[ Page 3 ]
& suggestions for producing a creative, fun school play
Prev | 1
| Next >
Loves Audience Participation
Kids Have Fun Together
During the revolutionary 60s
and 70s, a British director named Brian Way forged a new direction in
childrens theatre that centered on inclusion. His plays
were the first to have all children participate together in a way
that really offered kids a chance to use their natural impulse to
play and imagine. For us at ArtReach, Brian Way is a hero.
With ArtReachs School
Plays, we strive to find new and creative ways to bring audience and
cast together. We dont believe in lecturing kids about
how to behave during a play we let them know that something
fun is going on and they are invited to enjoy it with us.
Whether you are on stage or in the audience, you are a part of this
very special event we call live theatre.
Emperors New Clothes, the audience is invited to help the
conniving tailor pull a fast one on the Emperor. In Alice
in Wonderland, the Queen of Hearts invites the audience to play
along during the flamingo croquet game. In Pinocchio,
the audience actually becomes the whale that swallows Geppetto and
his little puppet son. In Aladdin,
market sellers come right up to the audience members to sell their
wares. Hope you have a coin, because the merchant is ready to
make a deal!
members pretend to hold the Emperors invisible coat.
Sellers in Aladdin present their wares to the audience for sale.
See more photos
Emperors New Clothes and Aladdin
Every ArtReach School
Play will give you lots of tips and instructions on how involve
your audience. As a director, you can be sure that the audience
participation is clearly explained in the script. The School
Plays even have blocking suggestions that will bring your scenes
right into the aisles! You will be amazed at how easily
everyone catches on and how eager your audience is to join in the fun.
to Hold Auditions for a School Play
Create a Safe
Place for Kids to Explore Their Talents
Its important to decide
what your goals are for the production. Do you want to produce
a play that is as close to professional as possible? Or do you want
to provide an educational experience for lots of kids in order to
expose them to the dramatic arts?
ArtReachs School Plays
can serve either of these goals. Theres no one "right
way to do it! Many teachers produce wonderful elaborate
productions with professional sets and costumes. And we love to
see pictures of these productions! Take a look at these:
Pan ----------------- Pinocchio
-------- The Wizard of Oz
But for every gorgeously
realized production, there are many productions that are quite
informal that put the emphasis is on simply learning and having
fun. These productions are just as exciting and meaningful to
If your concern is providing
kids with their first taste of acting, we suggest starting with a
policy of inclusion. For auditions, have everyone who is
interested gather together in one large room. Have everyone
stay together throughout the process. At the beginning of the
session explain that everyone is being considered and everyone who
wants to be in the play will be cast. Then encourage your young
hopefuls to support each other during auditions. Tell them to
laugh and applaud their fellow auditioners if they feel like it!
Rather than concentrating on
monologues or 2 person scenes, choose group scenes from the script
and have a several kids audition together. Let everyone who
wants to read a scene have their chance. Never say a line for
your actors and ask them to mimic you. This limits your
performers and sends the signal that there is a "right way
to say the line when in fact the possibilities are endless! Your
young performer may surprise you with an incredibly creative
reading! Also, never interrupt a student while he or she is
auditioning. Stick to the scene as you have provided it and
show great respect for the performers efforts.
Keep your eye open -- not for
the next Broadway star -- but for all the signals the kids will send
you about where they are in the creative process. Look for
opportunities to cast kids in roles that do not seem obvious for
them. The class clown might be challenged by playing the less than
comic role of Prince Charming. The shyest kid in your group may
come alive as Captain Hook. Look for the kids who help others
and put them in roles where they can strengthen the sense of
camaraderie in your cast.
At every turn in the process
offer your kids a chance to explore and discover their own unique
talents. Give them a safe place to enjoy this wonderful new
thing called live theatre. Without a doubt you will find
treasures of talent where you least expect it!
School Play is Best for Your Age-Group?
Play Not Necessarily the Easiest
Teachers with very young kids
often ask which play is the simplest for their kids to learn. The
Wizard of Oz will always be fairly easy for the youngest kids
because they are very familiar with the story. ArtReachs Wizard
of Oz follows the L. Frank Baum book and does not stray into new
side-line stories or tangents, so every part of the script will feel
familiar to you and your students.
White ----------------------------- Alice
Great plays for K-3 kids are Cinderella
and Snow White. These
are a little shorter than the other plays and have lots of great
roles for kids with very simple dialogue. If you are looking
for a play that is written in scenes you might consider Alice
in Wonderland. Alice is episodic and each scene can be
separated from the whole, so that you can concentrate on one scene at
a time during rehearsal.
Thousand Cranes is a very easy play to put together.
Dialogue is quite simple and costumes and scenery are easy to
make. However, the subject matter is a bit deeper than other
plays and its a good idea to factor discussion time in your
rehearsal schedule. A
Thousand Cranes is often performed by kids as young as
kindergarten with terrific results!
Your Imagination Soar!
Play Can Be Easy, Stress-Free & Fun
Long-time ArtReach Friend and
Director Sarah Ackerman-Hale posted this last week just before the
opening of her TREASURE
ISLAND: YOUNG PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: "Directing
plays inspired me to go back to school to become an elementary
teacher. As I've completed my schooling, I've come to really
understand and appreciate your philosophies about the emphasis being
on the process, not so much the completed "product.
Heres a pic from Sarahs Madison Avenue Performing Arts
Check out Treasure
Island for more pictures!
stage suggestions give you freedom to let your imagination
soar! Just because its easy doesnt mean its
not good. Sarah gave her kids a blackboard and chalk and they
created a one of kind set that is all their own! To create
costumes, Sarah invited everyone to dress up for a Pirate Party.
Presto! Instant set and costumes that cost almost nothing and
make the most of kids natural creativity and impulse to play.
"stress-free and "fun make the end result more
exciting than you ever dreamed possible!
to Make Summer Drama Camp Stress-Free
One of the best things about
summer is that there are lots of "big kids around to help
you with the "little kids! Take a tip from ESF Camps
at Gilman School in Baltimore. They used ArtReachs TREASURE
ISLAND: YOUNG PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN to put together a fun and
stress-free pirate day camp!
Island: Young Pirates of the Caribbean
ESF Camps at Gilman School,
Enlist the older kids in your
school, community or church to help put the play together.
Divide your little pirates into "tribes and put 3 or 4
older kids in charge of each. The tribe leaders can work
together to coordinate activities before the little ones
arrive. Divide the script up and assign portions to each
tribe. This way each group has about 10 minutes of
material and one song to work on. At the end of the 1 or 2 week
session, put all the tribes together for a swashbuckling full-length
show. What a way to make little stars shine!
Its a great experience for the tribe leaders too!
ESF Camps kicked the whole
shebang off with a fun Beware of Pirates Day! This helped with
costume creation and gave the kids a taste for the play they would be performing.
Argg, me hearties! A
grand time was had by all!
the Parade to Promote Your Summer Play
Enter a Float
in the Local Independence Day Parade
Take a tip from Maumelle Youth
Theater (Maubelle AR)! The creative folks at this theatre for
kids came up with a fun and effective way to promote their July
performance of ArtReachs TREASURE
ISLAND: YOUNG PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN!
Have your kids design, build
and enter their show-themed float in the local 4th of July
Parade. This gets young creative juices flowing, costumes built
early and gives everyone a shot of confidence! What a fun way
to show the whole town how great your upcoming show is going to be!
Theatre won first place for their Treasure Island float.
Check out more
ISLAND for kids
Maubelles parade float
won BEST OVERALL PARADE FLOAT on the 4th of July! They won a huge
trophy and $200! Every little pirate was excited about
getting started on rehearsals and looking forward to getting their
pirate on! What better way to make performance ship loads of
Directing Tips: <
Prev | 1
| 2 | 3
| Next >