Theater Education for Disadvantaged Students

Feb 22, 2011

Diary of a Worm Educational Report

Thank you for your generous support of Oregon Children’s Theatre!

We just closed our production of Diary of a Worm, a Spider, and a Fly and in this Project Report, we will report on the free services we provided to economically disadvantaged schools in conjunction with the production.

Diary of a Worm, a Spider, and a Fly was produced as part of our New Plays Initiative, our commitment to commission at least one new work per season. Renowned playwright Joan Cushing adapted Doreen Cronin and Harry Bliss' popular picture books Diary of a Worm, Diary of a Spider, and Diary of a Fly for our first-ever new work directed at an early-elementary age audience.

19,563 students from 201 schools in Oregon and Southwest Washington attended a school performance of Diary of a Worm, a Spider, and a Fly. OCT provided full scholarships to 921 students and partial scholarships to 1,042 students. A teacher who attended the production wrote:

“I am a second grade teacher in Hillsboro and am a teacher liaison for OCT…I wanted to tell you that I thought the play was fantastic…I am completely impressed by your actors and actresses. I cannot believe the talent and confidence they displayed. Kudos to you and everyone involved in the play…it was very well done.”

In keeping with the earth science themes of Diary of a Worm, a Spider, and Fly, Oregon Children’s Theatre used nearly all recycled and repurposed materials for the set, costumes and props. OCT provided every student who attended the production a map of the set, describing all the eco-friendly measures we took.

For example:

  • The textured façade was created from used bicycle tires and used real estate signs
  • The cyclorama (backdrop) was made from six used vinyl billboards
  • The show was specifically designed to use only one moving spotlight, as opposed to multiple lights, saving money AND energy!

For the costume of the character Fly:

  • The wings were made from car headlight covers found at the Manzanita Recycling Center on the coast and a steamer basket from the costume designer’s house
  • The main costume body was made from recycled fleece, natural cottons, and wool and the costume was padded with padding from a mattress pad
  • The wood buttons were sourced from a friend’s plum tree

We've included the set map with this report, which contains all the details of OCT's eco-conscious measures for Diary of a Worm, a Spider, and Fly.

Thank you for your support!



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Project Leader

Rachel Tusler

Portland, OR United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Theater Education for Disadvantaged Students