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The Arts Don’t Need To Be Isolated: Building a School Community through Theatre

The Arts Don’t Need To Be Isolated: Building a School Community through Theatre

Episode 141: The Arts Don’t Need To Be Isolated

At Northwest Middle School in Flowood, MS, Emily Wright and Genifer Freeman worked on a play to support the school’s summer reading book – A Long Walk To Water. But that was just the beginning. Every class from English, to art to music, to drama, to science and beyond incorporated the book into their lesson plans and they also used the project to raise money to build a well in South Sudan. This is arts integration and cross-curricular education at its finest! Listen in to learn how they accomplished this massive undertaking, and how got the principal on stage too.

Show Notes

Episode Transcript

Welcome to TFP – The Theatrefolk Podcast – the place to be for Drama teachers, Drama students, and theatre educators everywhere.

I’m Lindsay Price, resident playwright for Theatrefolk.

Hello! I hope you’re well. Thanks for listening.

Welcome to Episode 141!

You can find any links for this episode in the show notes at

Okay. So, I feel like I am working on a theme here. It’s totally by accident. No intense planning or strategy. Just the people who I managed to get to talk on the podcast and we seem to have another podcast that will make you think about the question: “What motivates you for your students?”

I won’t lie; I really love this question and I have been… it’s been awesome. I’ve been head over heels with the answers. So, on this podcast, you are going to meet Emily and Genifer – two teachers are Northwest Middle School in Flowood, Mississippi. They participated in a massive cross-curricular project – plays, music, dance – and involved every teacher and every subject at their school. And, add to that, they used this project as a fundraising opportunity. Beyond amazing!

I should stop talking, right? Yes, I think so. Yes, Lindsay. Okay.

I’m going to leave you with this. The arts do not have to be isolated. Let’s get to it.

LINDSAY: All right. I am here – as opposed to there. I am talking to Emily Wright. Hello, Emily!

EMILY: Hi, Lindsay!

LINDSAY: And Genifer Freeman. Hello, Genifer!

GENIFER: Hey! How are you?

LINDSAY: Awesome. First off, tell everybody where in the world you are.

EMILY: We are in Flowood, Mississippi. Our school is Northwest Rankin Middle School.

LINDSAY: You guys had quite the year last year with a really interesting and unique project which I can’t wait to sort of share with everybody and get everybody into it. I guess, where it started, it started last summer, didn’t it?

EMILY: It did, yes.

LINDSAY: Yes, because it sounds like… the whole entire school had to read a book?

EMILY: Correct.

LINDSAY: Is that a common thing? Is that common?

EMILY: This was the first year that it was incorporated with the entire school. Our middle school is seventh and eighth grade, and this was the first year that both grades read the same summer reading book. The book was A Long Walk to Water and it was about the Sudanese civil war and the need for clean water in that region. And so, every discipline was tasked with incorporating the book some way into their curriculum and we fortunately found the play that Robert McDonough wrote, The Walking Boys, which was based on the story of Salva Dut from A Long Walk to Water. Our awesome administration just posed the idea of, “Hey, let’s read it, let’s incorporate it into our lessons,” and we then did a fundraiser, all different kinds of fundraisers throughout the year to raise money to build a well in South Sudan.

LINDSAY: There’s two things going on here which was two amazingly huge things that seems to all kind of meld together with your school. The first being a completely cross-curricular project based on a text but then also a fundraising project. We’ll talk about each separately. I just want to start with the whole cross-curricular thing. When did you guys know that you had to incorporate this book into your lesson? Was it before the summer? How long did you have?

EMILY: It was. As we were closing for the school year last year, the principals and the English department presented it to us to get us geared up for the summer. We were going to read it, the students were going to read it, and then we were going to have this great big goal for the end of the year to raise – I believe the initial goal was – $8,000 to build a clean water well. We went into the summer of 2014 knowing what our goal was for the following year.

LINDSAY: Genifer, you are the chorus choral teacher? Music teacher?

GENIFER: Yes, ma’am. I’m the choral director here at Northwest Rankin Middle.

LINDSAY: Okay. I’m going to start with you because we’re talking about taking a text and I know that Emily found a play that was able to incorporate this text for her part of the project. How did you decide to take a text, take a book, and incorporate it into your music class? Your choral class?

GENIFER: I kind of searched for African-style music to see how we could incorporate it. It was really hard to find text and songs that were written in the Sudanese language, but I wanted my students to be able to have an opportunity to sing in a different language, but also have it mean something and incorporate it into the song, and we have an all-boys choir that was new this year for us. I had seventeen boys that signed up for an all-boys choir and we looked at some pieces and the one we chose was called Kawouno Wan Gi Pi and it was just a song that had the African rhythm but it also had a really good text to it that helped our students correlate. It was talking about water and it was talking about thanking them for the water and I think, just within the African culture and within that continent, you know, water is a precious commodity and so it really was a way for us to tie that musically and we didn’t write additional text just for the play but we did incorporate the drums and my choir ended up becoming the actors. They become the Lost Boys within the play which really touched them. It built such camaraderie within my class because this was a group of students who came from all different walks. We had football players; we had really strong academic students; we had students who, out of my seventeen, I think seven of them had IEPs for whether it was ADHD, dyslexia – you know, students that were just not traditionally going to participate in a theatre activity. This really brought these students together in a way that Emily and never dreamed would happen. They became the Lost Boys but then they became a band of brothers that have walked this play and many of them had not even read the text. I think part of it might have been socioeconomically. They came from very different backgrounds, weren’t able to either (a) purchase the book, or (b) I think academically some of them were not the ones that were going to run out and go, “Oh, I’m going to go read the summer reading book!” and they were struggling in their English classes and all of a sudden this book became their life their first semester and they portrayed the actors and fell in love with it. By the end of the school year, they were probably one of my closest-knit classes that I had. We just really looked at different ways of tying it in together.

EMILY: Right. We may not have shared this with you initially, Lindsay. I had my Theatre II students were doing this project and, of course, we’re always struggling for more male actors in theatre. And so, when we realized we were going to do this play and we needed more boys, I said, “Genifer, can we combine forces and use your boys choir?” And so, most of these guys, like she said, had never been onstage before – singing, of course, but not acting – and my kids that had had two years of experience or more, it was so neat for them to bring them in and have us all work together on not a musical piece – of course, there was the great song that we all learned and worked with together but it really was genuinely a theatrical piece and these guys became part of it and, like Genifer said, it was so neat to see the camaraderie and I think, for our school, our students had read the book and, you know, here we are, we’re doing all these fundraisers. But, when we put it onstage and they got to see it and Salva’s story really came alive, it was such a special experience for all of us.

LINDSAY: It’s just amazing, isn’t it? Because, when we’re talking about what is the value or the arts in the classroom, this is a living, breathing example of how do we take, you know, seventeen kids who maybe not know each other or don’t come from the same background? And, all of a sudden, they’re living a story. You know, even if they didn’t read the text in-depth and they didn’t get into the close reading and they didn’t get into the studying of the structure or whatever, they’ve learnt.

EMILY: Right. It’s so beautiful. You know, we’ve tried to get our students to think more globally. We explained the whole time, you know, “Here are these children that are your age that are journeying through their homeland just trying to find refuge from the civil war.” When they realized they were the same age as Salva and these other boys, you know, they were like, “Just imagine.” It became so personal for them that I think they knew they had to reach the goal for raising money for this well because, I hate to give away the story if one has not read it – spoiler alert! – it’s just such a blessing that Salva Dut, he survived the civil war, made it through various refugee camps, eventually becomes adopted by an American family, graduated college, decides he is going to go help his homeland and help get clean water to South Sudan. He finds out his parents are alive, they reconnect, and he is now back over in Africa with his non-profit organization building wells. And so, our hero of the story, it was so personal to do it for him, you know. He survived, he fought. We just knew we had to raise this money to honor what he went through and so many of his countrymen went through.

LINDSAY: Yeah, and I’m going to make sure… the book is called A Long Walk to Water and it’s by Linda Sue Park. And then, the play that these guys did is The Walking Boys, Robert McDonough. I’ll make sure that in the show notes we’ve got links to information for both the book and the play.

EMILY: Great.

LINDSAY: Because you also sent me a couple of pictures. I think it makes it all very immediate. Do you think that that is the key to getting students to connect to literature? Because it’s something that is relatable, even if it’s in a place that they can’t even imagine, it’s people the same age, is that important?

EMILY: Right.

GENIFER: I think it’s really important. I think, for my boys, with two of them being dyslexic and not having access to the book visually, that they struggled even being able to read the words within the book that when they actually portrayed the book and they became actors within the play, it became real to them. When they actually saw the photographs that I believe that Emily had sent you of the well actually being built and seeing their mark and what they did, they came to tears. I mean, in April, when the well was built – I believe it was around April 27th – you know, I put it on our screen in the classroom and it became ownership for these boys.

And so, you know, several of them not being able to read it in a way that most of us would be able to read the text and read the literature and have us visually see it because we’re not struggling over the words, for my students that were dyslexic, being able to feel the book and portray the book, it became real to them. Even when we were studying their lines, I had my two boys, one of them had a fairly big part in the play and he would come in in the mornings and memorize it, work with me, and I would read it to him and then he would be able to go back and read it. It became a cross-curriculum technique where we were able to bring the text and make it real for them but help them in their literacy and help them in the comprehension of this book. It crossed every aspect of what education should be doing, you know. I mean, that, as educators, is what we should be doing – making our performances real to our students and helping them, you know. If they have learning disabilities, helping them overcome those and become successful and feel like, “Wow.” They will never forget it. They will never forget that experience in their entire lives. They still talk about it in the summer when I see some of these students, you know. It’s forever engrained in them.

LINDSAY: And, you know, when everyone is struggling with this model that seems to be happening where it’s the standardized testing and standardized this and everyone must take the standard, to find a doorway to your struggling students, to let them have as good as an experience with a piece of literature as someone who can read it because there’s just people who learn differently!

EMILY: Right.

LINDSAY: I don’t understand why that is something that doesn’t seem to hit home and I know I’m talking to the choir.

GENIFER: Absolutely.

LINDSAY: You know, I just think that’s the most wonderful thing – to have success with those two students and with all your students. I just love when you said “to help them feel the book.” I love that.

Okay. So, this was across the board, across the school. What were some of the other things that were brought in? How did other areas experience the book?

EMILY: Well, we had our art teachers design beautiful African art to be hung on the wings of the stage for us, at the opening of our school’s entrance ways. The whole school felt it, you know. It almost felt the theme of the year. You know, our science teachers probably dealt more with the water portion and the clean water project. Our math teachers used it within equations – the actual footsteps of the walk from their homeland to the refugee camps – to make it personal. Even the PE classes incorporated the walking part of it. Because, like we say, the book is called A Long Walk to Water and, in that, she talks about these boys being called the Lost Boys and I think, typically, that’s how we’ve heard of them but Robert makes the point in his play, they weren’t lost; they lost their homeland. They were forced away from it so they called themselves the Walking Boys. I think we kind of changed that. You know, we had started the year as the Lost Boys and realized now they were the Walking Boys – to survive, they continued to walk. It was amazing to see, like you say, all these different curriculums tie it in some way that it became personal to everyone – not just the theatre or the music or the arts students.

We have to give a big shout-out to our principal from last year, Mr. Jacob McEwen. We tasked him with being Salva’s father and he really stepped up and did a great job for us. He had never been onstage but we just knew he had to play this role and he did it so well. Everyone was involved.

LINDSAY: That’s awesome! That’s the way you do it, man. Take your principal and stick him onstage.

EMILY: I know. He’s such a sweetheart.

GENIFER: He was so scared, and the boys, what was so neat is the young man who played Salva – we had two different leads that played Salva because we split up the theatre classes and what was neat is they would work with him and they’d help feed him his lines and he was so nervous. He would just be shaking and we had a bicycle that he had to carry part of the scene was he had to have a bicycle because he was coming back from market and, at first, we put the lines because he was like, “I don’t know if I can remember these,” and he is so humble and he was a former special ed teacher and he was just so nervous to get up onstage but he knew he needed to do this for the students and for the kids and he loved every minute of it but it gave him an understanding of what we do as arts teachers. It really let him live our lives and see, “Wow.” You know, “This is amazing.” I think, so many times, when we’re teaching the electives as arts teachers, that they’re like, “Oh, that’s not a real subject,” but when they actually experience what we’re doing, they’re seeing how we’re touching lives and we’re teaching through the arts and that’s so important and he really got to tap into that and the whole student body got to see him and they were just like, “Wow! There’s Mr. McEwen!” and they all just kind of giggled because he was so nervous. But our students and our actors really embraced him and he became part of the cast. He was no longer the principal. He was part of the cast and he got to feel that camaraderie that we get when we’re onstage and, as performers, when we have that opportunity, it becomes a family and he got to experience that. I think that was really neat for us to see him embrace that, and he loved it! I mean, he was nervous and he was like, “Why did I agree to it?” but then, once he finished it, he felt so, like, it was an accomplishment for him personally. He overcame some of his own fears so it was neat to see that happen and to watch that – the interaction between the students and him.

LINDSAY: I think that is the most fabulous idea. I mean, so often, you know, I talk to teachers and they live in compartments, you know. Like, the school is not a community and it is very much and “us against them” mentality. How do you think that you guys have been able to, as a school with your administrators, been able to form this community where you can do a cross-curricular project where everyone can be onboard and on the same page?

EMILY: Well, I think, especially with this, we knew how important it was. Our mascot for Northwest Rankin Middle School is the cougar. Our motto last year was: “Leave a paw print.” You know, “How can you make a difference?” And so, I think everyone knew we were working to such a noble goal – you know, to give back and help. I think that’s what brought us together so much as a school last year. I think we do have a great administration. They support us and the other teachers support one another. It’s really a great place to work and I think, in the arts, we know we’re not isolated and we know how important combining and collaborating is that I guess we don’t give people much choice. Just like, “Hey! You’re going to work with us!” and I think, like you said, going back to how so much is becoming standardized testing and we’ve got to answer this way and write it this way, we know in the arts how children learn differently and their strengths and I think the kids don’t realize they’re learning because they’re having so much fun. You know, it’s been great to put our kids out there for others to celebrate and see that they’re successful when maybe academically they don’t always in their other disciplines but they could shine in this play.

GENIFER: And I think, at first, you know, some of the teachers were hesitant. You know, I have to give a shout-out also to Christina Davidson who was our English teacher who really kind of put this in the forefront of the school and she kind of chaired the whole community and was the one who worked with H2O for Life – the non-profit organization that helped us build the well – and she was the liaison for them. But, you know, not every English teacher was onboard at first. You know, they were like, “Ugh. You’re going to mess up my curriculum. I do this every year,” and we get stuck in our little boxes and I think, as artists, we look outside the box and, when we started bringing the play and I was working, because some of my boys really were falling behind in English, I worked with their English teachers and I said – you know, we had to pull them out of some of their English classes. I would make time in my classroom to help them with their other English projects and bring them together and really start talking with the teachers. You know, I think, if we make them part of the team and we let them understand, your subject is as important of ours and, when I’m not doing a performance and I’m not doing a competition.” You know, I look at my students’ grades and I tell them academics come first. You know, “It’s a blessing that you get to learn a hobby and learn a gift and something that will stay with you for life in the arts, but you have to have the academics to stay in the arts and, to go to college, you have to have that.” I’ll tell my students, “If you’re falling behind in a classroom, you’ll get pulled out of the class you want to be in,” and that’s mine, “and we’re going to go work on those academics.” It becomes a partnership with these core academic teachers to let them understand that, “Yes, I understand your subjects are important and standardized testing is important in the long-term but these arts is what gives these students an outlet.” That is built over time and I think our teachers have built that. But, when they saw this play, it gave them a whole different understanding and I think it was an education overall for all of the faculty here at the school because we have over 975 students at our school. And so, you know, ,we have a pretty big faculty and administration just at the beginning of the year said, “This is what we’re going to do,” and we all just reeled in and, you know, some of us were kicking and screaming but, when it was done in April, when we saw that well built, I think it was just… our kids were walking around saying, “Wow! I can’t believe we did that. I can’t believe I had a part in that.” I don’t know. I think that was kind of what made it build those bridges. You’ve got to build the bridges with your academics or you’re always going to feel like you’re an island upon yourself.

LINDSAY: I think that’s a great point. I think that’s a lovely point, too. It is a team and I love the concept too of, you know, that’s another thing we hear – “Oh, the kids today, they’re not like they were before.” I’m like, “No, we can encourage them to be globally minded.” It’s all in us and it’s in them and I think that is just what a fantastic thing to imprint on them – that they can make a difference.

EMILY: Right, and I think a teacher had told us throughout this process, you know, sometimes we think, “Oh, they’re young and they can’t do this,” and they sat back and said, “I can’t believe they put on a performance like this.” You know, you just go in with those high expectations and they rise up to them. You know, they bring the best ideas. We had four or five really strong dancers and we allowed them to create elements of dance and, you know, there were ways we thought, “Oh, my goodness, how can we have this lion attack and not make it comical?” Well, the dancers were like, “We’re going to do it through dance.”

The kids brought so much to it. It wasn’t just, you know, “Genifer and I, we’re the directors and you’re going to follow us.” It was so collaborative from them and, you know, again, we can’t give enough credit to Robert and his support and generosity. And then, when we knew he was coming to the show, I went into a whole different level of stress. My kids were like, “Oh, my gosh! You’re a dragon lady when it’s show time!” and I’m like, “Well, I’m super dragon lady now,” because, you know, the playwright is going to be here, I want to honor his work. But, most importantly, I think the whole time they knew we’ve got to honor Salva and the Walking Boys and the story. It’s too important. You know, unfortunately, we’ve tried to remind them, there is so much suffering in the world. You know, it’s not just this one story but let’s highlight it and highlight that Salva, he wasn’t bitter from the journey. He went on to do so many wonderful things to show love. And so, I think that was such an important point to this story. Even though all the trials, he fought for good.

GENIFER: And the students also had the opportunity to, throughout the process over the year, we had one of the actual Lost Boys who actually went to Mississippi State University. He came and spoke to some of the English classes in the eighth grade and so they got to actually ask him questions. “What was it like when you were traveling?” When he met my son that was an eighth grader last year, the one thing he brought back, he said, “Mom, they got five beans for the week. That was all he had to eat – five beans.” To have the humanity of it and then some of the students here, we had a club of students for South Sudan and they actually got to speak to Salva directly. They interviewed him and so they Skyped with him. They made it real to the students. It wasn’t something that was fictitious and made up. They made every aspect of this tangible to our students.

And then, when Robert came to see the play, he actually met with our students and our actors and they got to interview him, you know. I mean, they were able to interact with the playwright and they got to see his emotions. I mean, I don’t think every time he saw the play, I think we did it four times, five times, he cried during every performance. I mean, every aspect of the play was different to him and, for him to see these students bring his work to life, you know, these are seventh and eighth graders. Sometimes, we think, “Oh, they can’t do it.” They can and they provoked emotion and, as actors, that is our job as performers.

If we can move our audience – whether it’s to joy, to tears, but make them feel that they experienced what we did – we’ve done our job and, to teach that to students and to let them witness that and to see that, it’s why we do what we do and I think that is so hard, as educators, to understand. Get that we love what we do, obviously. Otherwise, we wouldn’t do it. But, to let our students experience that and then to teach them how to do that, they get on fire and they’re like, “Man, I want to do this!” We even had some of our students from the choir class actually decide, “I want to take theatre! This is what we I want to do.” Some of our theatre students who had never auditioned for choirs auditioned for the high school choirs and became on the top choir because they were like, “Why haven’t you been singing?” but they never had that opportunity to sing. It wasn’t just my boys going out of their comfort zone acting, it was the actors getting out of their comfort zone and singing. It opened their eyes as performers to say, “You know what? I love this. This is what I want to do.” I think, Emily and I, that’s our job as any educator – to teach our students to love something that they’re going to do – and we were able to do that.

LINDSAY: Yeah, that’s lovely. That’s lovely!

Okay. As we wrap up, let’s talk about the fundraising a little bit.


LINDSAY: Your goal was $8,000 to build a well. How much money did you raise?

EMILY: We raised over $17,000.

LINDSAY: That’s awesome.

EMILY: We were able to not only build one well – thank you, thank you – but two. And then, I believe that additional money went to some other mechanical things that they needed to repair. Like Genifer said, we have to give a huge shout-out to Christine Davidson, the English teacher that really spearheaded this.

You know, we just want to tell schools, we don’t have a beautiful theatre facility here. It’s a cafeteria with a few risers and boxes put together. You know, you can create out of something so small, and all of our fundraisers were very small. It doesn’t have to be a huge fundraiser. It was, you know, we started with: “Everybody, fill up a water bottle with pennies.” And so, “Bring in your water bottles with pennies.” Of course, we sold tickets to see our performance and we sold t-shirts after the performance.

GENIFER: And the tickets were only like a dollar. We’re not talking $10.00. You know, it was a dollar for a ticket. We partnered with a local IC company here. it was called Kona Ice but they give a percentage of the proceeds of the snow cones that they sold, they gave a percentage to the fundraiser. They would paid $4.00 for a snow cone, got them out of class, fourth block, all kids love that, and they did that several times during the school year so that was a partnership with a local business that we did. We sold bracelets. The FCA – Fellowship for Christian Athletes – they put together, they sold silicon little rubber bracelets for like a dollar I think and all the money went towards that. I mean, it was just the little things that the kids got onboard. And then, we did have I think maybe one or two local businesses that gave a larger donation or a parent. Any time we had our parents in public, we would speak about this. At my concerts, I would mention it. If someone wanted to donate, they would feel free to do it because it was a 501(c)(3). It was going through H2O for Life so it became a tax write-off for them. But I don’t think in our wildest dreams, we never thought that it would raise that much, but it was the little things.

EMILY: Right, and all the different clubs and organizations here at the school did their own little fundraiser to make their mark and to donate in some way. Our art department had designed a big water bottle with marks tacked up on it indicating how much we had raised at any given month and it kept filling and filling and they would color in the line. Then, all of a sudden, you know, the water bottle was full and we didn’t even announce that we had far surpassed what we had intended until the end of the year and that was so exciting for the students – to see just the little things can add up and you can make a huge difference.

GENIFER: And for them to actually see the photographs. I think that’s what touched the kids the most. You know, when you give a dollar, you never always see what it’s going towards. But, when they actually saw the photographs of these villagers standing in front of the well that has the imprint “H2O for Life – Northwest Rankin Middle School” and has the year that it was built, that is forever imprinted in that village. They’ve left their mark. They left their paw print. And so, when they left the school year in May – May 22nd was their last day – they said, “You know what? I left my mark.”

LINDSAY: They have done something in this world. No matter what they do, no matter where they go, no matter what happens, they’ve done something good.

EMILY: Right.

LINDSAY: I think it’s just so important to really hit home here – that you guys did little things. I think that’s where people get really flustered when it comes to fundraising. “Oh, I have to do a big event. I have to do this.” I love your notion of “no, it’s small” – that your ticket prices are small, that everything we do is small. Because it’s manageable and it’s easy to picture when it’s little things, isn’t it?

EMILY: Right. Oh, yes. Like we said, we nickled and dimed all year long.

LINDSAY: I also like the whole notion that, you know, what a great way to get all the clubs in school to be on the same page. That’s another thing that often divides schools. And then, like, “Here’s something that we all can do. We all can do this together.”

GENIFER: And we also went to the football games and had bake sales and that was huge. We were like, “Fifty cents a cookie. A dollar a cookie,” and it was where we went to where the public was and it was at the high school football games and we weren’t competing directly with the concessions because concessions, they don’t sell desserts. We were selling the desserts and so the entire community – not only within the middle school but, all of a sudden, those high schoolers and the parents of the high schoolers and the visiting teams were getting involved in something within our community. You know, they may not over time hopefully they’ll get to see some of the photographs and see it but it became a communitywide effort that it’s just forever going to be marked in South Sudan and there are still struggles going on in the Sudanese areas and they were so surprised that they couldn’t build the well right immediately. We were like, “Well, it has to be during the dry season,” and they only had like a month to build this and Salva was actually there, building these wells. I think it was community.

LINDSAY: What a lovely word to end on. I think that is what’s really important here – you know, a community within your school, impacting your community. Well, that’s how the arts survive, I think – when everybody actually knows what we do and the impact of what we do and I just love this. I love this so much and I’m really appreciative that you guys were able to sit down with me today and talk about it. As I said, we’re going to make sure that the book is on our show notes and the play.

Is there a summer reading book for this year or is the school taking a break?

EMILY: No, it’s actually we were just thinking, like, “How do we top this?” and the incoming eighth graders are really excited because they’re like, you know, they want to do something big like we did last year. It’s called Counting by Sevens and it’s actually being made into a movie right now, I believe, so we’re trying to get creative and think what we’re going to do with that but it’s a great story as well. It’s got a female this time as our lead so we’ll see where we go from that.

LINDSAY: How awesome, and I think it was really important to mention that sometimes the teachers were also kicking and screaming but what a great thing for you guys too to sort of breathe life into how you teach things and I just think it’s great. Okay. So, I think we’ve established I like this.

All right. Emily and Genifer, thank you so much for talking to me today. It was a real pleasure and you guys should be so immensely proud and it’s lovely. Thank you!

EMILY: Well, thank you, Lindsay, so much.

GENIFER: Yeah, thank you for the opportunity, We appreciate it.

LINDSAY: Thank you, Emily and Genifer.

What a fabulous story! Love it.

For any links from this episode, please check out show notes –

Before we go, let’s do some THEATREFOLK NEWS.

Since this podcast focuses on the cross-curricular, I wanted to point out a couple of other places that you can find some cross-curricular – okay, the word that came to my head was “goodies.” I’m not sure that’s correct but “things,” “elements,” “wonderful exercises.” We have Episode 107 of the Theatrefolk Podcast which was “Cross-Curricular in the Drama Classroom” with Teacher Jeff Pinsky who was incorporating the Holocaust into his drama curriculum.

We have a blog exercise, “Writing Your Research,” which explores how to get students to theatricalize information. And then, we actually have a unit, a cross-curricular unit, “Speeches from History.”

You can find all of this, I’ve put links in the show notes where you can just go and click and go right to these fabulous resources –

Finally, where, oh, where can you find this podcast? We post new episodes every second Tuesday at and on our Facebook page and Twitter. You can find us on and you can find us on the Stitcher app. You can also subscribe to TFP on iTunes. All you have to do is search for the word: “Theatrefolk.”

And that’s where we’re going to end. I’m raising my fist in the air. The arts do not have to be isolated! Take care, my friends. Take care.

Music credit:”Ave” by Alex (feat. Morusque) is licensed under a Creative Commons license.

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