Honors students in the Fairytale Theatre class have spent the semester getting ready to present classic fairytales to local elementary school students.
Each fall and spring semester, one section of Fairytale Theatre is open to students within the Presidential Honors Program. The course is taught by theatre professors Dr. David W. Crawford and Jacob Lee Davis.
Students who take the course produce and rehearse short adaptions of fairytales. Then, they spend the final month of the semester performing for students from kindergarten to third grade in Tyler elementary schools.
Sophomore education major Jessica Oviedo had no experience with theatre when she decided to take the course this semester. She believes that the skills she has gained through Fairytale Theatre will help in her future career.
“Before, I was a little bit more quiet,” said Oviedo. “Now, I’m a little bit more talkative. I think it will also help me to become a teacher, to be more outgoing and all that.”
When sophomore music major Erin Maharrey enrolled in the class, she was already experienced in the world of theatre.
“I was in ‘Pippin’ recently,” she stated. “I was in ‘In the Heights’ my freshman year here, and I did [theatre] all throughout high school and middle school.”
Maharrey said that she has been interested in taking Fairytale Theatre for a while now.
“I have always wanted to do this class, and I finally got to do this class,” she said.
Performances in Fairytale Theatre have an element of spontaneity that is unusual for an introductory theatre course.
“There’s no script,” explained Maharrey. “It’s completely improv. [Davis] and [Crawford] pick a fairytale, and then we read the fairytale. We figure out what’s important to the story, and then we choose what we’re going to do … it’s different every time. It’s never the same. So, it always puts you on your toes—you’re always doing something different. It helps [with], just, putting yourself out there [and] getting out of your comfort zone. Like, you’ll make weird sounds. You’ll do weird body movements, just, random things that you thought you would never do.”
“Fairytale Theatre is a way to show us what we actually can do here,” Oviedo said. “[It is] not just about theatre, and you don’t have to actually be a theatre major to be in this class. And, you get to have fun, and entertain the little kids, and all that.”
“It’s just a great way to go out into the community, and it’s a great way to represent our school,” said Maharrey.
The course is graded on attendance.
“Since you have to be there, on time, every day—if not, your grade starts going down—it starts getting you into the thing where, ‘I have to be there on time, I have to be there on time, I have to be there on time,’” Oviedo explained. “So, you’ll start, you know, not being late. That’s another good thing about it.”
“It’s great,” continued Maharrey. “You go, and you meet nice people … It’s fun to wake up in the morning and have a great group of people who are so positive. It’s just great. And you do wacky stuff together.”
“And it really wakes you up,” added Oviedo.
“Oh, yeah!” Maharrey laughed. “It’s a workout, too.”