FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 18, 2012
Contact: Paige Greene
Theatre class at MUW brings opportunities for surrounding schools
COLUMBUS, Miss. – Creative Dramatics will be a new addition to the fall schedule at Mississippi University for Women.
The course offering is in response to a theatre workshop William "Peppy" Biddy, MUW professor and chair of the Department of Theatre, facilitated in the spring for Gordo Elementary School in Alabama. Biddy took a group of MUW students to help lead the activities, and it proved to be a rewarding experience for the undergraduates.
MUW theatre students who were selected as personal coaches were Brittany Trimble of Tupelo, Ray Sizemore of Louisville, Parker Yarbrough, Joseph Musgrove and Jana Greene of Columbus, LaVosha Kern of Ethel and Kayla Manzolillo of Ethelsville, Ala.
Musgrove said, “Working with kids is definitely in my top five ways to spend my time, and I know that it's a great way to give back to the community. Mississippi and Alabama communities don't get to enjoy theatre in schools as often as those in other areas, so whenever possible, I think it's important to share what we have with them.”
The fourth, fifth and sixth graders learned and played games that taught skills involved in listening, observing and teamwork. Each grade had a 30-minute session. The students were divided into groups of 10-12 and assigned to a personal coach.
After each session, the children, who were full of energy and eager to participate, were asked questions about their experience. The common response was that they had a lot of fun.
Manzolillo added, “Having the opportunity to share my love of theatre with such a large group of kids was a fantastic experience. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Gordo Elementary and would love to return.”
The reward for the instructors was evident at the end of each session. The gymnasium was filled with genuine smiles as the children gave away hugs as appreciation to their personal coach.
Biddy said, “The opportunity in Gordo was great for our university students to test their teaching skills with elementary-aged children. I hope we will have opportunities similar to Gordo to test our skills even further.”
MUW theatre alumna Sara Hickox of Decatur will be teaching the class. She is pursuing a master’s degree in applied drama at Goldsmith’s College University of London.
“I am very excited to return from my graduate studies in London to teach at my alma mater. Creative Dramatics explores the use of drama with students grades K-12. The course will cover, techniques on teaching theatre itself, as well as using performance to teach traditional subjects,” said Hickox.
For more information, contact Biddy at firstname.lastname@example.org