This week only Colby and I were able to make it to rehearsal. We got there it seemed like the number of students was a lot less than the pasted week. The students got to the room and all sat down quietly in chairs. Colby and I decided because they were already focused to skip a game and get right down to picking roles. This was definitely a mistake. As we started more and more students began to wander in which drew focus away from what we were doing. By the end we had 14 total. To pick roles we went through a brief description of each character and gave a line count. The students were told they could raise their hand for as many parts as they are interested in and we would do our best to give them one of their choices. By the last character we had pretty much lost the focus of all the student.
To bring them back together we decided to play again to end rehearsal. Because they enjoyed Zip, Zap, Zop so much last time we decided to try that again. This time however, was very different. Many of the boys refused to play and were running around playing with all the band instruments, which they know they are not allowed to. The students that wanted to play were getting very frustrated as were Colby and I. The only time all students would play the game was when someone said they heard Mr. Allen (the director of the program) coming.
At the end of rehearsal Colby and I felt a little defeated. Despite that we accomplished our goal of getting roles assigned we felt that we had no control of the students. We spoke with Mr. Allen after to get some ideas on how to better conduct rehearsal with such a big group. He told us to dictate a schedule for the hour in the beginning of rehearsal. He also told us about ‘green feathers’ which the program uses to incentivize the students. Next meeting we plan on utilizing these tactics as well as trying to split the group up to read lines and playing games that involve more movement for the students that like to run around. Hopefully next meeting will go better!