Elementary schools, in general,
are open to and encourage learning about various cultures and customs. Pakistani-Americans
can use this openness to promote a better understanding about themselves and
their roots. It is important to remember that when others understand us, they
are more willing to accommodate differences.
Given this openness, you
can approach your child's school or teacher to help you organize a play about
Pakistani culture or history. An annual play is a tradition in many schools
in America. Instead of memorizing timelines and dry facts, a play can helpchildren
learn in a dynamic way.
By using the play as a teaching
tool, people like Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Muhammad Iqbal, for example, can be
seen as the powerful and influential leaders they were instead of justhistorical
figures in two dimensions. Or, the struggles of the first generation of Pakistanis
who migrated from India can become high drama instead of a dull rendering of
facts and figures.
The main elements of any
play include a great story, a well-written script, actors, costumes and a set.
It does take time, creativity, dedication and organization but a play can be
a very powerful educational tool.
Once you have selected a
topic, set deadlines for the production -- script completion, finalizing the
actors and dates of the first and last practices.
Next, write the script.
If the play is historical, use a school play about American history as a model
to help you. Enlist the help of a teacher who has put together theater productions.
Once the play is written,
have auditions for the parts. Make sure that children of various backgrounds
can audition for and get roles in your production. That way, children of all
cultures can learn more about Pakistan.
You will need lots of practice
but remember to be patient. You can't expect elementary schoolchildren to be
professionals who can easily memorize their lines and avoid goof-ups on stage.
Finally, once you see the
troops getting the hang of it and the deadline is approaching, advertise --
not just within the school but in the local community as well. Present your
work, thank your cast and audience then start figuring out anotherway you can
share Pakistan's rich culture and heritage with others!
1. Play Directors Survival
Kit: A Complete Step By Step Guide To Producing Theater In Any School Or Community
2. Online source for play
Date/Time Last Modified: 6/17/2002 3:47:44 PM
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