How Much Learning is There in “Educational” Theatre?

You know that mix of feelings you get when a theatre company comes to perform for your school? Part hope, part excitement, part fear of boredom. Let’s look a little closer at the “hope” part.

Education or Entertainment?

You’ve probably seen enough theatre in your school to know by now that any show with the “educational” label is likely to either have you stifling an occasional yawn, or not, in fact, be as educational as you would have expected. Because of this, if you’re a nice patient person you live in the hope that “maybe this time it will be different”.

Alas, it seldom is. The main reason is the desire of the company to appeal to a broad constituency, which usually means watering down either the educational factor or the entertainment factor (or, heaven forbid, both!).

Is there no other alternative? Well, of course there is. The truth is that you can get both education and entertainment and you can get them in a way that truly excites the mind and heart. You just need to know where to look.

So how can you insure that the theatre you see will fill the needs of your students?

Find the Passion First!

We believe that you must have a liberal helping of both items to get at that elusive sweet spot. So we create plays with subject matter that we are passionate about. Stuff that makes us crazy when we try to leave it alone. Stuff that, quite frankly, might get us more than a slap on the wrist if we didn’t have this outlet for creativity. Conversely, there’s nothing quite as tepid and useless as a play hatched from market surveys. A good play needs inspiration, passion and artistry.

Much as we’ve tried, we haven’t been able to find a substitute. But what about education? I’m glad you asked.

Another way to ask this question is, how do you weave the story into the story? Hint: you need to be a good translator. This is what we spend our whole lives doing. With over 30 years of teaching experience in our company, we know how to tell that story.

Look over this site. There’s a lot of material here to help you make good, healthy choices for your school. Learn as much as you can about this wonderful, brilliant, mind-expanding field. One more hint: Start at “The Plays”. Then, if you like the articles you read here, subscribe to the newsletter.

Enjoy. Now get started! You may want to begin with our latest production "Constitution Now!"

 

 

Peach Orchard Enterprises 8 Juniper Road Windsor, CT 06095 (860) 687-9849


I’m so glad that so many people saw and enjoyed this performance!  My students certainly did and we had some good discussion about how they would integrate such a performance into their teaching. I thought it was really sharp and excellently researched.

Leslie Ricklin, Education Department, ECSU


I was one of the first people to experience the production along side my sophomore Civics students from Lyman Memorial High School.  All of us left the auditorium that day with not only more information about the US Constitution but also with a more apt understanding as to how the aims, articles and principles therin are designed to protect and serve the citizens of America’s democracy.

Scott H. Yeo, Civics Teacher, Lyman MemMemorialHigh School--Lebonan, CT