Posts Tagged ‘Traditions’
This week we worked more on getting ready for our photo shoot for Alice in Wonderland, we painted (we are painting) a big giant backdrop in class, and began rehearsing “When You Wish Upon a Star” for our school awards ceremony. I am excited to give the kids this opportunity, and while everyday there are glitches to overcome, conflicts to discuss, and personal issues and learning challenges that interfere with our work, the kids sound really pretty on that song!
I am hopeful this will be the first in a long line of singing traditions. I do feel that more singing opportunities would add so much to our school, as well as to the self esteem and creative experience of our kids.
I am hoping to get the rights for Barbara Robinson’s hilarious play about the true meaning of Christmas, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever for Center Stage’s first show this December. I need to get the go ahead from Glenforest School and work out the scheduling for the auditorium, and then we can get started on this project with auditions in
I have directed this show many times and it has become something of a tradition in the Vermont town I’m from. I would love to see the same tradition started here. It’s so much fun to see many of the same kids year after year in the show, playing different parts as they grow up into different roles and helping the new actors out with their parts.
To keep the show fresh I always added something new each year. The challenge was a sweet one and we had some wonderful times making sometimes silly and sometimes poignant changes to the action.
It’s a great starter show too, as the costumes and set are very simple, and we can use 50 or more kids of all different ages. And the messages the show tells are timeless and beautiful. And so funny.
I recently finished reading At Play – Teaching Teenagers Theatre by actor, composer, writer and director Elizabeth Swados. Ms. Swados’ techniques for guiding young people in creating performance pieces based on their life experiences is inspiring and I hope to utilize many of her exercises and her theories in my work with my Glenforest students.
Ms. Swados has had a wonderfully varied career and has worked all over the world. Through her travels she has had opportunities to experience many different theatre traditions that helped shape ideas for the new form of theatre she has created. She says:
The American landscape is full of diverse, conflicting “tribes”, and when i returned home from my travels, I decided to devote my work to a kind of street theatre, a political storytelling theatre that could speak to the young people in the village of the United States.
The book goes on to describe and explain how she worked with a group of troubled young people and created a performance piece about their lives they called Runaways. The show was a completely original innovation adapted from the work the kids created in the workshops, and actually went on to run on Broadway.