This week I met with our site advisor Corinne, and Oliver and I conducted our first rehearsal. Corinne showed me around the site during our meeting and told me a little about the kids participating in our elective. We will have a total of 10 kids ages 11-13, however, only 7 could come to our first rehearsal. Corinne told me the Youth Life kids were fighting to get spots in the Thursday theatre elective, so the ones who were chosen are all very excited and happy to be there. She also warned me that they were a sassy group and most likely going to test my authority. She was absolutely right. The kids were fun, but Oliver and I clearly have a challenge ahead of us if we want to maintain control, keep practices on schedule and stay focused on the project. The Youth Life center we are working out of is really nice. We have access to both a small classroom as well as a large performance room with a stage. This week we kept it in the classroom. We began with introductions (asking everyone their name, age and a personal fun fact), did a walk through of the plotline of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (trying to make it as relatable and clear as possible), and then ended with the same acting game we played in class (we asked them to choose characters from TV, media, sports, etc. rather than the play). I think everyone had fun, but two of the kids were very shy and, unwilling to participate. It’s my goal to break them out of their shells by the end of the project. Another challenge Oliver and I will have to confront is reading levels. Corinne told me two kids in particular really struggle with reading. Right now Oliver and I just plan to make everyone feel as comfortable and open as possible about the reading, and we’ll do one on ones if necessary. The kids are very excited about the romance portion of the plot, and they asked if we could choreograph some kissing into the play. I did say maybe, but I’m not sure they are mature enough to handle it. Overall I’m a little nervous about the group staying on task, and I’m not sure we’ll be very prepared come show time. Next rehearsal we are hoping to read through the scripts and cast roles. I’m predicting total chaos.