Dallas Children's Theater Blog

Astonishing Kids And Families With The Fun of Broadway-Like Plays and A Lot More!

DCT Board Member Impacted by “Shared Stories”

During a rehearsal in April 2012, DCT & 6th Floor Museum staff took notes and discussed their collaboration “Shared Stories”.

If you were alive on November 22, 1963, you can probably remember where you were when you heard the news that President Kennedy had been assassinated.

I was in elementary school, and I clearly recall my mother picking my brothers and me up early and telling us the news. Watching the funeral procession on television is another memory I have; imperfect but indelible.

Now that I have teenagers, I have tried to impress them with the solemnity, the importance and the sheer horror of that time. Usually after a few short minutes, their eyes glaze over and I know I have lost their attention. They are probably thinking, “What does this have to do with me?”

Resident playwright Linda Daugherty has written Shared Stories, and with Dallas Children’s Theater joined forces with the Sixth Floor Museum to answer just that question.

Their 20-minute museum theater piece uses a couple of young actors combined with archival videotaped testimony to recount the sentiment of those that experienced firsthand that fateful day. DCT Director Nancy Schaeffer beautifully guides the two young actors, who do a marvelous job bringing immediacy to the events surrounding the death of the President.

DCT Board Member Georgiana Shelokov (right) posed with the show’s director, DCT Education Director Nancy Schaeffer (left) at the 2011 Cabaret Gala. Photo by Dana Driensky

I was privileged enough to see the first (and so far only) public showing of this project, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, and I truly wish it could be shown in every school around the country. Hopefully, additional funding will be forthcoming to allow further implementation of this program here in Dallas and possibly further afield.

I was so impressed by how the combination of history, drama, film clips and location added up to this truly unique experience. The value of this type of learning experience to share history across generations is immeasurable.

As a board member, I am so proud of how DCT uses its resources to educate and enlighten. It demonstrates the versatility and talent of the wonderful DCT staff beyond their amazing literary performances; works that oftentimes the average theatergoer is not aware of.

Outstanding on the stage and invaluable in the community…We are so lucky to live in a city with a resource like the Dallas Children’s Theater!

Georgiana Shelokov

VP of Education, DCT Board of Trustees

The Sixth Floor Museum and DCT Collaborate to Recount History

DCT actors Lloyd Harvey and Anastasia Muñoz rehearse their roles as D.J. and Angela in The Sixth Floor Museum recount of JFK’s assassination.

Nearly 50 years after President John F. Kennedy’s death in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963, Dallas Children’s Theater and The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza are collaborating on what is referred to as a museum theater piece, which uses live theater and personal recollections to put that fateful, historic event into context for the young people who were born long after the assassination.

“By combining history and theater, this collaboration with the Dallas Children’s Theater helps the Museum connect with multigenerational audiences,” said Nicola Longford, Executive Director, The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza.

The result of a year-long collaboration between the Museum and the Dallas Children’s Theater, Shared Stories, written by DCT’s resident playwright Linda Daugherty and directed by Education Director Nancy Schaeffer, follows two people named Angela and D.J. as they investigate a mysterious old document while listening to memories of individuals who lived through that momentous day.

What makes this play unique is that the video clips that are incorporated into the show come from the Sixth Floor Museum’s Oral History Collection. The stories, told by people who recall what they were doing that day, give the young audience members a direct connection to this important historic event.

“History, literature and the arts are all critical to a child’s growth,” said Sharron Hunt Munson, Board President, Dallas Children’s Theater. “We’re pleased to be a community partner with The Sixth Floor Museum on this project; it is an amazing and unique opportunity to incorporate important historical  events into our mission of bringing literature to life.”

DCT actors Lloyd Harvey and Anastasia Muñoz rehearse in-depth with Schaeffer and Daugherty to ensure they do justice to their roles.

“The Sixth Floor Museum staff have been wonderful partners in this project,” said Schaeffer. “We have both enjoyed learning about each other’s worlds of history and theater, and we’re excited to get some audience feedback.”

Shared Stories, which is a pilot project, will be presented to the public on Thursday, May 17 at 11:30 a.m. on the seventh floor at The Sixth Floor Museum. The play can also be seen at the YMCA of Dallas and Woodrow Wilson High School on May 17 and 18, 2012.