Giggling, LightHouse fourth and fifth graders conjured their best British accents: “The brown cow has speckled spots.”
The strange sentence was the beginning of their drama lesson, led by volunteer Angelique Feaster Evans.
She first started working with the LightHouse in the spring as part of Shreveport Regional Arts Council’s Pay it Forward Program. In return for borrowing space at SRAC, Evans vowed to share her art with the community.
She finished her commitment, but has decided to keep coming back.
“It’s the responsibility of artists and arts organizations to pass the baton,” said Evans, founder and artistic director of Mahogany Ensemble Theatre.
The students were eager to participate when asked – even for activities they had never tried. Two girls stood up for an improv sketch. They were to pretend to be in a grocery store and the first letter of each sentence in their dialogue was to follow the alphabet.
“Apples are on sale.”
“Bananas are too.”
“Carrots are tasty.”
It took to letter G before they realized this was harder than it sounded.
While the students learn about memorization and costumes, theater also brings a host of critical skills to the students such as how to present themselves, Evans said.
“These are skills you need in life – teamwork discipline, committing to finish a project,” she said.
Program coordinator Dewanna Lovelace is a longtime advocate for bringing the arts to her students and dreams of putting on a musical. Evans hopes to have something to stage around the holidays.