ACTive Learning Through Drama with Barbara Washer

About ACTive Learning Through Drama with Barbara Washer

Barbara Washer is a Theater Educator/Director and Arts Integration Specialist with almost three decades experience working with students in the classroom and on stage. She holds a BA in Speech Education and an MA and MFA in Theatre; has directed over 70 productions; and designed arts programs for schools, theaters, and community organizations. As Drama Coordinator for Renbrook School, Barbara collaborated with classroom teachers, arts specialists, and students to design curricular and performance opportunities for every child in grade 1-9. At Renbrook Summer Adventure she wrote and directed 23 original musicals with students and professional artists. At the heart of her work is a passion for bringing theatre-based opportunities to all students, guiding participants to take responsibility in their own learning process, and supporting the work of teachers and artists.

 To that end, Barbara has developed university courses training Education majors to incorporate Drama as a teaching tool across the curriculum and designed Professional Development workshops for Hartford Public Schools Department of Arts and Wellness, Hartford Stage, Connecticut Association of Independent Schools, Hartford Performs, and AATE’s Theatre in our Schools. Through the Hartford Performs Workshop Leaders Program in partnership with Artists from The Kennedy Center she created "Activating Science Concepts through Drama", a workshop for teachers of grades K-8, recently updated and expanded as “ACTivating Science and Literacy Through Drama.” She also participated in the Kennedy Center’s Artists as Educators Seminar, “Planning and Presenting Effective Teacher Workshops.” and completed the John F. Kennedy Center’s Artists as Educators Seminar “Mapping the Journey: Planning Effective Residencies for Students”.

 Locally, Barbara has been a Teaching Artist for Hartford Stage and the Costume Coordinator for Watkinson School. Since 2016 she has served as the Acting Coach for Windsor PeeWee and Youth Theatre (grades 1-12) and has developed ACT It Out, a unique series of drama programs, for the Windsor Department of Recreation. With Hartford Performs, Barbara has served 31Hartford schools through 70+ in-person residencies, 41 virtual classroom programs, as well as the Summer Arts Literacy Program. Barbara’s ACTive Learning Through Drama programs offer a student-centered approach to Arts Integration based on a proven process for engaging students coupled with flexibility for teachers to collaborate and adapt topics to meet learning outcomes specific to their students. Always open to changing needs and circumstances, Barbara pauses before entering each classroom to ask, “How can I best serve these students and this teacher in this moment?”

Grade Levels

K , 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 , 8

Art Forms


Curriculum Focuses

English Science Social Studies Math

Program Formats

In-School Short Term Residency


Website & Social Media Links