Last Wednesday, MindPOP staff had the pleasure of attending the Literacy to Life performance at Brentwood Elementary School. MindPOP provided a small grant to help facilitate this partnership between Brentwood, a Creative Classroom pilot school, and the Paramount Theatre to increase arts residencies in the school.
Brentwood third graders worked with Paramount Theatre staff for several weeks enhancing their creative writing skills and participating in drama-based work through facilitated games and writing activities. At the end of each workshop with the Paramount, the third grade students wrote in journals. The Paramount staff and professional actors then worked with the students to adapt the student stories into short, stage performance. This collaboration resulted in enchanting, exuberant, fun and professional performances that brought the students wild ideas to life.
Over the hour long performance, given in the Brentwood cafeteria, the professional actors gathered on stage with whimsical props to act out stories written by groups of students. Prior to each performance, one actor would stand on the stage and call out the names of the student authors. Following this introduction, a pair or group of three to four students shot up from the seated crowd and turned, beaming with pride, to receive preliminary applause.
The stories were hilarious - clearly from the creative minds of young people - and the actors committed 100% to their parts. Singing, dancing and using various sizes of props, the actors brought the students' stories to life in a real and professional manner. Bravo to the Paramount, the actors and Brentwood's wonderful students for an amazing performance!