Cootie Shots: Theatrical Inoculations Against Bigotry for Kids, Parents, and Teachers

Cootie Shots: Theatrical Inoculations Against Bigotry for Kids, Parents, and Teachers

by Norma Bowles
     
 

For nearly two years, Fringe Benefits, a team of professional artists, teachers, parents and youth, have been working to concoct Cootie Shots, a delicious assortment of plays, songs and interactive performance pieces that promote tolerance and celebrate diversity by presenting role models of people of many different races, classes, genders, abilities,

Overview


For nearly two years, Fringe Benefits, a team of professional artists, teachers, parents and youth, have been working to concoct Cootie Shots, a delicious assortment of plays, songs and interactive performance pieces that promote tolerance and celebrate diversity by presenting role models of people of many different races, classes, genders, abilities, sexual orientations, religions, shapes and sizes. In all, Cootie Shots is comprised of about 50 2-15 minute educational plays for Elementary School audiences.

The lessons covered are:

o Love is what makes a family o Children should feel free to play with whatever toys appeal to them, study whatever subjects interest them and choose career paths unhindered by gender stereotypes o Name-calling is never acceptable o Putting people down because how they look and whom they love is neither kind nor fair.

The cast of characters includes:

Rapunzel
Rosa Parks
Cesar Chavez
Harvey Milk
Emily Dickinson
Alexander the Great
The Statue of Liberty and more!

Editorial Reviews

VOYA
Presented as "theatrical inoculations against bigotry," this collection of plays, poems, and songs has a common theme of tolerance. Created by Fringe Benefits, a Los Angeles-based theatrical company, these pieces were compiled and developed by a collection of educators, parents, and teens. Demonstrating that words are powerful, each piece focuses on a topic of intolerance, exploring all the possibilities. Particularly strong imagery comes through in plays concerning the well-known issues of gender bias, ageism, and racism, but more subtle issues are tackled also. One play investigates gender stereotyping when it comes to playing, questioning whether it is all right for boys to jump rope. A particularly poignant poem describes the loneliness that one teen feels at home watching television by herself and eating an endless bowl of cereal. Original artwork and photographs of theatrical performances fill the pages, making this book visually appealing as well as interesting. The plays are well written, with simple props and costumes, lending them to spontaneous performance. Stage directions and editorial comments offer changes in language and scripting to allow plays to be altered for age-appropriateness. Unfortunately, although many are successful in presenting their message, several pieces seem overly simplistic and didactic. Conflicts are resolved a little too easily, and characters seem to realize their errors a bit too quickly. Overall this collection is a worthy effort in the fight against bigotry, but young people might not buy into some of the messages. VOYA CODES: 4Q 2P M J (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; MiddleSchool, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2001, Theatre Communications Group, 176p,
— Heather Hepler
School Library Journal
This eclectic and refreshing collection of plays, poems, and songs was originally created and performed by the educational theater group, Fringe Benefits, in elementary schools throughout California. These pieces are designed to promote tolerance and acceptance of all people regardless of culture, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, age, ability, gender, class, or appearance. Divided into four broad chapters, the 54 selections are an assortment of workshop and brainstorming improvisations, creations of individual artists and educators, and adaptations of existing longer works that can be performed by a range of ages. The artwork, too, is a mixture, made up of children's photos and drawings, as well as work from known artists. This is a valuable resource for adults working with youngsters to help them acknowledge discrimination and prejudice in their lives and create a more understanding and compassionate world.-Betty S. Evans, Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781559361842
Publisher:
Theatre Communications Group
Publication date:
08/01/2000
Series:
A Fringe Benefits Project Series
Edition description:
1ST
Pages:
144
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.50(d)

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