by Sarah Rinner, Elementary School Program Director
On Tuesday, I had the wonderful opportunity to share in a theatre-rich field trip planned by one of our fabulous teaching artist, Lillie Hollingsworth. Lillie arranged a field trip for her 1st and 2nd grade students at Smith Elementary to travel to Del Valle Middle School (DVMS) accompanied by their after school Program Coordinator, Edna Parra. The students not only met some of the theatre students at DVMS and saw the stage space and drama classroom, they participated in theatre games with the 8th graders including some improvisational performances side by side. In addition to all that, Lillie’s students shared a rehearsal performance of their original play and dances that her students have been devising this semester.
They performed their production, (I call it “Little Bee and Little Frog”), all about two groups of animals who learn to like each other when two of their youngsters ‘break the rules’ become friends. The play was complete with music, video, and costumes. It was quite a production! We were all very impressed with how well they remembered their lines and blocking, and every student could be heard loud and clear, which is not easy when you are only in the first grade.
I asked a few of the Smith students what they enjoyed most about the field trip. Their responses were, “the dancing,” “the games,” “the ride in the van,” and one student thought the best part was “having the older students watch us. I felt scared on the outside, but I was happy on the inside.”
I look forward to the final production at Smith Elementary at the end of the semester. I wish that more students had these opportunities to meet and mentor other youth. It was a very rewarding experience for all involved.