On the day of the play, I found out that one of our main characters Fernando will not be able to make it for the play and that I will have to take over his part. As I have stage fright issues, I tried to go through my parts as much as possible to become confident for my part. I then began to think of how the students would be feeling and this aided me to be able to put myself in their shoes and try to keep the motivation of the children as high as possible.
The one thing I regret for the children was that they had to stay backstage or out of the theater fro most of the play and they were not able to see other groups perform. While they asked us to see the others, I knew that because of the logistics and the number of children they could not view the others.
This was the day we were starting to finalize the script as well as work out the specifics of the props for the characters. We also worked on trying to cut the script to be even shorter.
We also learned during this class that the students of Act 3 would not be able to make it to the play and this made us think of how it would affect our act and make the changes accordingly.
By this time I was beginning to learn the personalities of the students and I was able to assign the parts of the play according their characters. The reason why I was still working to assign parts to people at this time was because students kept dropping out and joining the play even this late in the project. I learned to work with each of them, trying to focus on the stage directions on this visit. We discussed where each character should stand, how to come onto the stage, what gestures to use etc.
On the second visit to the site, we were able to come up with a new method of going through the material in the most efficient manner as possible. We decided for each of us to take several students in a smaller group and practice separately so as to cover the most amount of material in the given time period.
One student was particularity difficult to work with as he did not take the play so seriously and was damaging the moral of the entire group. I had to keep a close eye on him and downplay his role while increasing the role of others who were genuinely interested in the project.
After having visited the site once we began to reduce some of expectations. For example, we decided to reduce the amount of material. We got together and discussed what parts could we cut from the play without taking away from the story too much. We looked at every line and try to think of exactly how the students that we assigned the parts to would be able to handle the given parts.
This was the day we started thinking a little about the possible props that we could use such as glitter and fairy wings.
The first visit to our site was totally unexpected. We were told that we are going to have a orientation, but since we only had a limited amount of time, I expected to meet the kids this week. However, the first visit to the site ended up doing a two hour orientation, complete with how to approach kids, things not to do in front of kids and how to give punishments in the appropriate manner.
Although we did not meet the kids or discuss the play this session, it helped me to think about how to best approach children and what methods are effective than others. Throughout the workshop I kept thinking of the ways in which I would interact with the children.
SITE VISIT 1. b
We were called on a extra day to recruit children for an “after school activity session”. We were in competition with other activities such as dancing and we had to make a case for the kids to join our activity. In order to motivate the children, we made a poster, and brought some props to convince over 15 children to join our after school activity – ie, our play. I was quite happy with the turnout and just be spending a little time with the kids, I was able to begin thinking about some of the roles appropriate for each of the character.
This was the first work day. We decided to set a plan for the rest of the semester. First, we got the script of the Tempest from a online source, put it up on google docs so any of us can edit it and started to work on the script. We cut out big parts that we thought were not necessary for the story to make sense but left a lot of the parts untouched.
We also started theorizing what kind of kids we wanted for each character, such as Prospero had to be a outgoing male who didnt mind getting a lot of lines. We considered remixing the play such as gender reversal and cross dressing but we realized that it would be difficult to decide such decisions before we met the kids. We thereofre just worked on the script for the rest of the class and thought about how to best approach this project.