TCT to offer students a taste of theater

By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Northeast Mississippi students have an opportunity to watch two plays next week, thanks to Tupelo Community Theatre.
Voices of the South will perform “The Ugly Duckling” for students at the Lyric at 9 a.m. and noon on Monday.
The Metro Theatre Company will present a public performance of “The Tomato Plant Girl” at 7 p.m. on Thursday at the Lyric Theatre. It will also perform the play for students at Lawhon Elementary and Tupelo Middle School on the campuses of both schools.
All performances are free.
“More than anything, we are trying to educate children about what theater is and to give them the opportunity to experience a historic theater like the Lyric,” said Tom Booth, executive director of Tupelo Community Theatre.
“We want them to understand that watching a theater performance is different than going to a movie. Every performance is different depending on the reaction that students give the actors.”
“The Ugly Duckling” is targeted for third-grade students but appropriate for other elementary students. Booth said space is still available, although teachers should call TCT before bringing their class to make sure there is space.
“The Ugly Duckling is one of my favorite fairy tales,” said TCT Education Chair Suzanne Oakley. “I see kids every day with self-esteem and self-worth issues, so I really like the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ message.”
“The Tomato Plant Girl” tells the story of a so-called friendship that is offered to a newcomer and deals with the issue of bullying in schools. The play is best for upper elementary students and older. Booth said younger students may enjoy the performance but might not understand some of its messages.
Contact Chris Kieffer at (662) 678-1590 or chris.kieffer@journalinc.com.

Study guides
– Study guides are available for both plays for teachers to use with students before or after attending the plays. To get a study guide, or for more information, call the TCT office at (662) 844-1935.