Act V had our first meeting with our actors on Thursday. Since we did not really know who our students were going to be, we decided to dedicate our first session to playing games and introducing Twelfth Night. Our group currently has two girls and three boys. The boys seemed more interested in stage fighting with each other and dancing. The dancing could be something fun to incorporate into our act, especially since they’re pretty good at it. One boy, Adrian, expressed a strong interest in being Duke Orsino.

We started off with Zip Zap Zop and after a few tries, were able to get the kids involved. This seems like a good game to start sessions off with to get them focused and ready to read Shakespeare. The other game we played was to gauge how well they took direction and what sort of acting ability the students had. We gave them scenes to act out that developed as they went on- the kids themselves sometimes took them in crazy directions! I think this was a good game to see the personalities of the kids we’re working with. There is no shortage of energy; not to sound cliché, but at times the kids were bouncing off the walls. Being with their friends at Youth Life is clearly very important to these kids and they want to participate, but they don’t always listen. I’m hoping that’s something that will come once TJ, AJ, and I have built up trust with them.

Our plan next week is to possibly show the students clips from She’s the Man to help them get a clearer picture of the plot. We’re going to start talking more about the characters and who is interested in playing whom, and then to start learning how to read the script. The kids were excited at the prospect of setting Act V in Miami, which will certainly bring a fun twist. Hopefully the students’ enthusiasm stays just as strong throughout this entire experience!