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Curriculum Connections

Case Study

School Description: A mid-size high school in midtown Manhattan.
Class Size: 33
Subject: Algebra
Grade: 9
Arts Discipline: Theatre Business
Number of Weeks: 5
Total Number of Visits: 5
Roundabout Production Attended: The Dream of the Burning Boy
Residency Thematic Question: How do theatrical professionals use algebra to support a theatrical performance?
Overview: This residency connected algebra to theatre business by enlisting students to solve the problem, “What is the breakdown of costs for a single performance at Roundabout Underground?” Students saw Roundabout’s production of The Dream of the Burning Boy and were given information about certain parts of the costs of the set, actors’ and crew members’ salaries, percentage of the ticket sales that go to the playwright, and the costs of the lights. Before returning to the theatre to gather information, students had to analyze what information was given and what they needed to find out in order to solve the problem. After their visit to the theatre they calculated their answers, and then synthesized the information to make a pie chart showing the costs. One student reflected on the project, "Before we did this, I didn't realize there was so much math involved in theatre, and it helped me realize there is math in everything."
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