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Scenes from Step On A Crack, by Susan Zeder
(Photos By Lindsay Muetterties '08)


Fifth- and sixth-graders from St. Mary's School in Canton enjoyed a private performance on campus recently, from students in a community-based learning class called Children's Theatre in the Schools.

Visiting Assistant Professor of Communication and Performing Arts Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead, who teaches the course, states that it "grew out of my collaboration with [Director of Community-Based Learning] Ronald Flores which began last fall. Ron and I did some research and found that there is a great need for performing arts education in the North Country. We decided to try a pilot program in which St. Lawrence students facilitate theatre games and exercises with local elementary school children. St. Mary's was excited about the project from the start and it has been a great partnership."

Using Viola Spolin's text Improvisation for the Theatre in addition to practicing educational strategies with Gardinier Halstead, students' assignments have included creating and teaching lesson plans, writing journals and creating a notebook of theatre games and exercises for children. "They have thoroughly enjoyed their work with the fifth- and sixth-graders at St. Mary's," Gardiner Halstead says. "It has been a rewarding experience for everyone involved."

March 31, students performed a children's play, Step On A Crack by Susan Zeder, to perform for the St. Mary's students, their teachers and their parents in Gulick Theatre on campus, with a question-and-answer session following.

Students in the class are Ben Bocinski '07, Blue Mountain Lake, NY; Andy Bovay '06, Hermon, NY; Adriana Cordero Calderon '09, San Jose, Costa Rica; Eddie Cruz '08, Ridgewood, NY; Justin Lynch '08, Syracuse, NY; Katie McGinty '08, Long Lake, MN; and Erica Rivera '07, Bronx. Their community mentor is Jenn Shauger '08, Coxsackie, NY.

For more information: Community-Based Learning at St. Lawrence

Communication and Performing Arts at St. Lawrence

Posted: April 3, 2006

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