All About the Experience
about letting kids explore their imaginations
Maybe you know a kid who shies
away from the experience of performing in a play because or she is
afraid of the responsibility of learning lines, standing up straight
and looking good before an audience. As director you may be
primarily concerned with teaching everyone where to stand, when to
come in and making sure they keep their faces toward the audience.
But at ArtReach we believe
that kids need a chance to perform, act out and pretend.
Its time to use funny voices, walk like crazy people, scream
and laugh and dance like nobodys looking. As
director you feel you must keep control of your cast and be concerned
with whether or not the audience can see the action. But since
these are kids, just getting their feet wet, its quite all
right to let them test their wings and fall if they
have to. What if Captain Hook isnt the best youve
ever seen? What if the audience isnt exactly thrilled
with the performance?
What matters is the child
performer has a chance to experience Captain Hook, try on the
clothes, hobble on the peg leg and enjoy being something they never
dreamt of. Give them roots and wings the confidence to
try something new and a safe place to land if they dont exactly fly.
Failure doesnt need to
be pointed out or even worried about. It just isnt part
of the experience. Giving kids a chance to have fun and feel
free to explore something outside of the ordinary thats
what its all about.
Give yourself the freedom to
value the process over product and youll have the time
of your life!
New Clothes Jazzes it Up with an Orchestra
fun with percussion instruments
Danny Da Drum, Zella Bella,
Horatio Hornblower, Ting-A-Ling, Tim Whistle and Huey Kazooie.
What do these characters have in common? They are the members
of a fun and silly orchestra for ArtReachs play THE
EMPERORS NEW CLOTHES.
Raid the music room!
Look for kazoos, triangles, drums, chimes, tambourines, rhythm
sticks, slide whistles, bells, cymbals and anything that makes
noise! Bring these to your first rehearsal and ask the kids to
play with them during scenes to see if they enhance the
performance. Show your cast an example: Peter rams his
head against the castle door to open it. Use the cymbal for the
crash and then a slide whistle as Peter circles his head around,
dizzy from the crash. Ask them to think of similar sounds for
other moments throughout the play such as the Empress entrance,
Peters travels etc. Set aside a little time each
rehearsal session to review ideas for sounds and decide which will be
included in the play.
The script for EMPERORS
NEW CLOTHES calls for the storytellers to also be the
music/sound makers, but you may apply this idea to any of the
ArtReach plays. Even if storytellers dont stay stationary
at the percussion stand, they may carry small instruments in their
pockets or on chains around their necks. You can also eliminate
literal props by having the orchestra make the sounds such as sawing,
creaking hinges, a blacksmiths tapping etc.
Example: Heres a trick I
used often. When your Prince Charming hero enters have him
smile big. Have someone "ting a triangle at just
that moment. It seems to make your heros teeth glint in
the sunlight. It never fails to get a laugh and establishes
your hero as a super good-guy.
AND THE BEANSTALK, ALICE
IN WONDERLAND and LEGEND
OF SLEEPY HOLLOW are great scripts for percussion instruments
but the idea may applied to any play with narrators.
Directing Tips: <
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