"Fun? This is stupid already! I don't want to act, I want to do vocabulary!" "Great! And now that you feel like prisoners, open up to page 27."
"No, no, no, it's not 'A Raisin in the Sun.'"
"It's a play based in Australia in 1788."
The arts can't help but happen in the schools, even if all art classes are cut from the budget and blue jeaned-knees are the only canvases available. To celebrate Youth Art Month at ARTworks, the Palmetto Theater Experiment is presenting a play about Arts in Education called "No Child…" referring to the reigning legislative experiment focused on test results.
The play was written by Nilaja Sun, who is a teaching artist with New York’s Epic Theatre Company’s Journeys program. The purpose is to bring theatre to city schools through intensive sessions of rehearsal and performance of a single play. "No Child…" has been performed in Aspen and Chicago following its acclaimed runs in New York. Teaching artists are educators who share their artistic process and the tools and techniques of their artform. When the arts are combined with another school subject, meaningful learning happens in and through both topics.
"This story is about the challenge of the teacher, the accomplishments that happen when real learning takes place," explained JW Rone, who is the director of this production, as well as the executive director of the Arts Council of Beaufort County. "This story is close to my heart because I've been there as a teaching artist who works in theater, in these situations that are so frustrating. This play gets to the point of the value of arts as a tool in education, and shows how societal attitudes are amplified in the high school community."
The cast includes LaShanta Ase in the lead role and Jamie Fleming as the narrator. Drama apprentice Jessica Lopes and four other Beaufort High School students have been cast in parts, as well as Blaire Lent, Tiffany Hines, and Andre Minor as lead antagonist. Harsh, real-life language is used in this dramatic representation of arts in education. Curtains open at 7:30; on March 26th pay what you can: March 27-29th tickets are $15. 3pm matinees are on the 28th and 29th.
Youth Art Month 2009 also includes a student gallery show and student performances on Friday, march 13th at 6pm, and a free Shag dancing event for SC Educators is on March 21st. ARTworks is a community arts center in Beaufort Town Center where quality arts educators share their artform in an exciting family-friendly environment. For more information about all these events and more, contact 843-379-2787 and http://www.beaufortcountyarts.com