Young Audiences of Rochester - Want to be a YA Artist?

James Ryan (Stilt walker)

James Ryan (Stilt walker)

Category: Theatre Arts


As an artist James Nelson Ryan seeks to facilitate enlightening experiences through humble and silly interactions whether through a simple juggling lesson or a world of interactive puppets. He focuses on the use of recycled products giving creative access to all of his students. James has chosen to apply his life experiences to his unending imagination. He focuses on projects that bring people together hoping to magnify our potentials whether through a song and dance on a stilt walking carnival or an after school creative arts program. He has discovered his path to an enriched life and is looking forward to sharing his experiences through his creative projects. James uses "The Anything Project" as a symbol to open the mind to the possibility of anything. To be open to unfamiliar things. We can learn to be or do anything! James is interested in working in a variety of environments from community development programs to interactive exhibits to visionary art festivals, believing his diverse skill set will allow him to produce a more enriching experience for everyone.


Grades 6-12
Single Class Size for Workshops and Residencies
Length 45 minutes
Cost Contact YA Office for more information

Technical Requirements



Overview of Programs

  Workshops, Residencies and After School Programs  
The Circus Arts Experience
Experiencing: An introduction to the building blocks of "Circus Arts". Learn basic skills on juggling, balancing, hula-hooping, sequencing, dance and physical theater through group activities. These creative games will finally culminate into a performance showcase for the entire class. Understanding: Students will learn how to develop new skills with the use of fun games while using creativity to overcome "unachievable" obstacles. Creating: in addition to creating small routines students will have the opportunity to create short group performances in a class showcase. Connecting: The Circus Arts are multifaceted utilizing skill sets from all walks of life such as athletics, sports, math, science, creativity, dance.. bringing students together with each of there own unique abilities. Goals: The Circus Arts in its end is a form of expression like any other form of art. Basic skills are used as a foundation to form creative ideas and thereby creating a new form of communication. The Circus Arts Experience can also provide us the opportunity to create a team experience that encourages and empowers our students to do the best that they can. Our underlying message, that we each have something unique to share with the world around us. Program Objectives: To facilitate the basic understanding of juggling, balance, dance and theater within the Circus Arts. A playful way of empowering youth with an engaging activity while building life skills such as problem solving, responsibility and team work. Culminating in a class created showcase. We believe that our activities fulfill a need within the community by empowering students to learn new skills and to create an environment of education without competition. At the core of these experiences is the ability to turn education into a personalized game, helping create the main idea that anything is possible! Program Activities Act 1: The Basics of Juggling with balls. Learning how to sequence events with objects with simple follow the leader games. Also implementing creative partner & group juggling used to create a small performance. Act 2: The Basics of Balance with various props including peacock feathers, balancing beams, mini-stilts while navigating a collaboratively created maze. Use balancing points all over the body with use of our juggling props culminating in partner weight-sharing (balancing) and group balancing act. Act 3: The Basics of Dance with Hula-Hoops. Make the hoops go round adding creative turns and rhythms in and out of the hula. Using the hoop as a tool to create our own dances culminating in a class sized hula-hooping mandala. Act 4: Clowning & Theater. Reintroduction of our juggling props but they may not be what they seem. Creating alternative meaning and action to everyday objects through puppetry, molding figures and mirroring while using an array of expressions, emotions and actions. Groups will create a short skit to share with the class. Act 5: How to Produce a Show Review of our Circus Skills and development. With group games exploring "setting the Stage", What's the problem? and the Solution! the class will develop small performances to share. Act 6: Open Gym Quick lessons and development in Juggling, Balance and Hula Hooping. Ending in a clowning prop adventure. Act 7: Performance as a Game The class is split into small working groups to develop a performance to share with the class. Each group will be given a prompt or activity to inspire their collaborative performance.