Lessons from The Neverending Story
When Katie Begley brings her fourth-year class to Young People’s Theatre (YPT) in downtown Toronto next week, she wants the students to think like kids again.
“If I was a child in the audience, how would this [play] help me?”
That’s the question Begley has asked 15 EC students to keep in the back of their minds while taking in The Neverending Story.
The students are all in their final field placement, which includes a classroom portion with Begley.
“Many of them are in elementary schools, so the play completely ties in,” she said.
In The Neverending Story, the audience meets Bastian, a boy who’s being bullied. (Adamo Ruggiero, who starred in Degrassi: The Next Generation, plays Bastian. The play also features veteran stage actors, including Billy Merasty.)
Bastian takes refuge in reading. One book opens up a whole world for him – a world he enters and helps save by teaming up with another boy his age named Atreyu.
Images from The Neverending Story by Mark Seow, courtesy YPT. Portrait of Prof. Katie Begley by Luis Moreira, Image Arts Technologist, University of Guelph-Humber.
The play illustrates themes of cooperation, empathy and perseverance, Begley pointed out.
Her students can use theatre techniques in their profession. “You can teach through role-play,” she offered as example.
The Guelph-Humber students will be able to directly observe how the audience – kids on March Break and their families – respond to the story and its themes.
Performers and audience also interact as part of the play.
“When theatre is interactive it helps increase children’s self-esteem and develop social skills, spatial awareness and numerous other skills,” offered fourth-year EC student Nicole Kovac.
Now in its 46th season, Young People's Theatre (until recently the Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People) recommends The Neverending Story for students in Grades 3 to 8.
Find out more about Early Childhood at University of Guelph-Humber.
Visit YPT online for more information on its YPT's 2011-12 productions.
Sean Flinn, Web Communications Specialist, 416-798-1331, ext. 6299, email@example.com