A year-long series of professional arts performances for Cabarrus-area students opened last week with a play about a child of migrant workers who becomes an award-winning novelist.
The Tarradiddle Players performed "Tomás and the Library Lady" at eight Cabarrus-area middle schools last week. The play is the opening event in the 10th season of the Cabarrus Arts Council's "Students Take Part in the Arts" series and the first of more than 50 arts performances scheduled this school year.
The series will bring professional arts performances this school year to more than 30,000 students and teachers in the Cabarrus County and Kannapolis City schools and participating local private schools.
This is the 10th consecutive year the Cabarrus Arts Council has partnered with schools to present a professional performance for children at every grade level. Each performance is curriculum-related, and the schools receive a study guide that incorporates it into their studies.
Other "Students Take Part in the Arts" performances this school year will allow students to see professional dance, music and drama.
Students in kindergarten and first grade will attend concerts by musician and songwriter Roger Day on April 11-15. Winner of the prestigious Parent's Choice Award, Day presents an energetic and interactive show that gets students and teachers singing and dancing to such songs as "It's a No-No to Kiss a Rhino" and "Mosquito Burrito."
Second- and third-graders will see another production by the Tarradiddle Players, "The Commedia Princess and the Pea," from March 1-4. With roots in the humorous, physical acting style of Italian commedia dell'arte, the show puts a slapstick spin on Hans Christian Andersen's classic fairytale.
Fourth- and fifth-graders will watch a narrated performance by the N.C. Dance Theatre on Nov. 16-19. The
program will introduce dance through excerpts from classic and contemporary ballets.
Students in seventh and eighth grades will have a visit from storyteller and folklorist Donna Washington. With dynamic vocal expression and physicality, she presents stories from several cultures that relate to the language arts and social studies curriculums.
High schools will choose the topic of their performance by actor Elliott Engel: William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Edgar Allan Poe or Mark Twain. A former college professor, Engel has presented his historical programs throughout the world.