Leena Wong '25 is in a difficult situation. Standing on the stage in the Brick Building community room, the BB&N 6th grader has found herself overextended between school, baseball, dance, and a number of other extracurricular activities. Her father is concerned about her, and over the cries of her petulant younger brother, she's having some trouble stating her case and figuring out what to do. Don't worry—the good news is that it's all make-believe, part of program being run by Urban Improv, an educational improvisational theater troupe visiting the school.
On September 5th, Urban Improv, an arm of the organization Rehearsal for Life, spent the afternoon role playing with sixth grade students about issues that impact kids. Delving into topics such as responsibility, school/life balance, prioritizing, and others, the troupe used comedy and improv acting to help students explore common issues within their age group.
At times funny, and at times serious, the interactive visit allowed students to learn about ways to handle stressful situations. The performance included singing, games, and skits, all catered toward deconstructing the stresses that occur in a student's life.
Urban Improv's Artistic Education Director, Yaa D. Acheampang, noted that the group has been working in the Boston area for 25 years, including a previous visit to BB&N last year. Their comedic, laid-back approach allows for open discussion of serious topics, and judging from the rapt attention and engagement of the sixth graders at this week's visit, the program is bearing fruit.
The visit was arranged by Lower School dance and theater teacher Jenny Lifson.