Last week, we had our second to last session at Higher Achievement to work on Act 1. We started off the session with informational stuff, talking about giving permission slips to the parents and trying to get a head count for who would be able to go. The program director helped us with this task, but we are not certain how many children will definitely be able to go. After that, we got right into rehearsal and working on our lines. We made sure to stress to the kids how few practices we had left and how exciting the performance was going to be. They are very eager to come to campus and hopefully this enthusiasm will continue for the next few weeks and into our final performance. Instead of breaking up into groups, we had the students practice walking on stage and saying their names to the audience to work on speaking clearly and loudly. After that, we went through the list/grouping of characters and walked through all of Act 1 on stage. Because a few kids were missing, Devani, Mel and I would step in for the missing characters. We even timed parts of the play to see if we need to cut any lines or add more. I think after next week and we have a finalized number of who will definitely be able to come, we can add final adjustments to the script.
As the kids read their lines, we would correct any words they mispronounced and helped them with different cues for character switches, but overall they did a pretty good job. Their reading skills are definitely there, but they are more focused on reading than acting. We tried to help them work on their theatrical skills by playing a game at the end where we gave them a set of lines and they had to read them as loudly and enthusiastically/dramatically as they could. Some of the kids were better at this game than others, but they all put in some effort. I think our main focuses for next week should be to help the kids focus more on acting out their lines and staying focused while other kids read their lines so they know when to jump in. Overall though I am really excited to see them in the final performance!