Mansfield Art Center building

The Mansfield Art Center is located at 700 Marion Avenue.

MANSFIELD -- The Mansfield site of the Kennedy Center’s Partners in Education program will offer a free arts integration professional development workshop for teachers on Wednesday, March 11 at the Mansfield Art Center.

Mary Hall Surface, a Kennedy Center Teaching Artist, playwright, and director, will lead the workshop, which is most beneficial for teachers of grades 7 to 12. Mary Hall Surface is an internationally recognized playwright and director who specializes in theater for family audiences.

Her plays have been produced at major professional theaters, museums, universities, and festivals with 15 productions with the Kennedy Center’s Theater for Young Audiences and National Symphony Orchestra. She has been nominated for nine Helen Hayes Awards (receiving the award in 2002 for Outstanding Director of a Musical), and has published two books, 12 plays, and three award-winning original cast albums of her plays, Sing Down the Moon: Appalachian Wonder Tales, Perseus Bayou, and The Odyssey of Telemaca.

For more than 15 years, Surface has brought her enthusiasm for the “power of the playwriting-pen” into classrooms throughout the United States, to national arts education conferences, and to teachers nationwide.

Surface’s Helping Students Develop and Tell Their Stories Going Global: Building Understanding through Dramatic Monologues workshop allows teachers to explore opportunities to help students engage with global issues, such as gender equity, access to education and technology, and the plight of international refugees.

Inspired by sources from international journalism, participants will learn to guide students to imagine, improvise, and write dramatic monologues that give voice to diverse perspectives and help students uncover their own point of view on complex global issues and social justice. 

The workshop will take place from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. on March 11, 2020, and dinner is included. The location for the workshop will be the Mansfield Art Center, located at 700 Marion Avenue in Mansfield.

Participants will receive up to three contact hours for professional development credit. There is no fee to attend, thanks to the generous sponsorship of Charles P. Hahn of Cleveland Financial Group, KeyBank Foundation, and additional support from the Ohio Arts Council. Registration for the educator workshop is available online at:

This workshop was developed in association with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and is partially underwritten by the U.S. Department of Education and the National Committee for the Performing Arts. Mansfield was selected in 2010 to join the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in its Partners in Education program.

Mansfield is one of approximately 100 sites across the country in the program. For more information on this professional development opportunity, contact the Education Department at 419-522-2726 ext. 252 or email

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