Chic Spotlight: Dramakinetics

Chic Spotlight: Dramakinetics

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Pam Rieke (left) and Pam Shooner (right) of Dramakinetics

Cincy Chic: What is Dramakinetics?
Dramakinetics Executive Director, Pam Shooner: “Engaging people of all abilities through drama, movement and music; empowering everyone to reach their full potential.” Our mission is to use drama, music and movement to engage people of all abilities and ages in order to reach their full potential by experiencing the creativity of the performing arts. Through our classes and workshops in the Tri-State area, Dramakinetics:
• Fosters self esteem and friendships within the group and community
• Provides an environment respectful of all individuals
• Creates opportunities to work on developmental goals embedded in motivating performing arts activities


Bottom line we keep the “fun” in function when it comes to learning and maintaining developmental skills for students of all ages. We currently work with individuals ages 3-99.


Cincy Chic: When did Dramakinetics begin and what was the inspiration behind starting it?
Shooner: Dramakinetics is an instructional method that uses performing arts for education and recreation created by Sr. Jannita Complo, IHM. I came across it by a happenstance one day in NY when I was visiting the local library with my daughter back in 1991. I checked it out, fell in love with the sequenced approach using performing arts for classroom teachers for educational purposes and have been developing other applications ever since.


I founded Dramakinetics in 2008 to develop performing arts applications to improve the quality of life for people of all ages and abilities. Creative development of using the method for “fun and function” is what I love most about my job and is also the motivation behind me starting Dramakinetics as a non-profit.


Cincy Chic: Tell me about the Dramakinetics Methodology.
Shooner: Specific objectives are embedded within the following program activities for each program component and allow the participants to learn lesson concepts through discovery and self-determination within the following class/workshop routine. Here’s an example of the structure of a Dramakinetics class:


• used for determining mind set of individuals students in the group
• setting up class goals, visually and/or orally
• establishing or clarifying behavioral expectations (Never harm an actor, personal space, sometimes you talk/sometimes you listen, etc)
• Exercises (examples):
o Actor’s Pledge o Group rules: Keep Actors safe with words and actions, Sometimes you talk, sometimes you listen.


• Standing or sitting warm up exercises
• Sensory integration exercises to support focus and even energy level of the group
• Voice and diction exercises/ singing warm-ups
• Exercises:
o Cover the Space
o Blind Handshakes
o Story telling(Who are you? Bullying prevention, etc)
o Ground Rules (expectation/consequences)


Moving in Space
• Music with directives as part of the piece
• Exploring types of moves and steps using mood pieces (scarves, parachute, etc. can be included)
• Exploring qualities of movement (Laban)


Cool down exercises
• Use of music to calm
• Deep breathing exercises


Interdisciplinary Arts Segment (Drama, dance, singing, drumming, etc.)
• Defining the stage area (upstage, downstage, etc)
• Pantomimes
• Characterization
• Improvisations
• Storytelling
• Monologues/dialogues


Rehearsal of performance piece
• Processing information that has been presented.
• Reflection/connection to daily life


Cincy Chic: What makes Dramakinetics unique?
Shooner: Dramakinetics is unique because we can customize our programming to meet many different goals. All of our workshops/classes follow the same template but the activities and performance elements are different based on the students age and abilities.


Dramakinetics is a multi-sensory arts application through which students learn academic content and social principles within a setting designed to support all learning styles. One of four non-profit organizations in the Greater Cincinnati area providing inclusive arts classes, it is the only one that uses arts from all disciplines in a way that naturally promotes work on communication, social, and academic goals. DK is also unique in providing professional development, using arts-integrated curriculum and inclusive instructional and class management strategies.


Cincy Chic: What do you love most about your role with Dramakinetics?
Shooner: I don’t enjoy being the Executive Director. That is why my working relationship with Pam Rieke is so successful. I am the Creative Director, develop applications, train instructors and make sure the integrity of the Dramakinetics methodology is maintained. Pam Rieke is responsible for the day to day business side of Dramakinetics including communication with staff/students, accounts payable and receivables, public relations and all other duties as needed.


Cincy Chic: This is our volunteer issue. Is there a way that the community can volunteer or support the non-profit organization?
Shooner: Absolutely! We need peer mentors for some of our students. The mentors help make the class inclusive and provide one on one support to students who need more personalized assistance. We also need volunteers to help with office work.


Cincy Chic: Anything new on the horizon at Dramakinetics?
Shooner: Dramakinetics is starting classes at the Mason Community Center in January 2014.


– The classes start the week of January 7th.
– Class for students 4-7 will be Wednesday evenings from 6:30-7:30pm
– Class for Students 8-12 will be Saturday mornings from 10:30-11:30


Please contact Mason Community Center or Pam Rieke from Dramakinetics for more information at