[Spokane, WA] The Spokane Community College Lair Auditorium lights turned low and laughter rose from the sea of people gathered to watch People Accessing Careers and Education (PACE) theater students take center stage.
After three months of preparation, PACE program students were eager to add a comical, yet heartwarming edge to the classical fairytale of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”
“Students take the script and run with it and that allows them to be who they’re supposed to be,” said Instructor Caley Edwards. “Our PACE students are funny, and each person gets to be funny in their own way and that’s when their characters shine through.”
Stacey Johnston-Gleason took on the role of Queen Bella — formerly recognized as the fairest in the land until Snow White, played by Maizy Lannigan, won the favor of Queen Bella’s mirror.
Aside from the fun of getting on stage and taking on a new persona, Johnston-Gleason said there’s much more that makes the hard work worth it.
“This play is a comedy so it’s a lot of fun and I like working with my classmates,” Johnston-Gleason said. “We all do this to have fun and enjoy each other's company.”
Over the summer there was collaborative effort by faculty, family and program stakeholders to update the PACE program curriculum.
“Our program just went through a revamp, and to see the arts and theater included into that is really fun,” she said. “The comradery between the students is incredible and when they have the opportunity to perform together it’s really great.”
The event was a collaborative effort with PACE’s intro to leadership class. As admission to the play, audience members were encouraged to donate breakfast food items upon entering the auditorium.
“The donation drive is for Farwell Elementary School,” Edwards said. “Our leadership students will be putting together breakfast boxes for students over the winter break.”
Following the performance, PACE performers expressed their gratitude for Edwards’ support, sending her home with an armful of flowers.
CCS provides education and services in a six-county region of Eastern Washington, operates Spokane Falls Community College and Spokane Community College, and is the largest provider of Head Start and Early Childhood Education in the region. Each year, nearly 30,000 people – from infants to senior citizens – are provided educational services by CCS.