Recently, The Educational Theatre Company (ETC) and McKinley Children’s Theatre performed a charming production of One Thousand & One Nights. I took my three young boys and we had a night of silly songs, cute choreography, and lots of laughter. The cast and crew were entirely made up of McKinley Elementary School students and the students were even involved in creating the script and music for the production.
The performance was the final product of weeks of work with the guidance of The Educational Theatre Company, through a program designed to educate and coach children in the arts while also exposing them to the various traditions and histories of different cultures. With this particular project the children learned about the wildlife, geography, architecture, storytelling traditions, and language of the Middle East.
Kathleen Burnard served as the Director and assisted the students with creating the script for the show.
Musical Direction was by Andrew Scott Zimmer, who also helped the kids compose six original songs.
The Production Manager was Katie McCreary and Choreography was by Mary Myers.
One Thousand & One Nights was fun and light and clearly a labor of love for the students, who were enjoying themselves just as much, if not more so, than the audience.
ETC states on their website that “The arts serve as an outlet for expression, not only of modern life’s frustrations and anxieties, but also for the celebrations of the human experience.” In a world that seems to become more hardened with each passing day, we need the arts more than ever to connect to our fellow man, as well as to ourselves. This organization provides exactly that opportunity. ETC strives to instill others with what they call the “four pillars”: Creativity, Confidence, Collaboration, and Community, and they offer an array of camps and classes, including a theatre workshop for older adults.
Their production of One Thousand & One Nights was a delightful show and offered great insight to the good work that The Educational Theatre Company does. Congratulations and hats off to the students of McKinley Elementary School and ETC for their hard work and dedication to the arts.
Running Time: 70 minutes, with no intermission.
One Thousand & One Nights played for two nights November 19 and 20, 2015 at The Educational Theatre Company and McKinley Children’s Theatre performing at McKinley Elementary School – 1030 North McKinley Road, in Arlington, VA. For more information about ETC, visit their website.