Statement from Our Director

An update from Director Paul R. Tetreault on anti-racist work and the 2020-2021 season at Ford’s Theatre.

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Abraham Lincoln was a powerful orator who used his words to inspire and unite. Reflecting this legacy, the Ford’s Theatre Oratory Approach offers easy-to-implement tools that help every student develop public speaking skills and find their own powerful voice.

These tools accomplish multiple curricular goals, from analyzing great historical speeches, to writing persuasive speeches, to speaking more effectively, to listening and critiquing constructively.

Many teachers and students assume public speaking is an innate talent. Ford’s Oratory tools provide a structure for every student to learn and cultivate effective speaking. A multi-year evaluation shows that this approach builds students’ skill and confidence in speaking and their understanding of effective persuasion. Teachers also report that the Ford’s approach helps build a classroom culture of civil discourse and constructive feedback, supporting students in becoming active participants in our democratic society.