Unfortunately I was unable to go to Henderson this past time because of my fall break flight, however I heard from Maren that the kids had a positive reaction to changing spaces. We needed this change because in the main room the noise reverberates all over and it was hard to say things and have the kids listen. I drew a love triangle last time and Maren said this strategy helped the kids a lot so we will continue to draw plot points that are more difficult to understand. The kids are mostly excited about having parts in the play. I am excited to go back and see them this week, as I am also thinking about my paper on twelfth night, I am realizing new things to go over with the kids and other ways to explain plot points.
On Thursday (10/6), we had our first meeting with the kids. We introduced ourselves, and gave them a general overview of what we will be doing together over the next couple months. Our group this week consisted of one student from Brook Road Academy and three students from the Dooley Center for Alternative Education. None of the students have any prior experience with Shakespeare. We assured them that no one would have to memorize any lines. Our first student seemed eager and excited, and he even offered to try memorizing his part. We decided to show them the trailer to She’s the Man so they could visualize the plot of the play in a modern context. Then we played a series of improv / warm up games (the adjective-name game, zip zap zop, “3, 6, 9,” and the number count off game). Initially, the students were visibly reluctant, but I could see the group’s barriers slowly breaking down as we played each game and I think they actually had some fun. After this first meeting, I definitely understand the importance of these games to get everyone laughing and comfortable, so the group will trust us and want to work with us. I think we will try to play at least one or two new games in the beginning of each rehearsal to remind the kids that this will be a fun experience. We plan to introduce the script and more details about our specific act of the play next rehearsal.
On Thursday (9/29), we did not meet with the kids due to another conflict. We look forward to meeting them next Thursday. We plan to introduce Twelfth Night and play some improv games.