Lui Sanchez is the Program Director of P.S. ARTS Extended Learning. Extended Learning programs run outside of the regular school day and include classes and activities after-school, over the summer, and during student lunch breaks. Learn more as he shares about a recent performance from the P.S. ARTS award-winning after school theater program, Inside Out Community Arts (IOCA) at Lennox Middle School.
The P.S. ARTS Inside Out Community Arts middle school after-school program recently presented two original plays written and performed by youth from Lennox Middle School. During an exciting afternoon on Saturday, February 4th, students, parents, families, and school staff gathered to see a community of youth come together as ensembles of bravery to show newly discovered talents on stage. They were nervous and hesitant, but committed to the words, emotions, and actions they created to tell two stories on topics of family favoritism and stress.
The first play, Stress Cave, tells the story of a soccer-playing girl who is overcome by stress in her life and resorts to taking a magic potion to relieve emotional and physical stress. Little does she know that her missing mother also suffered the same stresses and was the one who originally found the magic potion in a hidden forest cave. The magic potion, however, not only took away the mother’s stresses, but it also took her feelings, and so she withered and turned into a rock. With help from her best friend, discovered notes that lead to the hidden cave, and a mystical talking soccer cleat, the soccer girl breaks the magic of the potion and mother and daughter are reunited. In the end they discovered that for them, the best way to relieve stress is to talk and find security with friends and family.
The second play, Treat Us Equally, tells the story of two troublesome sisters, one who is seemingly the mother’s favorite, enjoying extra dinner treats, abundant allowances, nicer clothes, and getting her way, while the other sister is always fighting for attention, has to do extra chores, gets depressed, and resorts to stealing at an ice cream shop. With help from her grandma, an aunt (her mother’s sister, who was also treated as the least favorite), a security officer, and a school therapist, the young girl is able to open the eyes of her overworked mother and they find understanding and compassion for each other and further grow the love and family bonding for everyone.
With guidance from theater Teaching Artists and Trainees and P.S. ARTS staff, and support from parents and school staff, the show ended with a well deserved cheers and applause. The youth stepped into their greatness on stage and shared their creative expressive growth and theater learning in the best Inside Out way! Congratulations to all.
To learn more about all the P.S. ARTS programs offered for students, educators, and communities, click here.