Enhancing Curricula Through Live Theatre

by RoxyRegionalTheatre on January 15, 2016

“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so,” as Shakespeare so aptly said in Hamlet. This is true for The Vagina Monologues as well.

When I first experienced Eve Ensler’s work, I was one in a packed audience in APSU’s Clement Auditorium. I couldn’t imagine in my wildest dreams what I was about to hear, nor what enthusiastic reaction would come from students, faculty and a cross section of Clarksvilleans who were fortunate enough to have been in that hall that particular afternoon.

I walked away exhilarated and could not stop talking with the coterie of actors, then employed by us and performing in Hamlet. Each and every one had taken away from the event something singular and belonging to them alone. “Curiosity killed the cat,” as the old adage goes. “But information brought it back” is the second part, rarely used.

The Monologues, although very funny, are also insightful. Ms. Ensler wanted them to be used as a means to, among other things, “shine a light on abuse toward women.”

Our production, now in its fourteenth year, has a cult following. A large number of women often meet beforehand at Edward’s Steakhouse for a meal or cocktails (or both), only to make the three-flight walk upstairs to theotherspace to see and hear this year’s cast: Emily Rourke, Jackie Ostick and Mariah Sade Ralph.

Everything old is new again. There are those who see it every year and some Vagina Monologues first timers (often called Monologue virgins). This year’s presentation opens tonight (Friday) at 8:00pm. Performances continue through the end of the month on Thursdays at 7:00pm and Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00pm.

The school curriculum’s theme is entitled STEM for science, technology, engineering and math. Oh, how wonderful it would be if only it were STEAM, adding the arts to science, technology, engineering and math! It has been proven that math and music go hand-in-hand, and it too has been proven that reading comprehension adds to one’s overall ability to flourish in any and all other disciplines.

The strict standards may be, within the new legislation, a thing of the past, allowing educators to schedule field trips to such productions as the story of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in The Mountaintop, presented during February in honor of Black History Month; The Cat in the Hat, celebrating Dr. Seuss in the month of March; the student-workshopped Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington, a must-read and a must-see; and William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, a tale of refusing to change with the modern age and, in trying to keep the status quo, losing everything in the end but the knowledge that there is more to life than position, wealth and possessions.

Educators interested in enhancing their curricula through the experience of live professional theatre can schedule field trips to the Roxy for any of the aforementioned productions by emailing roxytheatre@bellsouth.net or calling (931) 645-7699.

See you at the theatre!

[John McDonald]

Previous post:

Next post: