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& suggestions for producing a creative, fun school play
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the Recycling Bin for Fun Ideas
Use Junk and
Recycled Stuff for a Fun, Unique Show
You can make your job as
director easier by enlisting the help of the kids in your cast.
A great way to do this is to have the kids design and provide their
own costumes. Not only does this lift the burden from you, it
gets the children to invest in their own character and will certainly
make their performance more fun and meaningful.
Consider this Recycled
Materials Theme: Have the kids use found items, things they
might find in the recycled bin (such as cereal boxes, coke bottles,
milk cartons) and cut them to create hats, vests, jewelry etc.
Use a mop for a wig, toilet paper rolls for horns or curls. Add
old plastic toys or colorful hardware. If you dont have
enough junk around the house take a trip to the local
thrift store and scour the shelves for colorful stuff like hats,
gloves, scarves etc. Add Halloween costume touches like
wax-candy teeth. Gulfshore Playhouse in Naples (FL) did a whole
production of ArtReachs Alice
in Wonderland using junk and found objects. Heres a
picture of Alice in her own special Wonderland of Junk:
Alice in Wonderland
Adding a twist to your
production design gets everyones creative juices flowing and
makes the whole experience more fun and personal for the kids.
Your Play in a Unique Place and Time
Creativity by Giving Your School Play a Theme
A great way to mix it up and
get everyones creativity sparked is to set the play in a time
or place that is not traditional for the story. Wesleyan Middle
School in Norcross (GA) put a Western twist on The
Legend of Sleepy Hollow by setting the play in the Gay Nineties,
Texas. Here Brom Bones is a tough lassoin cowboy and,
instead of the traditional tri-corner hat, Ichabod dons a silk topper:
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Why not ask the kids what time
and place they would like to use for their special production?
Brainstorm with them about how to bring their ideas to life.
What if the play was set in outer space, France, in the underwater
ocean? Then assign the creation of each performers
costume and props to them. They may need some help along the way but
once they get the gist of the theme they will run with it!
Youll be surprised how much work they are willing to do and how
it will enhance their performance!
Just think how proud they will
be to wear the costume they created themselves! Your audience
will love seeing how the theme plays out throughout the performance.
kid in a meaningful way
The Open Staging concept of
ArtReachs School Plays brings everyone together. Without
steps or obstacles, every child is on equal footing. Why hide a
wheelchair? Make it part of the acting childs costume and
decorate it with pride! And dont forget to block the
movement of the character in the wheelchair just the way you would
any other. Why cant King Grumbleknees (in Cinderella)
whirl on stage with angry aplomb? Let him twirl and circle the
stage to show his characters emotion.
A great play to include
special needs kids! Don't exclude wheelchairs, they will work
Christmas Wizard of Oz
Performers, a collaborative effort between the
Services department and the Apollo Chorus, Owensboro, KY
of our most disabled students are having the most fun! We are
only in early stages of rehearsal but it brings tears to my eyes to
see the joy the kids are experiencing with this play."
Swift School, Roswell, GA (Director, The
Emperors New Clothes)
You could even go a step
further and integrate kids in wheelchairs with those who dont
really need them. One idea would be to have all the Mermaids in Peter
Pan perform in wheelchairs. Choreograph a water ballet with
simple but fluid movements the performers do in unison.
Just imagine -- a disabled child who may not feel included in other
activities will feel right at home in your production!
Wheelchairs are good things
that help us get around. There is no reason to hide them.
Put them right there on stage without apology and watch how including
everybody makes for a joyous and meaningful performance!
Directing Tips: <
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