Child's Play Troupe Inspires Students to Become Playwrights

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), April 25, 2002 | Go to article overview

Child's Play Troupe Inspires Students to Become Playwrights


Byline: Anna Johnson

There was the story about Hilly Billy Bob.

And he had a brother, Rob.

Suddenly, one day, a meteor fell from the sky and hit Bob.

And it hit Rob.

When the two came to, they realized they had supernatural powers.

But they chose to use them differently.

Bob wanted to do good.

And Rob wanted to do evil.

But in the end, according to Fox Meadow Elementary School fourth-grader Jason Gatuz who wrote the story "Billy Bob" in class, Bob sends Rob to jail.

Last week, as part of a year-long project on writing and story- telling, the Chicago-based Child's Play touring theater chose to perform Gatuz's story - along with third-grader Jake Mendel's story "Nightmare" - in front of their classmates during an assembly at the South Elgin school.

Earlier this school year, Child's Play came to Fox Meadow for an assembly on how to write a story with plot, setting and characters.

During this first assembly, the students had a chance to interact with the theater group. They gave them a setting example - an egg factory in Florida - came up with three characters and told the actors the plot would be a theft.

Then the actors performed their story creation.

"They showed them that out of simple components, you can really build a story," said fifth-grade teacher Terri Scibetta.

From there, the students went back to their classrooms and began to craft their own stories.

Fifty-five stories were entered into a competition for Child's Play to perform when the group returned in April.

Gutuz's and Mendel's won that prize and several other students received honorable mentions. …

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