Act II – Week 4

This week was a bit more hectic than the last. Caroline was unable to join us, so Aleeza and I directed the rehearsal. We rehearsed in the band room, as we always do, and the students insisted on constantly messing with the instruments, an act that they all know that they are forbidden to do. When they all settled down, Aleeza and I thought we would try skipping the theater game because we didn’t want to rile them all up for no reason. This was our first mistake. We jumped right into assigning roles and told the students to raise their hand if a role/character sounded like something they would be interested in. They were allowed to raise their hands as many times as they wanted for as many roles/characters as they wanted. We wrote down each student’s name next to the part that he or she was interested in. On our workday in class on Wednesday, we will distribute the roles accordingly.

Explaining each character and revealing how many lines they had took up a good bit of rehearsal time, and the group lost focus. Therefore, Aleeza and I decided to end rehearsal with “Zip, Zap, Zop” because the students had been so fond of the game the week prior. Many of the boys refused to participate and, even though we threatened to tell Mr. Allen (the head director of the after-school program) they said they “didn’t care.” As we attempted to play Zip, Zap, Zop, many of the students ran across the room, chasing each other around, fighting, hitting each other. Every now and then, some student that was standing in front of the door and scream, “Mr. Allen is coming!” and everyone would run back to the game and act as if they had been participating the entire time. I felt badly for the few students that were in fact interested in playing “Zip, Zap, Zop,” because they consistently voiced their frustration with their peers that weren’t letting us go through one round smoothly without disruption.

At the end of rehearsal, Aleeza and I stayed late to speak with Mr. Allen about what tactics we could use to get everyone to focus and participate. He told us about green feathers: tokens that the students use towards raffles and other fun activities through the after-school program that result in prizes. Mr. Allen said that we could bribe the students with green feathers in order to get them to participate. He also recommended writing a visual agenda for rehearsal up on the blackboard in the band room before the start of each rehearsal. Many of the students are visual learners, and seeing what needs to get done between 6:15 to 7:15 p.m. may entice them to cooperate. Fingers crossed that Mr. Allen’s advice will work at our next rehearsal.