YORKTOWN, N.Y. -- Ryan Gotto, an 18-year-old student at the Pines Bridge School at Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES in Yorktown, is nonverbal. But that didn’t stop him from howling for his role as the Big Bad Wolf in the school’s production of "The Three Little Pigs."
“Ryan was very excited to have been chosen as one of the wolves,” said his mother, Kristy Gotto. “This is his favorite place to be. It is wonderful to feel the love and support of the art teachers and the incredible spirit of the staff here.”
The production, which took place Friday morning, was a schoolwide affair. “Every kid has a hand in making the production,” said art teacher Jesse Steiner, who produced the play along with teacher aide Debra Canzio. “Even if kids aren’t speaking lines, they participated by helping to paint the props and set pieces, which included enormous, cardboard figures of the three pigs, the farmer and the three little pigs’ houses."
Some students were onstage holding the pig cutouts while others were in a chorus of students who read the lines.
About four weeks before the production, the students began making the characters, painting the cardboard cutouts and gluing scraps of denim to the farmer’s pants and balls of cotton to the wolf cutout.
Steiner and Canzio do dramatic readings of the story of "The Three Little Pigs" to bring it to life for the students before they begin working on the set and props.
“By the time the play comes, they know the story,” said Steiner. “It would be easy to look at this as just a little school play, but to the kids this is huge. It builds a sense of community.”
At the Pines Bridge and Walden Schools at Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES, teachers and staff work to create opportunities for students to express themselves creatively and work together on stage productions, art shows and other events.
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