The Coyote's Way - Puppet Festival

Hip Pocket Theatre's Outreach Programs

Hip Pocket Theatre has maintained Community Outreach programs for over 30 years. Our main program is called "Story Soup"; a vehicle with which to carry the academic elements of storytelling, creative writing, and literature to elementary aged school children.

We also work with Cooks Children's Medical Center in their Pediatric Psychiatric ward assisting the many wonderful Doctors and Nurses in their programs to help their patients learn how to cope with stress.
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Story Soup
Through an interactive process involving the actors, the children and teachers, students are confronted with the key features of story composition: who, what, where, when and how. These elements are the basis of Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills requirements in kindergarten through third grade. Visual literacy is developed along the way as children are introduced to new vocabulary and skills giving them a firm foundation on which to build. These elements are repeated in various ways through the performance, showing how they are applied in different situations, i.e., stories, nursery rhymes, songs, movies, cartoons, and so forth; incorporating abstract concepts along with concrete procedures. As students see and hear these elements presented by unusual characters in a humorous, entertaining and interactive way, they immediately make a personal connection. Through a set of contrived circumstances, the students are asked to use their problem-solving skills in order to help the actors portray the story. In this way, each and every student are asked to restate the creative elements used assuring their understanding.

The concept is flexible and can be adapted to any story or subject area. For example, the workshop could be used to illustrate history, studies in different cultures, or even math problems. This programming has been used in groups as small as 12 and as large as 450, and remained inclusive of all children.

The programming directly targets elementary school children throughout Tarrant County, and has been well received by teachers, parents and youth alike. Through the program, school children are introduced to theater and gain an appreciation for the performing arts, while they develop skills in critical thinking and problem solving.