The Deer Park School District hosted the annual Long Island Theatre in Our Schools Mini-Conference at the district office on March 8, presented by the American Alliance for Theatre and Education. Showcasing Deer Park’s ongoing support for theater education, the event served as a networking opportunity and professional development resource for theater teachers at every grade level. The TIOS conference was the brainchild of Dr. Jeff Dailey, the district’s director of fine and performing arts, who started this event to support and reinforce theater education on Long Island.
The event’s keynote speaker was acclaimed Broadway producer Stewart F. Lane, who gave an educational talk titled “What Schools Can Learn from a Broadway Producer.” Lane has been nominated for 13 Tony awards, winning five for “War Horse,” “Jay Johnson: The Two and Only,” “Will Rogers Follies,” “La Cage Aux Folles” and “Thoroughly Modern Millie.” The co-owner of Broadway’s Palace Theatre and president and CEO of Stellar Productions International and Stewart F. Lane Productions, he has also been nominated for and received numerous other theater honors, including four Drama Desk Awards, a Drama Critics Circle Award, an Outer Circle Critics Award and a Drama League Award. He won his first Olivier Award in 2013 for his West End production of Irving Berlin’s “Top Hat.”
Other Theatre in Our Schools speakers included Suffolk County Director of Arts in Education Carol Brown, who presented a workshop on theater and the Common Core State Standards; Synergy Theatre Company director Tim Conlon, who presented a workshop on Shakespeare; and Jim Hoar, a Theatrical Rights Worldwide executive who presented two workshops on musical theater. Frank Caliguiri, Deer Park’s assistant superintendent of pupil personnel services, welcomed the attendees to the district.