will be given the opportunity to participate in a whole group theatre piece, and to practice Teacher-in-Role. - May 16, 2012
  • Drama and the English Language Learner with Burcu Yaman - This workshop will focus on strategies for teaching English Language Learners through drama activities. The goal of the session is to use drama and excerpts from plays, novels, letters, and poems to explore the experiences of English Language Learners and to integrate speaking, reading, writing and listening. - January 31, 2012


In the Souls of the People
In the Souls of the People
  • In the Souls of the People with Jonothan Neelands - Professor Jonothan Neelands of the University of Warwick presented a workshop based on The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck for CODE members in Toronto. Participants explored timely issues connected to poverty, the arduous journey the Joad family made in pursuit of a better life, and the power of memory. - October 15, 2011
  • CODE Beginning Teacher Bootcamp: Survival Skills for Your First Year Teaching Drama - Does the thought of beginning your first year of teaching fill you with trepidation? Are you a beginning teacher wondering how you’ll make next year even better than this one? This fun and interactive workshop aims to provide you with practical and hands-on activities, strategies and resources to help you survive your first year teaching. - April 19, 2011
  • Lighting Design with Stephen Wei - In this workshop, teachers will develop hands-on experience creating lighting plots and lighting schedules, hanging lights and the basics of lighting boards. Teachers will be able to teach students systematic ways of designing lights for a variety of different situations and have the tools with which to create lighting designs that are both beautiful and flexible. - January 13, 2011


  • Drama and the New Arts Curriculum with Brooke Charlebois & Stomp in the Classroom with Team Rhythmworks - The Council for the Drama and Dance Educators of Ontario is proud to offer this unique opportunity for members and non-members to attend two workshops presented by professionals in the field of performance and education of the arts. November 20, 2010
  • So You Think You Can’t Dance? - Dance workshop for teachers at the elementary level 1 to 8. This introductory workshop is for teachers of grades 1-8 who are new to teaching dance and are looking for practical, hands-on strategies that meet expectations in the revised curriculum. Assessment for, as and of learning in Dance will also be addressed. - April 10, 2010

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Summer Institutes (OTF unless specified)


  • Embedding Process Drama in French as a Second Language Context: Exploring Authentic Communication - Facilitate subsequent language learning in the classroom using drama techniques. Teachers may be familiar with “action-oriented approaches” and we propose to expand the power of these approaches using drama. Process Drama is a powerful tool for activating communication, critical thinking and problem solving. The goal of this approach is to create immediacy with our students and elicit deep engagement with subsequent language. We create authentic contexts by inviting students to become authors in real time, suspending their disbelief in a way that simulates immersion through role-playing.


  • Embedding Process Drama into Integrated Inquiry: Exploring Social Justice Perspectives - How do we move from Shared to Independent Inquiry using powerful drama structures? How can process drama be used to build foundational knowledge in an integrated inquiry and make deeper connections in the fundamental concepts in science and social studies. How can we use powerful provocations? What is a framework for developing inquiry and drama?  What are the entry points? How does role drama and process drama lend itself to exploring many perspectives and missing voices? How can we use these processes in a respectful way without appropriating voice?


  • Music, Dance and Drama - Arts Integration to Meet Expectations! - Grades K-6 - Toronto, ON
  • Learning In and Through the Arts - Grades 4-8 - Toronto, ON
  • Linking the Arts - Grades 2-8 - Kingston, ON


  • PULSE 8-day Hip Hop Summer Institute for dance educators - The institute will involve 2 hours of technique and 2 hours of theory per day. The institute will address the following topics taught by top Hip Hop artists and educators in their field (listed below). Claude Watson School for the Arts, Toronto, ON 
    • Dance Injury Prevention: Tony Ingram - Creator of B-Boy Science;  
    • Hip Hop Fundamentals: Marcelino DaCosta - Founder of Ground Illusionz;  
    • Hip Hop History: Dr. Mary Fogarty - Assistant Professor at York University;  
    • Hip Hop Technique: Mariano Abarca - Founder of the International Street Dance Federation.


  • OTF Camp focusing on the Arts - This primary/junior/intermediate workshop will feature three days of fantastic learning for teachers focused on the resources created by CODE, OMEA and OAEA. McMaster University, Hamilton, ON


  • How to Use Dance and Drama in an Integrated Arts-Critical Literacy Unit (Gr. 1-6) This hands-on workshop explores an innovative, Critical Literacy and Integrated Arts unit. Participants will develop their own integrated Dance and Drama unit using culturally responsive and reflective resources. Toronto, ON
  • So You Think You Can’t Dance? (Gr. 4-8) New to teaching Dance? This introductory workshop provides practical, hands-on strategies that meet expectations in the revised curriculum. Assessment for, as and of learning in Dance will also be addressed. Hamilton, ON
  • Bark Lake - Be an Explorer of Your World: Integrated Arts and the Environment (Gr. 1-12) This dynamic workshop, the third in a series and one of OTF's most popular camps, uses the environment as a stimulus for Dance, Drama, Media Arts, Music and Visual Arts. Find inspiration and learn creative ways to work with “what you’ve got” in the beautiful setting of Bark Lake! South Algonquin (Renfrew County), ON
  • Cross-Curricular Integration of Drama and Dance (Gr. 7-12) This workshop fosters cross-curricular connections in an integrated Drama and Dance introductory program. Participants explore Drama and Dance for student success in a French or English classroom, with a focus on Literacy and character skills. Ottawa, ON

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