The little girl was shy at first. She had recently arrived from China and didn’t speak much English. She wasn’t sure what the Three-Minute Play Festival was all about or how she could contribute. “She was part of a group but she would just disappear,” admits Kristina Watt, artist/educator.
As the weeks passed, Kristina witnessed a remarkable transformation in the little girl. She began drawing her ideas on paper which her fellow playwrights would then put into words. “Suddenly, she was engaged and involved with the group,” says Kristina.
The joy of self-expression, creation and collaboration is what the Three-Minute Play Festival is all about. Once a week for five weeks, Kristina visited two schools in the Ottawa area. She divided the Grades 4 and 5 students into groups and took them through the process of developing a short play.
“On Family Day, the three-minute scripts were delivered to the NAC where the public was invited to do a stage-reading of them as part of the activities offered,” explains Judi Pearl, Lead Producer for Family Day at the NAC. “We hung the students’ pictures and bios on the wall and the kids got the sense they were real playwrights. They were so proud of what they’d created.”
Judi hopes the program will expand in the future. “We want to make an impact in the classroom and help more students realize their creative potential,” she says. “The Three-Minute Play Festival really focuses on giving kids the chance to see themselves in a new light while it fosters collaboration, shared values and a sense of community.”
Both Kristina and Judi realize it is the generous support of donors like you that help make this valuable program possible. Judi adds “Thank you for believing in the potential of children and for giving them the opportunity to realize that potential.”
This story appears in the fall 2013 issue of Full Circle.