VALLEY STORY (A 40TH ANNIVERSARY SERIES)
Since Ive shared some stories about our stories(!), how about some stories about our audience? Heres a couple of favorites.
Our 1820 scenario revolved around debates about whether or not the villagers wanted the canal to be by their town. Our village buildings were basically situated in a circular pattern around the town pump and in each building our characters would be holding various discussions on the pros and cons of the canal and other topics of the day.
Early on we got some groupies who came to every story and one of them was a group of about 4 or 5 teachers. I played Sarah Comstock, the owner of the hotel. Remember, Sarah and the hotel were in no mans land -- we could be in any year the audience member wanted.
One day during the 1820 show, I saw these teachers standing in the middle of the village slowly circling and listening to each conversation in the buildings. Usually, they took part in all the activities, but this time all they did was circle slowly and listen. I couldnt figure out what they were doing.
As the various conversations ended and the villagers headed to the town hall for a meeting to vote on the canal, the teachers came running over to the hotel. They were all excited. One of them said, NOW I get it! If you stand in the middle, you hear ALL the various arguments -- pro and con -- about the canal! You get everybodys point of view!
They were so excited to have discovered this and we talked a bit about how they could use this technique in their classrooms. Boy, I wish I could have been a student in their classes when they went back that September!
To be continued ...