THEATER SET DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION

In this project, 4th and 5th graders started with a concept – the circus – and created a complete theater production – “Gocio’s Greatest Show on Earth!” These students experienced actual ‘from the page to the stage’ in set construction and design for the yearly school performance.

This included construction of the sets, costumes, posters, and other aspects of the production through which the students learned about local history, circus history, simple elements of design and construction, and the value of personal responsibility.

This project integrated numerous different classroom subjects. Math skills were used to measure out the set and insuring correct sizing. Reading and literature skills were used in writing and performing from a script. The students also used visual art skills in creating the actual set and costumes.

During the set building phase, emphasis was placed on the use of recycled items. Items such as cardboard boxes, old clothes, bottles and cans were incorporated into the final production as a way to help students realize that ‘trash’ can be useful. Hopefully, in the future, they will think twice about tossing a potentially useful item in the trash.

By performance time, students had learned how to combine found objects, knowledge and skill and put them together to create an environment that establishes a scene recognizable to the audience and that adds to the performance. They also gained self-confidence and found passion in the arts the same passion and self-confidence the facilitators had discovered through their own art and aspired to pass on.

  • Timeframe: September 2008 – May 2009
  • Kids Served: 4th and 5th Graders at Gocio Elementary
  • Facilitated by: Bonnie Przonek, 4th year Interior Design Student
  • Tim Palmer, 1st year Computer Animation Student
  • Project Partners: Gocio Elementary School
  • Project Sponsors: Ringling College of Art and Design

Feedback for this Project

“The expressions on the students’ faces when they saw their ideas – that big – were priceless.”
– Dawn Burns, Teacher Gocio Elementary School

“I can not begin to describe what a wonderful experience this has been.”
– Dawn Burns, Teacher Gocio Elementary School

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