Cisco College Theatre Department On The Road

CISCO, Texas – Although the Cisco College Theatre Department is not producing a dinner theatre this semester due to construction on the Crawford Theatre, don’t assume they are taking it easy.

The Guys and Gals troupe will perform “Songs of Youth” for nine elementary schools in central and south Texas as well as the Eastland Retired Teachers Association beginning Oct. 11. The folksy performances present a medley of childhood songs arranged by Billy Smith, director of performing arts at Cisco College.

In addition to the Guys and Gals tour, theatre students are also participating in a valuable community service project in the form of a play that provides Texas school districts with a training program that helps them comply with House Bill 1041 (The Texas Jenna Law), effective Sept. 1, 2009.  House Bill 1041 requires school districts to provide training for teachers, students and parents on the subject of sexual child abuse.

The play, The Bubbylonian Encounter, is designed to teach children about “good touch” and “bad touch.”  The program incorporates teacher training by counselors, the presentation of the play and discussion with the children after they have seen the play.

“The play helps to initiate straightforward, open, honest communication about inappropriate sexual touch,” said Smith.

The college performed the play for counselors at the Fort Worth Independent School District on Apr. 19 and subsequently performed the play for their students at Western Hills Elementary last Friday. They will perform for McRae Elementary School on Sept. 29 and Richard J. Wilson Elementary on Oct. 1, both Fort Worth ISD schools. The play has already been performed for Winters ISD students as well.

But performances and tours are just part of the learning experience for theatre students this semester. With the construction of the Crawford Theatre, students are gaining valuable, first-hand experience in building a theatre from the ground up. They see the skeleton of what it is now and will watch and help it to transform into the dinner theatre that it will be.

Performances in the theatre should start up next summer and possibly by next spring, according to Smith. “We want to finish it enough to begin producing theatre, but the final touches will be an ongoing process as we raise money.”