Have your students experience the power of oratory.

Using the words of President Lincoln, students will learn the historical context of a speech, the power of oratory and the fundamentals of performance and public speaking. As part of this distance learning program, students will:

  • Learn how to analyze and understand complex text
  • Learn our approach to effective public speaking and performance
  • Receive three free virtual lessons via video conference by a professional teaching artist (available to first 10 applicants)

At the end of this project, your class is invited to create a video of the speech they learned to showcase their performance skills. All participating class videos will be shared on our YouTube channel and potentially featured on our website.

This program is open to classrooms Grades 3-12. The application window for the 2018-19 school year is closed. Application window for the 2019-20 school year will open in June 2019. 

Meet Our Teaching Artists

A selected number of schools will have the privilege of receiving virtual classroom instruction to improve performance and public speaking techniques.

Heidi Fortune

Heidi Fortune is a professional actor and teaching artist. Heidi holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from Webster University Conservatory of Theatre Arts and a MA in Arts Administration from Winthrop University.

Shanara Gabrielle

Shanara Gabrielle is an actor, director, and educator, creating in a variety of different mediums, who has worked across the country and abroad. Shanara believes in the transformative power of the creative arts and the potency of language! She holds a B.F.A. from Webster University and has taught in every environment from Pre-K to Universities to Senior Centers. In D.C., you may see Shanara on stage at Shakespeare Theatre Company, Arena Stage, Imagination Stage, Folger Theatre and more. Shanara has worked at theatres across the country and appeared in film, television, and commercials. She is a proud member of AEA and SAG-AFTRA. This is Shanara’s first year with Ford’s Education.

Victoria Reinsel

Victoria Reinsel is a classically trained professional actor, director and teaching artist. She holds an MFA and M.Litt in Shakespeare in Performance from Mary Baldwin College. Victoria has worked with Shakespeare Theatre Company, American Shakespeare Center, Orlando Shakespeare, Taffety Punk, Chesapeake Shakespeare, among others, and she co-founded Brave Spirits Theatre.