To my students, the east side of town is the world, but that world is severely limited. They live so close to the rich cultural tradition of the theater but may never witness it for themselves. We need a chance to connect to literary, Hispanic, and American culture in a new way!
My students attend an urban, zoned public school in Maryland.
The city is a traditional center for the arts, but despite their geographic proximity to the theater, many of my students have never been inside to see a play. They live through the harsh realities of poverty and gang culture, and they struggle to make the connection between most of the content they encounter in school and the experiences they have in their everyday lives. Too often they feel alone, misunderstood, and downtrodden. They most certainly are not joy-less individuals. They have some of the most unique energy I have ever seen. They have come to accept, though, that there are certain things they can and cannot do. They do not grow up with the limitless sense of possibility a child ought to possess. They are bursting for new opportunities and dreams. They deserve no less than any student in any school in this country, and they need help coming to that realization.
Hispanic Gangs? Romeo and Juliet? Musical Theater? ME?! Are you kidding?! West Side Story presents a perfect way for my students to not only break down the imaginary barrier that keeps them out of the arts in their own city, but also to discover wonderful new connections to their own lives in an unlikely place. Romeo and Juliet is a standard in our high school curriculum, as is Spanish as a foreign language. This play gives us an opportunity to see the combination of many things we explore in the confines of the classroom in a totally new light. My students know about gangs. They know about love and danger and hurt. They do not know about the stage. They do not know it as a place to communicate and learn about these things they experience every day. Combined with classroom reading and exploration, this trip to see West Side Story will open up entirely new pathways for my students to study and express their own feelings.
Donations to this project will allow my kids to experience theater in a venue they have walked by countless times in their lives but never given much thought to entering.
Not only will this trip open up a new world of the arts to the students, it will also draw stronger connections to their own lives than can be made inside the classroom.Read More
|Activity||Broadway Across America||$1,001.25|
|Transportation||CityWide Bus Company||$270.00|
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