After two weeks of being absent from Higher Achievement, we returned Tuesday and were welcomed with open arms. The kids seemed very excited to see us again, which was an awesome way to start off rehearsal. We were missing a few students, but we knew that would be a common occurrence when working with Higher Achievement. We started off the evening by playing a theater game that was similar to the one we played in class that one time! Melissa, Kit, and I came up with different scenarios in which the children would act out in front of their classrooms. Some examples of these scenarios were getting a new puppy, being told to do homework by your mom, or learning that it was a snow day. The boys were much more willing to participate than the girls and they got very very into it. The girls started participating as we got more into the game and they seemed to enjoy it as well. This game was really fun for them and they got a chance to practice their acting skills by being dramatic and emotional, which they usually aren’t allowed to behave like during school or mentoring sessions. I was actually very surprised at a lot of the children’s reactions to some of the scenarios. For example, some of the first things that the children would guess would be someone being robbed, mugged, murdered, or shot. None of our scenarios entitled these situations, so I found it interesting that these were the first things that came to their minds.
After the theater game, we split the children into three groups where each group was managed by Kit, Melissa, or myself. We had them highlight each of their characters’ lines and as well as rehearse some of their lines. In my group, we went in a circle where each student would practice saying some of their lines. The students were also really excited when looking through the script and finding their specific lines. When we were rehearsing the lines, I was extremely impressed with how well they were able to read them. In particular, one of the leading men in my group did an amazing job at acting as well as handling different pronunciations. When I asked if they understood what they just read, they would always say no. I would try my best to explain to them what their character is saying and how it relates to the rest of the play. I enjoyed this part a lot because it showed me how the children are actually learning the old English and starting to understand more about what the play entails.