Performing in Pine Bluff
In May, I finished up an in-school residency at W. T. Cheney Elementary School in Pine Bluff. Though the hour commute got tiresome, the teachers, students, and administrators were so supportive I would work there again in a second. The project focused on creating a performance about the Battle of Pine Bluff with fourth graders. To contextualize the battle, I facilitated three drama-based instruction lessons on Arkansas slave life, how Arkansas joined the Confederacy, and then the battle itself. Then we worked on the performance. The students were very proud of themselves, and I felt they learned some important history in a fun way.
About the Author: April Gentry-Sutterfield is a director, deviser, educator, and mom who uses theatre as a tool for social justice, education, and community engagement.