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CARLYLE SCHOOL LAUNCHES INTERNATIONAL THEATRE PROGRAM

Repercussion Theatre

CARLYLE  SCHOOL LAUNCHES INTERNATIONAL
THEATRE  PROGRAM

MONTREAL, SEPTEMBER 18,  2009-   Theatre has always been a creative and universal way to express ideas and foster international-mindedness for young people.  It is also an unforgettable journey for children to experience the making of a production from beginning to end. 

Carlyle Elementary School in Town of Mount Royal had been abuzz with excitement since the first day of the last academic year when students learned that they were putting on a drama production.  In 2009, the immensely successful annual Curriculum Fair would be replaced by exploring and interpreting folktales from around the world.  By adapting lesser known stories with moral lessons from different countries, teachers and students were able to learn from different cultures.  Several drama specialists were invited to guide and organize this drama production that proved to be a labour of love.  Students were exposed to a variety of important issues:  how a folktale was chosen from the written, original text to how it was adapted for a dramatic performance; working as a team; becoming the characters in their chosen play; learning their lines; and designing and constructing their costumes and props.  The dedication of staff, students and parents at Carlyle was overwhelming.

"Folktales from Around the World" was performed at the École Secondaire Mont-Royal on Montgomery on June 18, 2009.  It began with a boy discovering a magical book and the audience travelling into his imagination as the folktales, legends, and fables from around the world came to life.  The pre-school children weaved through the different stories as singers and dancers and the Kindergarten class interpreted an African folktale called "How the Animals got their Tails".  The other cycles performed fables from Greece and India in "The Poor Farmer" and "The Millionaire Miser” that spoke about the value of truth and generosity, respectively.  There was a Chinese folktale, "The Empty Pot” that evoked the importance of honesty and an Eskimo legend that demonstrated the power of love in "The Woman and her Bear".  The older students staged "Plum Blossom and the Dragon", a folktale from ancient China defending the rights of the less fortunate, and "The Calabash Kids" from Tanzania, whose moral was treating children with respect.  Every performance was unique, colourful and very expressive.  There was no stage fright whatsoever!
                                                                                                                                   
As Carlyle Elementary School continues its journey into the International curriculum and ultimately the International Baccalaureate-Primary Years Programme school system, the  school family has learned invaluable lessons through this theatre production that can and will be used in every day life:  intercultural understanding and respect.

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Michael J. Cohen
Communications and Marketing Specialist
English Montreal School Board
Tel: (514) 483-7200 ext. 7243
Fax: (514) 483-7213
E-mail: mcohen@emsb.qc.ca