Theatre Gives Kids Hope

Rodman for Kids was able to sit down with Lawrence High School theatre teacher, Kacie Brown, to discuss her recent experience with Rodman for Kids’ Theatre for Kids program and the impact she’s seen it have on her students.

Kacie brought 50 of her students to a special performance of Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” at the Citizens Bank Opera House with Rodman for Kids in April of 2022. She said that the students she teaches primarily come from low-income households and are far behind on both the national and Massachusetts standards academically. “It’s so far removed from their everyday life. Some of them are homeless, struggling to find food, in very abusive homes, or not with their parents at all. To put themselves into this world (of live theatre) that takes them away and gives them the hope of a world that they can have, I think was a massive thing.”

In preparation of the show, Kacie had to become the history and civics teacher to really prepare them for what the content of the show entailed, because they had no idea. She was grateful for the study guide and resources that both Rodman for Kids and Broadway in Boston provided to help her bring the content of the show into the classroom to further educate her students and prepare them for the show.

This was Kacie’s first time partnering with Rodman for Kids and said that of the 50 students she brought to the show, it was the first time that every single one of them was able to attend a live theatre performance. When I asked what the students felt when they first walked into the Opera House, she said “They felt really special and I think they felt fancy.” Throughout the performance, her students kept turning around and pointing out parts of the show that they recognized from their lessons which proved to Kacie that “they were with the story.”

When discussing the impact she saw afterwards on her students, Kacie said, “I think the impact definitely is two-fold. One in that it got them excited for the arts and live theatre, which is an opportunity they’ve never had before. I think the other is opening their eyes to the history of our country and what is happening now. They just were so blown away.”

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