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Working with a Ford’s Teaching Artist, students bring Lincoln’s words to life through a group performance.

Have your students to experience and explore the power of a historical speech. Classrooms study historical speeches and work with a Ford's teaching artist over a series of five in-person residency visits to learn oratory and performance skills. Throughout the program, students expand their vocabulary, develop public-speaking skills and build confidence as they bring historical speeches to life. The program culminates with classrooms performing on Ford’s historic stage on one of two Festival days in early February.

Participation in the program is via applicationApplications for the 2021-2022 school year have closed.

Testimonial

“Thank you for the great experience of … get[ting us] on stage to get our jitters out and boost our confidence. You also boosted my speaking skills by not being afraid to be in front of a big crowd.”

- Brandon, Fifth Grader, Brent Elementary, 2016

Meet Our Teaching Artists

Ashley Buster

Ashley grew up just outside of Washington, DC in Silver Spring, MD. She earned a BA in Broadcasting Telecommunications and Mass Media and Theater from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA and an MA in Educational Leadership and Supervision from Loyola University Maryland. After living in New York and singing for Royal Caribbean International, Ashley moved back to the DC area to continue her acting career her and has been seen at NextStop Theater, Signature Theater, and in “The Wiz” and “Freedom’s Song” at Ford’s. Ashley is also an Associate Artist with Ford’s Theatre. This is Ashely’s eighth year with Ford’s Education.

W. Ellington Felton

W. Ellington Felton is an Actor/Singer/Poet/Father, a native Washingtonian and product of DCPS School Without Walls. He studied Acting at Carnegie Mellon University Theatre Conservatory and returned to DC as a selected Company Member of Arena Stage's "Living Stage.” Using his theatrical training and improvisational skills developed as a full-time musician, Felton introduces various facets of the arts through what he calls "EDUTAINMENT.” He is an artist committed to social change in the classroom and on the various stages he performs worldwide. The son of Hilton Felton Jr., musical director of Ford's Theatre's "Five Guys Named Moe,” W. Ellington is excited to work with Ford's Theatre this year. This is W. Ellington’s seventh year working with Ford’s Education.

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. Heidi has worked as a teaching artist for over a decade, most recently at Boys & Girls Clubs in South Carolina. At Boys & Girls Clubs, Heidi worked with hundreds of children to produce over 30 plays and 50 original student films. The program she created won many grants and awards, including a highly competitive National Endowment for the Arts grant and a national award from Comcast, Disney, and Boys & Girls Clubs of America. This is her eighth year working with Ford's Education.

Khaleshia Thorpe-Price

Khaleshia Thorpe-Price is the Owner and Master Teaching Artist of Dramatic-Play. She has worked in the field of arts education for over 20 years. She is a versatile creator and educator. She aims to dazzle participants with the love of play and creative exploration. Khaleshia is the Maryland Director for the Maryland Director for Teaching Artists of the Mid-Atlantic (TAMA), a network that advocates for, empowers, and supports Teaching Artists throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. She has a BA in Theater Arts from Morgan State University and an MA in Arts Management from the University of Central Florida. This is Khaleshia's 6th year working with Ford's Education

Mary Myers

Mary Myers is a professional actor and Teaching Artist based in Washington, DC. She has been working for over a decade, and has collaborated with students of all ages, teaching physical comedy, acting technique, improvisation, movement, and devising. Most prominently she has taught Shakespeare, and has worked with Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, WSC Avant Bard, and Educational Theatre Company, for whom she was on staff as their Director of Shakespeare in the Schools for seven years. She has performed with numerous theatre companies around town, and has won a Helen Hayes award and received multiple nominations. B.A. in Theatre, The College of William & Mary; Physical Theatre training, St. Mary's University, Twickenham. This is Mary’s first year with Ford’s Education.