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As a teacher with 29 years of experience, Mary Ruth McGinn has always sought innovative ways to meet the needs of each of her students. She has spent her entire career in schools where a majority of students speak English as a second language and where poverty significantly impacts the... Read more

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Making it Real…Round House Theatre

A critical component of all great project work, threading its way through the authentic year-long process is field experience. Students must observe first hand the work of their professional counterparts in the real world. Then, they will know that what they are doing is significant, that what they are doing can and will make a difference, and that what they are doing extends beyond the walls of their school.

Last week, Round House Theatre in Bethesda, Maryland graciously opened its doors to us, inviting us to take a closer look behind the scenes. Our generous hostess, Associate Producer Danisha Crosby, led us on a back stage tour, showed us how the unique revolving set functioned and gave us insight into the intricate, magical workings of theater that inspire and enlighten us from the audience.

The kids were truly in awe.

“Wow, today topped everything. I went to Round House Theatre.”
Angel

“When Danisha popped the floor out, my head snapped to attention like a horse at a race.”
Juliana

“I was amazed by how the stage moved in a circle.”
Samantha

“I felt like the opera folder in my brain blew up! I had so much useful information.”
Emmah

“This isn’t any ordinary theater, it’s the Round House Theatre.”
Destiny

Lightning Strike Kids Opera Company observes the set.

Lightning Strike Kids Opera Company observes the set.

 Jason demonstrates how the set revolves.

Jason demonstrates how the set revolves.

We have the perfect view of the theater from the balcony.

We have the perfect view of the theater from the balcony.


 
After returning from Round House, as part of our study about area in mathematics, students created their own stage designs and determined the cumulative area of their connected rectangular stage sections.

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Mary Ruth McGinn

About Mary Ruth McGinn

As a teacher with 29 years of experience, Mary Ruth McGinn has always sought innovative ways to meet the needs of each of her students. She has spent her entire career in schools where a majority of students speak English as a second language and where poverty significantly impacts the learning experiences and opportunities of students and their families.

Sixteen years ago she had an experience that changed her life and altered her professional path in a profound way. She attended training sessions at The Metropolitan Opera Guild in New York City, spent nine intense days living the process of creating an original opera and learned how to replicate the experience with her students. She then began creating opera with her students and using the process of creating the opera as a vehicle through which to teach curriculum and life skills. The authentic purpose for learning coupled with the arts provided the perfect stage on which to construct a love for life-long learning.

She currently teaches at Stedwick Elementary School in Montgomery Village, Maryland where she is creating another original opera with her third grade students.

Read more of Mary Ruth’s blog Learning for Real.

Comments

One Response to “Making it Real…Round House Theatre”

  1. On November 17, 2013 at 8:17 pm responded with... #

    “I felt like the opera folder in my brain blew up! – Wow!! – what a wonderful blog site with so much enthusiasm showing from the kids!
    I was taken back in time with your mention of Danisha Crosby – she probably wouldn’t remember but I was Round House’s construction manager with their original artistic director Jerry Whiddon when the theater was built …it’s a joy to see she’s helping all ages of theater goers!
    Looking foward to the performance!- pete




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