A Montgomery County drama teacher is one of eight persons selected from across the country for this summer's three-week program under the Kennedy Center Fellowships for Teachers of the Arts.
Jane Schisgall of Chevy Chase, who works with a county-wide program to help teachers use the arts in their non-arts classes, will develop a dramatic presentation based on children's stories from several different cultures.
The work will be performed at the Kennedy Center on July 18.
Fellowship winners, who include instructors of music, dance, art and ceramics, receive a grant of $2,000, a hotel room in Washington and expert assistance for their varied projects.
Gretchen Chellson of the Kennedy Center's Alliance for Arts Education, which runs the program, said about 130 teachers had applied.
Schisgall has taken breaks during her 16 years with county schools to teach in South Korea, Japan, Israel and India.
In explaining her proposal for the Kennedy Center fellowship, Schisgall said, "I realized that people have the same human experiences no matter where they are . . . . What I'm interested in is having children realize that an Ashanti story that is thousands of years old is dealing with the same kinds of emotional feelings that they have, feelings of fear, love, loneliness."
Schisgall said she hopes to combine stories from several cultures into a dramatic presentation -- with herself as the sole actress.
She said she would also use artifacts and photographic slides of museum displays.
"I'm a native Washingtonian," said Schisgall. "But I've never lived in the city. I'm going to live downtown for three weeks and go to the museums and art galleries unencumbered by small tugging hands . . . just doing it myself. I think it's a very special time."