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An Unexpected Topic for a Play

Hi, I'm Carson, and I’ve been working as ETC’s Marketing Assistant for several months now. A big plus that comes with my position, is the fact that I get to watch genuinely hilarious and entertaining performances. The most recent one was Nature Court, a play by ETC and On Stage Drama Club at Carlin Springs Elementary. 

I’ve seen ETC’s Main Stage Residencies before, but this was my first time seeing their Standards of Learning model at Carlin Springs. The play was an informative piece about deer overpopulation in Arlington, and wasn’t something the students were just handed: they chose this topic and wrote the play themselves.

Play directors Ms. Ashley and Ms. Jules (who were basically celebrities to the Carlin Springs student audience), said that months prior, the Arlington County Gov. Park Service came into the classroom to teach students about issues surrounding Arlington's natural environments. The students were then tasked with creating a play based on one of those issues, and chose deer overpopulation: a problem that’s especially relevant in their local Glencarlyn Park. 

In the play, different plant and animal species attempt to fix the issue by taking the deer to court. During the court session, each species testifies to how deer overpopulation affects them, and even offers solutions. This resulted in a fun yet effective way to learn about deer overpopulation.

This was such a cool way to get students interested in an important issue, all while giving them a chance to bond with each other and learn theatre. They have such a unique sense of creativity, and it was great to see ETC bring those outside-the-box ideas to life once again. I can’t wait to see what the next Main Stage Residency brings!


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