Does Anyone Know Why We Applaud? 24th Street Theater Can Teach You

That is first question that 24th Street Theatre teaching artist Dr. Linda asks CCUSD fifth-graders.

“Live theatre is over 2,500 years old,” she tells them. “It used to be in outdoor amphitheatres with dirt floors and was unsanitary. People would eat in the theatre. They’d also blow their noses, and throw hankies into the air to show excitement for the performance. Applauding to show approval was invented to replace the public tossing of gross hankies.”

That’s just one of many history lessons that Dr. Linda shares during 24th Street Theatre’s theatre education program in CCUSD. For three days, every fifth-grader gets immersed in live theatre. Visits to the classrooms by Dr. Linda bookend a field trip to 24th Street Theatre. During the field trip, students see how a show is made, and learn a lifetime’s worth of history, production and the craft of live theatre – all in about two hours. They also learn about empathy, race relations, language arts and math.

The professional theater company 24th Street Theatre has been offering its Enter Stage Right (ESR) school education program to CCUSD for the past six years. ESR is a wildly fun, sophisticated and action-packed program designed to excite students and get them on the edge of their seats, all while using theatre to teach the California Visual and Performing Arts Standards in math, history and language arts.

From the ancient history to contemporary multimedia production, ESR brings the magic of theatre to life through improvisation techniques, incorporating production components of sets, sound, lights and live music. From the first moments of the show, when students are welcomed to 24th Street by the fabulous Jack Black in interactive video segments, to the final multi-layered scene developed by the students themselves, the program immerses students in the full theatre experience from buying a ticket at the box office to the power of the spoken and written word.

As one of CCUSD’s Front and Center Theatre Collaborative’s six arts partners, 24th Street Theatre is a leader in theatre for young audiences, consistently influencing the field to be more adventurous, more sophisticated and more provocative. Its productions bring families together.
In that spirit, 24th Street Theatre invites all CCUSD families to come and experience the magic of live theatre. It is offering deeply discounted tickets for all CCUSD families to come see its current production, ICE. ICE is a bilingual, humorous journey in search of what it means to be “American.”

With a love of baseball, Tia Victoria’s salsa recipe and the help of a talking truck, two cousins work day and night to make their taco truck the “Uncle Sam” of mobile restaurants. Will a contest to be “the most American food truck” at Dodger Stadium on the Fourth of July prove to Immigration, Naturalization and Customs that they truly belong? In Spanish & English with supertitles. Appropriate for ages 8+. Show information and tickets available here. Use code CCUSD for the discount. Now through June 24.

For more information, visit CCUSD Front & Center Theatre Collaborative and 24th Street Theatre.

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