Bales Pursues Kennedy Center Partnership


Nayeli Arellano

Macy Major and Abby Mesick discuss ideas about their scripts.

The Falconer Staff

Abby Mesick and Macy Major along with students taking Theatre III and IV are participating in a partnership with Allegro School of Arts and the Kennedy Center to create scripts focused on Alzheimer’s. This year, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, would like public organizations to work with a school to increase community connections and educate others on Alzheimers and dementia.
Theater teacher Emmett Bales said that when Allegro learned of the program, they approached him about creating a collaboration between their organization and his students. Theatre III, the scriptwriting class, and Theatre IV, the directing class, are working together to produce a script on Alzheimer’s, a progressive disease starting with memory loss and leading to the loss of other mental functions.
The students had a panel of interviewees in September with people who have been directly affected by someone suffering from Alzheimer’s. “We brought in people who experienced that from all walks of life. There were nurses, policemen, teachers and caregivers to interview them and [learn] a lot of information on Alzheimer’s,” said Bales.
Students took an in-school field trip where they met nearly 30 guests, who came and shared personal stories. For many of the students, this process was very touching and inspiring. “We got to interview people who had experiences with Alzheimer’s, people’s parents or grandparents,” said senior Macy Major.
The students had little restrictions on what they could write. “Each kid took their own direction in how they personally wanted to attack this because everything from the beginning was all personal,” said Bales.
In total, eight plays were written. For logistics, the directors chose two scripts to block and produce. “I am not really sure if we get to submit them all or if we have to get together and decide as a class, as a community, which one will represent our school,” said Bales. The two plays will be performed by the students and the other ones will be read.
“[Working with] the Kennedy Center was really exciting because we’ve never really done anything that big before. When I actually started writing it, I was like ‘Oh my god, I am going to write a script right now! This is actually happening,’” said Mesick.
Major and Mesick both said they have become better writers and learned so much more about Alzheimer’s. “The experience is completely different than any of the other theatre classes. Theater I and II focus solely on acting and singing. When you get further, you [learn] how to put on a show,” said Mesick.
“My whole philosophy in life is what I try to get them to see, we all have so many similarities. [We have] more things in common, if we could come together as a community and help each other with Alzheimer’s or whatever issues we are facing. I think that’s what the Kennedy Center is trying to make happen here,” said Bales.