Western Carolina University


Image: Western Carolina University student Kendris Myers, who plays Chosen One, looks out under the watchful sun, played by Rachel All, in WCU's performance of the educational play, “Young Cherokee.
Image: Kendris Myers, in her role of a young Cherokee boy named Chosen One, hunts a deer, played by Elena Pisano, in the educational play “Young Cherokee.”
WCU student Kendris Myers, who plays Chosen One, looks out under the sun, played by Rachel All.
Chosen One hunts a deer, played by Elena Pisano.

Students from Western Carolina University's Theatre in Education program return this month for encore performances of “Young Cherokee” at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19, at the Cherokee Fairgrounds Pavilion. The event, which is free and open to the public, also features Cherokee artists, storytellers and performers.

The dramatic production closes a year in which WCU students hosted theatre workshops for Cherokee students and produced “Young Cherokee,” an educational play that WCU students adapted to better reflect the stories and beliefs of the members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and then performed for school-age audiences.

Their goal was to promote cultural understanding through performing the story of a young Cherokee boy who accepts responsibility, overcomes fear and shows respect for all things as he battles an Underwater Panther and a Thunderbird.

The goal of the Theatre in Education program, designed by Glenda Hensley and Claire Eye, visiting assistant professors in the department of communication, theatre and dance, was to help WCU students create and perform high-quality productions that also are educationally relevant.

The program combined arts-based learning, service to the community, and the need for cultural and environmental literacy. Hensley and Eye were invited to talk about the program at multiple conferences, including the American Alliance for Theatre and Education conference this summer in Washington, D.C. Their next presentation will be Sept. 14 at a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning conference at N.C. State University.

“The finale performance in Cherokee will create the bridge to this year's program as we integrate new class members and launch a new year of arts and educational learning, service and creative partnerships,” Hensley said. “Our many partners and friends in Cherokee helped bring this program to life.”

For more information, contact Hensley at (828) 227-2469 or ghensley@wcu.edu or Eye at (828) 227-3961 or eye@wcu.edu.


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Last modified: Monday, September 11, 2006
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