Target Arts at Rogers Middle School

Posted 26 February 2013 12:00 AM by Kristen Mazzocchi

I just finished watching the latest movie version of Peter Pan in preparation of the Target Arts program starting at the Rogers Middle School next week. The seventh grade students that I am working with as a teaching artist will create their own original performance in 12 weeks and will get to see Peter Pan at the Citi Wang Theatre as part of the program. They will create this original piece using their own writings and ideas, some of which will touch on themes that resonate in the Peter Pan story.

What struck me the most as I watched Peter Pan was how afraid I would have been to fly out the window with Peter. I am not sure that I would have willingly left my warm and familiar bedroom to go out into the dark and unknown night. Perhaps that is just the adult in me talking. Maybe as a child, this type of fear does not stop you from trying new adventures. My question is when does this fear begin to take over? When do we become scared of new things? How can we keep our thirst for new experiences and adventure and reign that fear in?

My adventure begins next week, as it also does for the Roger’s students. I know from surveys they filled out that many of them are scared to speak in front of a group. Scared to try to act onstage for the first time. On the other hand, many are excited to try something new. This mixture of fear and excitement is exactly what the Peter Pan story elicited from me when I watched it.

My hope is that I can gain my students trust and help us take a leap out of the window together. Wendy gains courage from Peter’s leadership and the fact that she is able to bring her brothers along for the ride. We will take this creative leap together and learn new things about each other along the way. And once our adventure is done, we will all have learned and grown and our risk will have paid off!

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