This week at youth life we dropped down from five students to only three as the others who were scheduled to be in our class had other commitments. While going forward, this may be something that might cause some concern for our group, it has not given us a problem thus far. One large step that we made this week with our group was that we started to read scripts. This week we focussed on the scene where Viola reveals herself to Orsino and Olivia as we felt that this was a very pivotal and important scene in our act. To demonstrate to the students the scene and to try to alleviate some of their potential confusion, we showed them the clip from “She’s the Man” where Viola reveals herself to Duke on the soccer field and lets her hair down. Then to practice some of the complex roles that students might have to perform in the play, we played an acting game the students had to switch genders. So in the scene, our one student who was a girl had to read and act as if she were Duke Orsino, and our one student who was a boy had to read and act as if he were Olivia or Viola depending on the scene. I thought that this exercise went very well and really helped the student in understanding the potential challenges and confusion that they could be faced with in the play given the complexity of the roles. To finish off the session we allowed the students to pick scenes for each other to act. This has always been the student’s favorite thing to do thus far and I think we will use this exercise as a reward for good work in the future
While a lot went well with our group this week, one potential challenge that arose was the wide range of reading levels across our students. Though all of the students are in middle school, they read at very different levels. Some students are very good at reading and have thus far excelled in reading and understanding the script at a surprisingly fast pace. On the other hand, other students have really struggled in with the readings, even in understanding simple words. Going forward, our group is really going to have to ensure that we assign appropriate roles, and further simplify the readings to ensure that our performance goes smoothly.