It’s not every day that elementary students get to visit a high school, but recently second graders from McSpedden and Nichols elementary schools piled onto buses and traveled to Reedy High School for an exclusive theatrical performance.
About 230 students skipped down the aisles to their rows and jostled for seats, excitedly chatting in anticipation. When theatre director Ben Shurr announced to the audience they would be watching Totally Red!, an interpretation of Little Red Riding Hood,
there were hoots and hollers across the auditorium.
After guiding students through audience behavior expectations, the room full of giggly, wiggly audience members quickly hushed and settled as the lights dimmed.
Throughout the performance, the students (and parent chaperones!) were at the edge of their seats and were quick to erupt with laughter and spontaneously applaud.
Nichols teacher Ashley Mayberry explained that it was the students’ first field trip since kindergarten and that it was great for the students to get out and experience something so engaging.
“The students are learning about fairy tales in reading right now and this could not have been a more perfect tie-in,” she said.
Senior Arden Ogilvie has been in theatre since sixth grade but has been performing since she was two and was eager to perform for the students.
“Elementary students make for the best crowds because their imagination is so pure and to them I really am the big bad wolf,” Ogilvie said. “I remember seeing live shows when I was their age and it’s really special.
“They will remember this performance because it’s so different from TV or movies. It’s important for them to see that there are people in their own community acting, right here near their school or neighborhood.
The performance by students and for students provides the younger children the opportunity to perhaps find a new interest or passion.
“I’m thankful for the artistic opportunities Frisco ISD has given me and it’s great to have an opportunity to share that passion with the next generation of students,”
During the final bow, the students gave a standing ovation and a small group of Nichols students called for an encore. As the students walked back out to the buses, the cast of Totally Red! was waiting to wave them off, but not before Nichols student
Tess Shafer paused to share her views on the experience.
“My favorite part was the granny who wanted to be let out of the house,” Shafer said. “It was so good and I would love to come back!”