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Center for Engagement and Community Development

News Features

Theater Project Uses Plays to Expose Children to New Experiences

K-State Engagement E-News, April 2009 (PDF)

by Jenny Barnes

Aesop's Fables

The Growing Tree theater project exposes children in the Manhattan community to theater as well as interesting new ideas through the performing arts. The project consists of a touring acting troupe that visits elementary schools in Manhattan and performs a one act, 30-45 minute play for children.

The plays are directed and acted entirely by K-State theater students. They collaborated with the Manhattan Arts Center and the schools to work out a schedule, which typically includes about 11 performances throughout the semester.

The Miracle Worker

Sally Bailey, K-State associate professor of communication studies, theater and dance and advisor/ supervisor for the project, said, "This is a great opportunity for theater students to get experience with children’s theater and to experience tutoring."

Past plays have included, "The Miracle Worker," a play about Helen Keller that was followed by a discussion about disabilities, "I Never Saw Another Butterfly," a short play about a concentration camp during WWII where there were many children, and "A Short Trip Around the World," an original play that shared folk tales, songs and dances from all five continents.

I Never Saw Another Butterfly

This fall, Anna Beck will be doing an original play featuring stories of "Aesop's Fables" to teach children about making choices.

If you would like more information about this project contact Sally Bailey at sdbailey@ksu.edu.