The issues: Kindness, Inclusiveness, Stereotypes
Scene 1: The audience meets Noah, a fifth grader who is not happy about his assigned team for Operation Brainpower, an annual competition at his school where students have to work together to complete a series of challenges. Noah makes assumptions about his teammates based on the very little that he knows about them and complains that he’ll have to carry the weight of his team during the challenges.
Scene 2: The audience meets the rest of the team as they work to come up with a team name. Ethan is on the spectrum, Sophie is blind, and Ava has recently moved from North Carolina. Despite Noah’s negative attitude, they come up with the name the Fearsome Foursome.
Scene 3: The team learns that they’ll face challenges in four categories: Engineering & Design, Math, Arts & Literature, and a Mystery Category. They’ll have to locate each challenge location after receiving a clue and they can ask the audience for help.
Scene 4: The first challenge is to build a self-propelled vehicle with a set of given materials. After Ethan is able to instruct his team with the knowledge he’s gained from a tv show, Noah decides to try to help him out by giving him advice about fitting in. Noah is the one who ends up learning something, though, as his teammates teach him that everyone is one of a kind and you shouldn’t have to fit in so you don’t get bullied.
Scene 5: The second challenge is a series of word problems that Ava is able to solve quickly because she loves math. Noah realizes that just because she sounds different than what he is used to and isn’t from where he is, that doesn’t mean that she knows any less than him or is any less smart.
Scene 6: The third challenge is to act out a scene from Shakespeare. Sophie is able to figure out which scene it’s supposed to be using technology geared towards accommodating her visual impairment. She’s also able to help the others understand the scene. Noah realizes that just because she is blind doesn’t mean that she can’t do all of the things he assumed she couldn’t.
Scene 7: The fourth challenge is to answer the question: what makes a person successful: Noah struggles with the answer until he stops to help someone in need and is given a copy of The World According to Mr. Rogers. After doing some reading, he realizes that the key to success is kindness. He apologizes to his team for his earlier behavior and lets them know that he likes them just the way they are.
“Your presentation was one of the most professional, topical, and thoroughly enjoyable performances ever shown to our children.”
– Elementary School Teacher
Bring a Saltworks play to your students and watch them use their imagination to resolve conflict, reach out for new healthy relationships, and discover hope for their lives!