Every year since 2003, PMFS' 4th Grade class, under the direction of Will Starr, has performed in a Circus. From unicycles and silks to tight-rope walking and juggling, the performance is filled with all sorts of traditional circus acts, but the skits go far beyond the basics of that. This year's production, "One More for Theodor," examines social struggle and inequality through the lens of Dr. Seuss.
A few years ago, 4th Grade teacher Will Starr was reading The Lorax by Theodor Seuss Geisel, aka Dr. Suess, when he was struck by the strong social commentary that existed between the playful lines of rhyme. Will was intrigued by the idea of creating a show that posses the same sort of progressive social commentary under the guise of a lighthearted and playful circus. Boy, was it a success! Audiences were wowed and moved by the rich story as well as the commitment and performance of our students.
This year, 4th Graders tended with great detail to both circus acts and the transitions between them, and cared for each other in such visible ways. What a wonderful testament to their friendships and what incredible collaboration. These skills will surely benefit them in their remaining years here at PMFS and as responsible contributing members of their future communities, as they carry forth this message of equality! They will truly remember the lessons in 4th Grade, and their teacher imparting the notion "fair is not always equal."
Please find enclosed the full poem that encompassed the performance this year. We're delighted to share such a powerful, thoughtful and wonderfully-executed poetic piece with you.
One More For Theodor
Ladies and gentlemen and children galore,
We thank you for coming to see what’s in store.
Red group on the left, white on the right,
They don’t get along, and hopefully won’t fight.
Our story begins in two quite different lands,
They don’t see the other, knees, arms or hands.
But somehow they exist, neighbors you’d say,
Doing their thing, throughout the day.
The red squad is rich, their talents are deep,
They have what they need, their funding is steep.
For whites it is tough, the money’s not there,
They have lots of skills, but opportunity’s rare.
Separate but equal, long ago proved wrong,
And it never turns out the way it does in the song.
So let’s tune in now to both of our groups,
And see what their doing under the hoops.
Well thank you one and thank you all,
Our two groups appreciate the claps in the hall.
Your love and support is key at this time,
For all of our kids performing to rhyme.
Well one day Lavona LaAnnie LaRu,
Was spinning her hoop as she tends to do.
When she heard a noise and then turned one ear,
To see what it was and stop all her fears.
She put down her hoop and walked to the East,
The journey was long as you all can see.
It snowed and it snowed, throughout the long trip,
But she persevered because she is...well, hip!
The people she saw looked different than her,
But that was ok, and her heart it did stir.
Their clothing was strange, no red hues in site,
Instead their clothes were plain, in fact mostly white.
So Lavona ran home to tell all her friends,
Of these new people and their distant land.
But strangest of all, young Lavona did squall.
Was an odd little man on his hands he could walk.
“Let's just ignore them we think that is best,
After all they are different than us in the West.
Forget them we say, get 'em out of your head
And stick with what's right, forever wear red!”
Meanwhile over on the far side of town,
The Whites were a stewing and wearing a frown.
Red isn't the way, and I smell a rat,
We'll do things our way and that is that.
But Jerry Jack Jerome he knew they were wrong,
And went into the hills with a smile and a song.
We are all the same, their plan must unfurl,
‘Cause after all, I’m the Eyes of the World!
So Jerry he trekked through the Cold Rain & Snow
To a land much like theirs, in his heart he did know.
They looked just like us, so what's the big deal?
As with his people their love must be real!
Time passes slowly for both of our bands,
Working alone in far distant lands.
Each was quite good in their own separate way,
But something was missing until one fine day...
…they set out to find,
What they both knew in the back of their minds.
This kind of existence can't go on forever,
By hook or by crook they must get together!
One day two lads, no bigger than you,
Went out a walkin’ in the damp Morning Dew.
And just like that, they both saw a face,
But they had no fear, well, just a trace.
They stood and they stared as though in a mirror,
This wasn’t an enemy that much was clear.
So they smiled and played and knew they had found,
A new kind of friend from a far away town.
But yet once again when they returned to their fold,
Their people did shout for them to be bold.
You know they are different, that means they are bad,
Just listen to us, now that’s a good lad.
Just resist the urge, stand up and be tall,
And maybe we’ll rally and build us a wall.
Fifty feet high is how it should sit,
And naturally they should pay for it.
But as night came on the heels of great things,
Their feelings were changing, like pigs on the wing.
Then morning broke and something had changed,
The young were a thinking we must rearrange.
Our leaders are wrong they don’t rule our land,
To make our worlds great, we must raise a hand.
And do what is right, and conquer our fear,
We’ll visit the others, that much is clear.
We don’t need a wall, or weapons from above,
According to John - All You Need is Love.
So when the groups met on that fateful day,
The tables were turned and they knew straight away.
Their fears were unfounded, their leaders were wrong,
A new world awakens and it won’t be long.
Some of the old haunts they seemed just like new,
When working with friends, there’s much one can do.
The frame that once, divided our tribes,
Can pull us together and strengthen our lives.
Together they worked to tear down the walls,
To bring out the best that lies in us all.
And lo and behold, just look what they found,
Opportunities rise as they’re Glory Bound!
The world lies before us, nothing is new,
But often we’re blinded and follow the few.
Who limit our minds, telling us how to think,
‘till all of our thoughts, like ships, they do sink.
The key is to look with critical eyes,
To find what you need and think past the lies.
Fair is not equal, a teacher once said,
So think with your heart and then use your head.
Through work, trust and love, the bridge now is whole,
For riders to cross and they’re ready to roll.
Let’s cue up the music, and strike up the band,
It’s time for a journey and see where we stand.
Bridges are build, by people who care,.
To stand up and speak for things that aren’t fair
‘Cause Hero’s Will Rise in our own subtle ways,
Helping each other throughout all our days.
Well ladies and gents that’s the end of our tale,
The stories been told, our ship it did sale.
Our tribes are now one, differences in the past,
A new world awaits, one that will last.
So as you leave with smiles on your face,
Remember don’t judge by gender or race.
Look in their hearts and see where they stand,
Spreading the love, all over the land!