This week’s rehearsal was stellar. We were happy to see that Jayvon rejoined us after a few weeks’ hiatus, and he played Malvolio. We started with a brief warmup for emoting; each student had to walk across the stage acting out a particular emotion. Everyone did well.
We then split into two groups: Jacob and Natalie, with Dale, Rufus, and Other Jacob; myself with Christina and Jayvon. It is my understanding that Natalie and Jacob’s group focused more on physical elements like swordplay and slapping, and that things went quite well. My little group did a readthrough of scene 2 to help Christina enunciate and read with more clarity. I read each line to her as clearly as possible, then had her read it back to me. The difference was night and day. She is phenomenal. Jayvon seemed rather uninterested but reads very well. I hope he stays on!
This week I unfortunately was unable to make rehearsal. Prior to Thursday Caroline, Colby and I discussed that we wanted to continue running through lines for the next rehearsal. After they met I spoke with them about how it went. They said the kids were pretty rowdy but they were able to get them to read through a few scenes. They said a few of the students actually remembered some of their lines from the week before which is great. They also found out that a few of the students were tested and the tests showed that they are read at a level well below where they should be. Mr. Allen told them that Shakespeare may be too difficult for these students and offered to transfer them out. However they decided that because there are 3 of us we’re are able to split up the group and work with these students individually. Hopefully being able to read Shakespeare will help the students feel more confident in their reading ability and for those reading at a lower level will get them practicing and improving.
Aleeza was unable to attend rehearsal this week, so Caroline and I ran the session. We started late because the students were participating in a large group election activity run by Mr. Allan. When they finished and were broken up into their small groups, we took our group to the Choir Room to rehearse lines. We had 2 or 3 of our original group members missing, and Mr. Allan said they were out for personal reasons. The students were pretty rowdy, so we decided to begin with a game that they all really enjoyed: Museum. When Caroline and I (the Museum guards) close our eyes, they are allowed to move and dance around, but when we open our eyes, they have to be still, like a Museum statue.
When we completed the game, we asked the students if they all recalled their assigned part in Twelfth Night. The majority of them remembered their lines, only 2 or 3 out of the 12 or so students had to be reminded. Everyone then went over their own lines.
When Caroline and I met with Mr. Allan after rehearsal, he informed us that John, one of our 5th grade students, had completed the testing that had been occurring at Bousall that week his results stated that he performs at a 1st grade reading level. Therefore, Shakespeare may be a little too difficult for him. He offered to transfer John out of our group, but Caroline and I said we would be willing to work with him one on one in future rehearsal sessions. Mr. Allan said that 2 other boys in our group also tested at 2nd and 3rd grade reading levels. Therefore, we decided that at the following rehearsal we would perhaps divide into smaller groups to make rehearsals seem a little more personable, allowing the students to receive more individual attention.