The University City first graders are PUMPED! Students from 12 classrooms will be visiting the Catherine B. Berges Theatre at COCA to see the world premiere of MOTheR on December 8. These students have had some time to get excited about this performance; since mid-October they have been working with COCAedu teaching artists in their classrooms to learn about dance, explore the themes of MOTheR, and prepare to be a member of the audience during the schooltime show.
In addition to a suite of arts learning and arts integration residencies, COCAedu brings programming to schools tied to COCA gallery exhibits and performances (like MOTheR). The in-school residencies with Barbara C. Jordan Elementary, Flynn Park Elementary, Jackson Park Elementary, and Pershing Elementary provided a beautiful opportunity for the COCAedu teaching team to collaborate with, and be inspired by, the creative team of the show. Through this collaboration and ongoing instruction in the classroom the teaching artists are able to deepen the performance experience for the students.
Leading up to the show these students have been critically thinking about what it means to be an audience member, exploring blended dance forms, thinking about the powerful women in their lives (and how they resemble superheroes), and dreaming about what they want to be when they grow up. They are primed and ready to experience MOTheR this Friday at COCA.
COCAedu is committed to continued partnership with schools and community centers to provide increased access to the arts for the students across our region. During 2023–2024, COCAedu will work with 35 partners to provide 325 programs in the community. Looking ahead, the team will be creating in-school residencies around the performances of The Kid at the Edge of Everything, coming to the COCA stage in April 2024.