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& suggestions for producing a creative, fun school play
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are Your Best Source of Creative Ideas
ideas? Ask your kids, its not cheating
Let your students help with
ideas for set, costumes and even blocking!
Sometimes during after-school
rehearsals your head goes uh, duh&ldots; Your lead
character looks at you for direction and your ideas just arent
there. Why not ask the kids to help you out? When you hit
a low tide in the artistic flow, look around! You have
lots of imaginative minds just waiting for a chance to share!
Ask for their ideas!
Teachers often call me and
want to know if the School Play Package includes lots of costume
ideas. I always answer, yes, of course! But I always add
that the kids who are actually playing the roles are your best source
are Your Best Source of Creative Ideas!
What can be more fun than
playing pirates? These kids love ArtReach's TREASURE
ISLAND: YOUNG PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN
School, Hawaii, Peggy Ellenburg Director
As soon as the students have
had a chance to read the script and their parts, take a few moments
to speak to each child and coax out whatever visual mental images
they may have of their character. Often they will think of
things that are around their house like hats in a closet or keepsakes
in the attic or garage. Ask them to describe what they are
thinking of and have them simply ask a parent if they can wear it
during the show. Ask also if the object can be embellished with
sparkly art supplies to jazz it up for the stage. This makes
your life so much easier and it gives kids a chance to do more than
just perform. After all, costume design is a creative part of
Why just assign this fun,
artistic adventure to their parents or volunteers to sew on a sewing
machine? Let the kids create their characters in every way and
they will feel much more invested in their performance. Active
participation in every artistic decision will give your kids a deeper
experience and yield a more expressive performance.
Letting kids decide takes the
pressure off of you and makes your job a joy!
Halloween Plays are for Kids
How to Minimize
the Scary and Maximize the Fun
If you are of a certain age
you may remember the first time you saw the movie, The Exorcist.
That movie and Hitchcocks Psycho scared the bee-jeebies out of
me when I was a preteen. I remember how hard it was to turn out
the lights at night for fear of demons and crazies in the shadowy corners.
We all mature at a different
pace. For me, it was quite a while before I could watch a scary
movie and realize it was just make believe, therefore not actually
something to be afraid of. So its tricky when producing
Halloween plays for kids. Just how scary should it be?
Legend of Sleepy Hollow takes its cue from Washington
Irvings original work. Give that story a close reading
and you will see that Irving meant the whole thing to be hilarious,
not terrifying. The comedy comes from Ichabods fear of
ghosts and never tries to frighten the reader. In
ArtReachs The Legend of Sleepy Hollow your young audience will
scream at the first sight of the Headless Horseman and then laugh
their heads off at Ichabods reaction.
We offer the life of Edgar
Allan Poe in the play Poe!
Poe! Poe! Since it is offered as readers theatre,
this play emphasizes the literature and life of this great American
writer. Though stories such as the Masque of the Red
Death are dark, quite dark, the audience is left with an appreciation
of the writing, not the scariness of the story.
our newest Halloween play, Kid
Frankenstein, Frankie and Irving are science nerds who have an
unusual idea for the upcoming Science Fair. When Doctor
Frankenstein's ancient secret book arrives from Transylvania, the
friends are whisked into a sci-fi fantasy of time-warped, weirdly
scary and lively adventure.
However the kids feel about
scary movies these days, ArtReachs Halloween plays are perfect
choices for young audiences.
to Dress Your Dragon
on how to make a fun
are many dragons in our culture. You can find them in hundreds
of medieval paintings that depict the age-old myth of St.
George and the Dragon. You can find them in old and new
childrens books. You can even find them on the Disney
Channel and in the movies!
Here are some excitingly
clever costumes that recently graced the stages of The Rose
Childrens Theatre in Eugene, OR, and Bremerton Community
Theatre Jr. in Washington State!
your dragon in three easy steps!
Elaborate Dragon Costumes
Its a great idea to
leave the actors face open to the audience. Seeing both
faces, the audience will quickly meld the two giving you the best of
both worlds: A dragon face and the human expressions of your young
performer. Also, dont forget your poor sweating performer
make the costume as comfortable as possible.
Dont let dressing your
dragon scare you away from presenting this lovable beast on your
stage! You will be surprised how effective a simple headpiece
and tail can be. Here are some examples of simple costumes that
will serve beautifully for comic and informal performances:
A little work can go a long
way for clever performers!
Never forget to talk to your
actor when making costume decisions. Youll be surprised
how many ideas they already have in their eager, creative heads!
They may actually know of something at home that they can fashion
into a costume. That makes it clever, easy and wonderful fun
for your young cast!
to Create Amazing Costumes Kids Love to Wear
all-kids cast do the creative work for you
We love all the great costume
ideas weve seen lately, especially for our new Christmas
Musical, THE VELVETEEN RABBIT.
Check out Robbie Robot on below on the right.
Innovation Arts, Lexington, KY
You can make your directing
job a lot easier by asking kids to participate in the creativon of
their own costumes! Tell your young thespians to think about
how their character acts, talks and walks. Then have them go
home and look around for household objects that might be used in
bringing their character to life! Youd be surprised how their
imaginations are always turned on a great resource for you to tap!
Get inspired by robot costumes
by Élena Nazzaro of French Toast Girl!
Directing Tips: <
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