Hello all! Sorry for the lapse in writing, but what a busy and exciting time it has been for education here at ETC! Last Tuesday, my lovely class at Chase Elementary performed their play, which they titled "At the Playground." My sincere apologies to those of you to whom I had promised invitations – this performance had been necessarily postponed at least 4 times for various reasons – and we were quite literally playing it by ear to decide when and if we could perform. That said, the kids were extraordinary, excited, and WONDERFUL. Their teachers and I were incredibly proud of them all.
Each individual child really pushed him or herself in their participation. Students who struggled with speech disabilities worked and blossomed – and individuals who spoke in a whisper when I first began working with them in October were heard loud and clear in the back of the room during the performance. I was told that one little girl's Meemaw, who attended the performance, was floored at how loud the girl could be! Maria, my first student to perform in American Sign Language, also spoke her role with such energy that we heard every word. This is a major accomplishment. Maria's spoken and signed vocabulary were expanded through the play and the efforts of her wonderful interpreter, Theresa. Anthony, who played the rooster, Antwon, surprised me by becoming really involved half way through the rehearsal process, even memorizing his lines along with nearly everyone else's! Steven and Jasmine, as the lead characters of the play, were the foundations they needed to be, keeping everyone on track and delivering their lines with appropriate emotion and action, even getting a few laughs along the way. But the biggest laughs were earned by Kenny, whose portrayal of 'Dr. Cow' will go down in the history of my kid's shows as one of the most joyous. Kenny adored being Dr. Cow, and he broke out into a huge grin every time we referred to him by his character's name. He even went so far as to specify that the Band-Aid he put on Jasmine's arm during the play be yellow for the performance, ad libbing "This Band-Aid . . . this YELLOW Band-Aid will make you feel better."
At the end of the day, the audience was thrilled, the teachers in attendance were nearly in tears, and the kids stole everyone's hearts. And I think we ALL learned something along the way.
In a beautiful moment of symmetry, I realized that one of the kids in attendance that day was Day-Mar, one of the boys who had participated in first class I had done with Mrs. Cline. He was the Bear in "Find Our Families: Escape From the Zoo." During my pre-show speech, I gave him a hug and asked him if he remembered his experience with Prelude, now four years ago.
The huge smile that broke across his face as he nodded said it all.
That's what Prelude is about, giving a voice to all those who either didn't know they had one or that theirs mattered.
Enjoy the pictures!