Performers encourage students to use empathy

Brisa Freitas and Nathan Rouse, performers of CLIMB Theatre, show students how to read body language, use empathy and follow through with kindness in a short performance for sixth graders Monday morning at Jacobson Elementary School. There, shows for each grade were held throughout the day. Photo by Jon Tatting

Brisa Freitas and Nathan Rouse, performers of CLIMB Theatre, show students how to read body language, use empathy and follow through with kindness in a short performance for sixth graders Monday morning at Jacobson Elementary School. There, shows for each grade were held throughout the day. Photo by Jon Tatting

CLIMB Theatre brought its acclaimed programming to C.E. Jacobson Elementary School in Rush City on Monday, Dec. 2.

Professional actors performed an interplay on the topic of empathy in two different shows: “Just 3 Steps” for students in third grade through sixth grade, and “How Other People Feel” for kindergarten through second grade students.

Interplays are collections of realistic scenes played by two actor-educators who intersperse their performances with clear narratives that highlight each scene’s intent. Interplays have more interaction and intimacy than a play and more spectacle than a class.

“Our programs reached almost 160,000 students last year,” said Peg Wetli, founder of CLIMB. “Now in our 38th year of production, I believe the quality of our programming is the best it’s ever been.”

Former teaching company director Julie Janus added: “Last season was a tremendous success. Not only did we reach a lot of children, we found new ways of serving schools that were looking for everything from basic bullying prevention classes to an in-depth exploration of the concept of social justice in an educational setting. Interactive theatre provides a unique opportunity to harness the power of imagination and enact real change in students’ lives.”

For 38 years, CLIMB Theatre has brought quality character education programming into schools and other educational settings. CLIMB stands for Creative Learning Ideas for Mind and Body.

For more information on CLIMB, visit www.climb.org.

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