Theatre arts thriving at Patriot and T. Clay Wood through collaboration
Posted on 04/05/2018
Students on stageRemember the fairy tales Jack and the Beanstalk and Little Red Riding Hood? Well, what if Jack’s tale was rewritten as that of a misguided young man who takes advantage of a kind giant? Or, what if Little Red Riding Hood was a thief, and the wolf protects Granny from her granddaughter? The result is a fractured fairy tale. A fairy tale designed to be humorous, changing the plot and altering the characters of a well-known story.

For fifth-grade students at T. Clay Wood Elementary, this writing style is an exciting way for them to showcase their creative talent, and with the help of Patriot High School theatre students, some see their stories come to life on stage.

The creation of this collaboration came from Kathryn Facemire, theatre arts director and broadcast journalism teacher at Patriot High School. In 2011, she proposed a theatre class, focusing on writing and directing, that did not currently exist in the county. The class involves several units of study to satisfy specific state standards. One of the units involves bringing original creative writing from elementary school students to life on stage. Facemire decided to contact teachers at T. Clay Wood Elementary about the potential collaboration. She received a great response from the fifth-grade team since each year, fifth-grade students have a fairy tale writing project in Language Arts.

Stage-worthy stories from each fifth-grade class are chosen by the teacher and submitted to the high school students. The high school students adapt the stories into short plays and perform them on stage for the entire fifth-grade from T. Clay Wood.

Facemire explained, “This project is a particular favorite of mine because the students take ownership of it at every step. It is exciting to see students I have had for three and four years in the program become entirely capable, disciplined artists who take seriously the opportunity to contribute to the community.”