Act 1- Overall Project Experience

Through our time with the Higher Achievement students we were able to learn a lot about leadership, theater, and children. Our once a week visits may not have seemed like much but in that one hour we spent with them and our preparation before hand was really educational.

Learning about leadership came in our ability to engage the students but also keep them orderly. Since they were all about ten years old, they had very different ideas of what made something fun, exciting, or even just what theater was. We had to learn to appeal to their perceptions of fun and how they acted out theater but in a way that allowed us to accomplish our goal of having them present act 1 in front of everyone. We also had to figure out the leadership between the three of us as well to ensure we were efficient and on the same page. In order to do that we each took over roles of different things in respect to kids, the materials needed, and how we planned each visit. As we went on through the semester we were better able to do this overall.

We were able to learn a considerable amount about theater. First off, is how much preparation is needed even for small productions. The scripts required work that you don’t always think about and trying to put the different parts of the act together and how to best do that was all knew to us. This required us to step out of our comfort zone but also work on a level the students would understand. Then the props and costumes require careful consideration because we wanted the audience to see a difference between the students. There were many more factors in this theater production than one realizes.

Lastly, we learned a lot about handling children and how to understand them. Our students were very young which made them more susceptible to acting out, needing things to be repeated, and having lots of energy. This required us to come up with ways to use that energy in a way that helped prepare them for the stage. We were able to come up with educational theater activities that they enjoyed. We learned to repeat needed things but also we would be firm about certain things that we shouldn’t have had to repeat and they would understand we were not playing around.

Overall this was an educational experience on many levels. Not only did the students learn but we did as well. We feel that the students did have a good time preparing for their act and had fun all while learning about Shakespeare and theater.