Dear Children's School Families,
It’s time for Dessert Theater in the Children’s School division! This is a unique and special component of the signature programs offered to families at The Colorado Springs School. With more than 30 years of experience working at the elementary school level, I’ve seen little that compares to the depth, learning, and growth that results from this one-of-a-kind experience, and it’s been a true privilege to witness.
For more than four decades, The Colorado Springs School has produced its signature performing arts showcase, Dessert Theatre, featuring young learners in Kindergarten through grade 5. The academic integration of a weeks-long, robust theme of study is what truly sets this program apart. Each grade-level performance encompasses concepts studied in subject areas ranging from science and history to literature and, at times, includes original scripts inspired by the Children’s School curriculum. The end result: an interdisciplinary exercise that allows students to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of complex ideas before an audience while on stage. For example, this year’s 3rd-grade play, Surfing the Solar System – premiering on January 27 – will be full of fun facts our students have been learning about each planet.
This arts-integrated approach enables students to not only synthesize content presented inside of the classroom but to grasp the physical elements of producing a real-life play. Typically, each skit is performed on a set, including lights, sound, and costumes, sometimes also the product of the students themselves. During rehearsals, students also learn about proper theatre etiquette, body spatial awareness, and an actor’s toolbox; using one’s face, body, strong voice, and imagination to effectively communicate. With guidance from Children’s School Creative Dramatics Teacher Rachel Pratt, each child is responsible for bringing their assigned character to life based on their knowledge of curricular content and lines.
In all, the discipline of Dessert Theatre allows our children to become more attuned to their personal attributes and gifts and serves as that next step for students after having completed a semester focused on the art of storytelling. Having learned to use their creative voices, take risks, apply problem-solving, and collaborate with others, students are now ready and able to hone these life skills in real-world situations.
The freedom to identify and solve problems throughout the rehearsal process promotes intellectual curiosity. The practice of learning and memorizing one’s lines enhances students’ ability to express their ideas more clearly and to demonstrate self-confidence while doing so. The act of working together to present one cohesive performance reinforces the value of caring for one’s self and others, motivates positive behavior, and builds personal integrity. Finally, the combined application of literacy and curricular knowledge engages the whole mind.
The Dessert Theater program certainly demonstrates our commitment to educating the whole child, as we aim to prepare them for a dynamic world. I look forward to sharing in the Dessert Theatre season with you and hope these upcoming performances will both bring you joy and a glimpse of the many ways in which our children’s minds are expanding each day.