• Striking Viking Story Pirates

    Onboard At Cherry Avenue


    Last fall, to the delight of the Cherry Avenue Elementary students, the Striking Viking Story Pirates held Play/Write workshops that left the students laughing.  


         The Cherry Avenue Cultural Arts Committee sponsored this not-for-profit organization that celebrates creative collaboration in literacy and the arts for the elementary school. “The Striking Viking Story Pirates adapt and perform stories written by kids,” the website states, “as a way of celebrating the words and ideas of young people, to promote literacy as a vital part of early childhood education, and to preserve the spark of youthful creativity often lost in the transition to adulthood.”


         After demonstrating their award-winning musical sketches on stage (“described as ‘Monty Python meets Schoolhouse Rock,’ acted by SVSP adults but comprised entirely of stories written by kids”), the SVSP troupe met the Cherry Avenue Third, Fourth, and Fifth-grade students in their classrooms. During the workshops, the students learned about the key elements of dynamic writing, i.e., characters, plot, and setting, so they could create their own sketch comedies. The Story Pirates got the students up on their feet to act out their ideas and to show which ideas worked best. Once the students had put their stories to paper, the Story Pirates went back to their theatre company to plan some new skits that were written by the Cherry Avenue students.  


         Several months later, the Striking Viking Story Pirates completed their adaptations of the children’s stories and returned to Cherry Avenue with new puppets, props, and brand new sketch comedy routines written by the Sayville students. The student-authors, whose works were chosen, were acknowledged during the hilarious show that once again had the children rolling in the aisles with laughter.

           By focusing on the power of communication and self-expression, SVSP workshop gave the Cherry Avenue students tools to become confident, literate students. The Play/Write program particularly promoted creative collaboration between the adults and children,  and in turn, encouraged the kids to become more thoughtful, passionate writers and speakers— in and out of school.

    Congratulations to the five Cherry Avenue Students (Amanda Ballan-5th Grade, Mackenzie Hart-5th Grade, Ryan Hendrickson-4th Grade, Tara Hickey-4th Grade, and Marnie Monahan-3rd Grade) whose works were selected for the comedy sketches.


    Below, for your viewing pleasure, is a 21-minute excerpt of the show. Only three of the five student comedy routines were video taped during the performance. 

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