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Saturday Morning Possibility Players: Jameson ’21 at Dramakinetics in Cincinnati, OH

Classes at Dramakinetics are inclusive and focus on performative arts education which supports students in fulfilling their potential in all aspects of their lives. I worked to teach four classes there this past quarter as an intern and have continued on to assist with three others, including the Possibility Players. It is always incredible to learn alongside, and from, the students I work with. Throughout my time at DK I have watched as play-based education has supported them both in and out of the classroom and I know it will continue to do so as they build skills and grow into themselves.

It is in this way that Dramakinetics is an innovative program: by providing students with opportunities to relate to education in a holistic and tactile way, and to explore theatre while developing positive interpersonal relationships, confidence, and individuality. Thus, students grow to comprehend themselves as both individuals and community members. The natural symbiosis of living in society is demonstrated in the classroom. Students learn about leadership, as well as establishing boundaries, goals, and respect, within the context of community. The DK curriculum works to convey good examples of ways in which problem-solving brings people together and encourages learning. Families of students have given significant positive feedback to iterate the growth their children and elderly family members have exhibited in their day-to-day lives. With DK, students learn to embrace themselves and to respect others as they share their gifts with the world. I have so much appreciation for the meaningful work this small but powerful non-profit does and am excited to continue teaching with them as I grow as an educator.

The article below was featured in the December issue of “The Northsider,” a local publication:


“The Possibility Players:

Saturday mornings in Northside are filled with possibilities. Songbirds accompany the rising sun, and any noisy traffic brought in during the week has long since trickled away. Hamilton Ave is quiet except for the 5 students ages 5-13 gathering for drama class at Dramakinetics.

These are the students in “Possibility Players”- a play-based Dramakinetics class which emphasizes developmental growth and community building using the performing arts. Class begins with appreciations and gratitudes. Greeting circles facilitate active listening, and support classroom community. Each week students learn new things and share fun experiences they tell as stories in class. The class has been taught by Cait Riley and Patrick Mcwilliams since it began three years ago. Ms. Riley is an actress with Coincidence improv and Patrick is currently studying to be a teacher- in class, both emphasize the importance of dramatized education and the multitude of benefits it has in multiple areas of a student’s life.

DK classes optimize kinesthetic education. Theatrical and movement games, both in place and space, support each child’s growth in bodily-kinesthetic intelligence. Students are encouraged to understand how physiology and movement optimize knowledge processing. Tongue Twisters improve articulation and stretch facial muscles. Cross lateral body exercises enhance brain function-building up nerve net-works across the corpus callosum, and stage directions: Simon Says, teaches theatre skills.

Moving-in-place and moving-in-space games also present fun opportunities for students to explore being in different roles, to learn various ways of moving their bodies, both individually, and in relation to others. “Yes, Let’s”,  a moving-in-place game, prepares students to take roles while supporting one another in devising scenes. It demonstrates the fundamental improvisation technique: yes, and, teaching students to take things as they are given with a: yes, and to expand on what is given with an elaborative: , and!

The game plays like this: Ella, age 10, stands in front of her peers. She is to act out an action. After a little thought and a few nervous giggles, Ella grabs a shovel exclaiming: “let’s dig a garden!” Instantly, every girl in class, Ms. Riley, Patrick Mcwilliams, and myself- we’re both assistant teachers, mimic Ella digging a garden, saying: “Yes, let’s”. It is a fun way for improvisers to reinforce one another, to take what comes and build on it. It is also a thought generator. Students think up silly things and explore their imaginations. Dramakinetics is just the place for that!

Dramakinetics classes are so much fun many students don’t realize they’re learning. According to Sensorcizes by Dr. Laurie Glazener, theatre games establish neural pathways in the brain, having lasting beneficial impacts on physiological and character development. When asked about her experience teaching for the last three years, Ms. Riley says she has been over-joyed to watch the progression of her students over time. “Students tend to come in shy and withdrawn”, she told me, “but they have a spark of desire to connect. Through the activities we perform, the games we play, the pieces we put together, they break through the shy exterior”.

Each play is written incrementally. Games are played to establish characters, relationships, plot, and setting. It was in this fashion the current show: “Settling The Dust” was written. Set under a chair, it is the story of conflict resolution between a happy-go-lucky dust bunny learning to make friends with the residents of 213 Elm Street. The characters overcome miscommunication, learning to live cooperatively, settling the dust between them.

In performing “Settling the Dust”, on Nov. 12th, the actresses had an opportunity to culminate their work, practice memorizing lines, and act in front of an audience. DK families were elated to see the work their children devised in class this fall. The Possibility Players did so well! Great job, girls!

“Settling the Dust” will continue as the primary script in the upcoming quarter. The script is malleable and will be adapted to incorporate new students. Registration for the Possibility Players is available at

Saturday mornings at Dramakinetics are filled with possibilities. Ms. Riley said it best: “friendships are made, connections are formed”. Whether looking for something to do, friends to make, or have a desire to pursue artistic outlets, we’re encouraging families to explore DK class options. Adventure awaits.”

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