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Know Your Pelicans

Meet Patricia Runcie-Rice

Theatre Teacher

Know Your Pelicans

What do you teach? What is one of your favorite parts of the curriculum?

I am the Middle School theater teacher and I direct the Middle School musical and play each year. In addition, I teach a 3rd and 4th Grade theater class! Of course, I love directing the shows and cultivating the sense of ensemble and family that each show creates. But I must say that one of my favorite parts of the theater curriculum is the 7th Grade monologue unit. The rich characters that our students create always astound me and at the end of the semester we have compiled a collection of completely original monologues!

Besides your subject, what’s something you hope to teach your students?  

I hope to teach them how to work together and how to listen. I hope that through exploring characters from other times, lands, life experiences, etc. students will gain a visceral sense of understanding so that they can empathize with all people in the world outside of our walls. As Atticus Finch says in To Kill a Mockingbird, ”You never really understand a person until you consider things from his [or her!]  point of view….until you climb into his [or her!] skin and walk around in it.” That’s what we do in the theatre!

What’s one thing you love about your colleagues?

The support, love, and understanding from my colleagues are astounding. Not just within my department, but across all aspects of Packer. To start one’s day with a hello from Lou and a hug from Ann is delightful. Students, faculty, the administration, and the staff work very hard, and there have been many moments that I’ve witnessed people being lifted up in times of need or discouragement... and sometimes from a most unexpected source. Our capacity to help one another is a beautiful gift.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?

I would want to have the Mary Poppins’ power of cleaning up quickly while singing a song and snapping my fingers at inanimate objects that then kindly put themselves away! I have three small kids (Liam is currently in 2nd Grade and Griffyn is in Kindergarten), so I think that would be really useful! I’d love to be able to snap at an unmade bed and have it be put right!

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