[caption id="attachment_1605" align="aligncenter" width="640"]creative-exchange-ms-group LWT Education Staff and Creative Exchange attendees. Photo by Heaven Anderon[/caption] This past Friday evening, over twenty teachers gathered in one of Long Wharf’s rehearsal halls to mingle with members of the theatre’s Education staff and discuss goals for the new school year. The night always consists of a cocktail hour and a show and occurs six times over the course of Long Wharf’s season. “I always look forward to meeting teachers from new schools, hearing about what types of artistic collaborations they are looking to create, and getting to know more about each school and their needs. Our goal to provide a space where teachers can express what they are frustrated or excited about in their school year, fortify their relationships with Long Wharf staff, and everyone can enjoy an evening of wine, cheese, and world class theatre!” says Director of Education, Madelyn Ardito. [caption id="attachment_1606" align="aligncenter" width="640"]Director of Education Madelyn Ardito and LWT Managing Director Joshua Borenstein address those gathered for Creative Exchange Director of Education Madelyn Ardito and LWT Managing Director Joshua Borenstein address the group at Creative Exchange. Photo by Heaven Anderson[/caption] Our hope is that these events provide an opportunity for teachers to preview our shows before bringing student groups to our theatre.  Ardito comments, “I love to hear what the educators think of the play and how it might connect to their curriculum.” At this particular Creative Exchange, the guests represented several schools from throughout the New Haven area, including Betsy Ross Arts Magnet, Hopkins School, Choate Rosemary Hall, Emmett O’Brien Technical High School, Metropolitan Business Academy, Albertus Magnus College, and more. The evening also became an informal birthday celebration for Timothy Kane; an English teacher at James Hillhouse High School and a participant in Long Wharf Education’s ED LAB Series. [caption id="attachment_1607" align="aligncenter" width="640"]creative-exchange-ms-blog Creative Exchange. Photo by Heaven Anderson[/caption] Following a cocktail hour, guests attended a performance of Meteor Shower by Steve Martin, which is currently playing on Long Wharf’s main stage. The audience for this performance was stunned to be graced with the presence of Steve Martin himself for a pre-show speech! “You never know who you might run into at a Creative Exchange!” Ardito exclaims. Creative Exchange is open to teachers, administrators, and other leaders in youth programming. The next one will take place in November and will include a preview performance of the second show in Long Wharf's season, Other People’s Money.  If you would like to attend in the future, join the Education Department’s mailing list at longwharf.org/education -Eliza Orleans