"I'm in tears."
fantastic performance & creative way to create the experience virtually."
Thousand Cranes - Herberger Young Scholars Academy, ASU, AZ
"It was beautiful, and all the more
haunting because of the quarantine. The fact that they were each
alone, connected by the cranes made the story all the more poignant."
"Amazing job on Paper Cranes! I don't
understand how you guys pulled that off so well on ZOOM!"
"Loved the play! The medium worked
wonderfully well! Everyone was brilliant! Music was evocative. The
"sets" really worked."
"The play was outstanding...I loved the
"The play was beautiful, sad and
powerful. I cried. I cannot imagine the amount of work it took
to offer this as a zoom production. Congratulations on a wonderful performance."
"What an amazing performance!!! It was PHENOMENAL!"
"I was so impressed by the performances,
art, singing and instruments."
"Thank you for putting so much time and
effort into this production. It really paid off and was lovely to watch."
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
in Wonderland using junk and found objects. Heres a
picture of Alice in her own special Wonderland of Junk:
Everyone's Creative Juices Flowing!"
Alice in Wonderland - Gulfshore Playhouse, Naples FL
Adding a twist to your production design gets
everyones creative juices flowing and makes the whole
experience more fun and personal for the kids.
Middle School Theatre Presents: The
Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Director's Notes for ArtReach's script
Widely known as America's first
short story, Washington Irving's tale still captures our imaginations
after 200 years. Kathryn Schultz Miller's artful adaptation, combined
with the inventive theatrical imagination of LCA's Middle School
acting troupe, brought the story of the hapless Ichabod Crane and the
Headless Horseman to vivid life last fall.
People commonly speak of acting
as an opportunity to "hide" inside a character, when it's
actually just the opposite. A truly courageous actor allows the
character to be a "glass" to her inner self (her
experiences and imagination, hopes and fears, beauty and ugliness),
and in so doing, actually becomes a "mirror" to the inner
self of the audience member. Merely revealing one's talent is a safe
and comfortable act, and, as a result, holds no power other than to
impress - its power never makes it past the edge of the stage. But
honest self-revelation, though an uncomfortable and sacrificial act,
is also a contagious one. It's amazing how often directors forget the
centrality of this actor-audience dynamic, but the continual courage
and honesty I see in LCA student-actors always brings it back loud
infuse characters with their own imaginations."
LCA Middle School Theatre
Legend of Sleepy Hollow
When I chose The
Legend of Sleepy Hollow as this year's Middle School production,
I was concerned whether the story contained enough big ideas,
questions, or themes. But as I began to witness the students infuse
their characters with their own imaginations, experiences, and senses
of humor, I realized that even a story as silly as this one could be,
in a real sense, revelatory. There is something uniquely inspiring
about witnessing a team of middle school students do the opposite of
hiding. In doing so onstage, they remind and inspire those of us
offstage to go and do likewise.
is something uniquely inspiring about witnessing a team of middle
school students do the opposite of hiding."
- Andy Macdonald, Arts Division
Head Middle School Theatre, Lexington Christian Academy, MA
Play in a Unique Place and Time
Spark 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:
Twist to Your Special Production!"
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow - Weslyan Middle
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.
Involve every kid in a
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 just fine!
Special Needs Kids!"
Christmas Wizard of Oz
Eagle Family Performers, a
collaborative effort between the
Special 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."
Andrea Salapka, 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!
Student of the Month: December
Proud Cast Member of ArtReach's Robin
Hood wins a nod from her peers.
Here's a great idea, Theatre and Drama
Teachers! Take a tip from Lake-Sumter State College and
nominate and offer special awards. Meet a proud member of her
"Congratulations to Ashley Hall,
Lake-Sumter State College, selected as the Florida College System
Activities Association Theatre Division Student of the Month for
December. She was nominated by Professor Heather Elmatti.
to this outstanding student!"
Ashley Hall starred in ArtReach's ROBIN HOOD at Lake-Sumter
State College, FL.
Here's what we learned about Ashley:
"Ashley has been in four productions at Lake-Sumter State
College. She starred as one of the leads in two of our Children's
Theatre shows as the Princess in Princess Pigface and Maid Marian in
Robin Hood. She is a cast member in the current production of Almost
Maine. Ashley has also been a part of the backstage crew for several
other productions including: Step On a Crack and Ex Miss Copper Queen
on A Set of Pills.
Ashley won a Student Leadership award for
involvement in theatre and was awarded Best Supporting Actress at
LSSC's Theatre Arts Society (TAS) Awards ceremony. She also received
an academic award for Outstanding Achievement in Communications
courses in 2016-17. Ashley was one of the few students selected to
speak at TEDxLSSC in September 2017 and did an excellent job
presenting her talk on the impact of Implicit Racial Bias. Ashley
currently serves as Vice President of TAS and takes an active role in
helping facilitate and organize the group. Her enthusiasm and kind
heart are a unifying factor. We are very proud of her hard work and accomplishments!"
Congratulations to this outstanding student,
and our thanks to Professor Elmatti for taking the time to nominate
her for this recognition!"
for ArtReach's Amelia Earhart
Play for Young Audiences
From Study Guide: The Little
Company, Morehead State University, 106 Baird Music Hall, Morehead,
Biggs Fleck, Director:
Riding a bicycle for
the first time as a child, without training wheels and with no hands,
was an in-credible, breathtaking, and exhilarating experience. Scared
to death I would wreck, but exhilarated and free. As adults it is not
often we get to experience the adrenaline rush or to experience that
childlike feeling of being in the moment. However a few years ago, a
dear friend of mine took me flying in his small two seated plane. As
we flew over Eastern Kentucky the experience allowed me to have a
glimpse back to my childhood days of riding my bicycle and into
Amelia's world of aviation. Once I settled into the moment, I didn't
want it to end. I certainly understand what Amelia felt when she was
up amongst the clouds experiencing the world from such a different perspective.
The movement within Kathryn Schultz Miller's
script, Amelia Earhart,
offers such creativity. It is the type of creativity that I enjoy as
an artist and enjoy sharing with an audience as well as the
challenges it offers to the actors and the production team. I want
you to experience being amongst the clouds and seemingly so close to
the stars. The courage of the actors-as they move with the rotation
of the stage, manipulate the silks and dance between the lights and
sounds wearing the beautifully designed costumes- hopefully will
allow you to experience the spirit of Amelia circulating through you.
you to experience being amongst the clouds."
Earhart, Barter Theatre, Abington VA
of us have great runways already built for us. If you have one, take
off. But if you don't have one, realize it is your responsibility to
grab a shovel and build one for yourself and for those who will
follow after you."