This past week we did not meet at Henderson because of fall break, but it gave me some time to think of ways we could improve our weekly rehearsals. The scholars have trouble listening to us and staying on task, and although this is getting better, there is a lot of room for improvement. We should continue to use the strategies Higher Achievement has suggested to us such as: “If you can hear my voice clap once… if you can hear my voice clap twice” and giving very specific directions before they get up and move, that way we always maintain control. With such a big group, I think breaking into three smaller groups will be helpful, especially once we begin looking at the Macbeth script. They are very excited about our section of the play, and I hope they remain as positive once they begin speaking the actual script as I know the language will be very difficult for them. We will need to continue to look into casting as we have very few roles in our section and many children want to play these roles. Parts such as porters, murderers and trees will be easy to add. I look forward to the next rehearsal!

At this meeting, we had to do a little bit of recasting as we received a new member!! Everyone seems happy to be participating and I personally think that’s the best part of theatre. This week, we got everyone up on their feet to just start reading while being up and moving about with little to no instruction. Which leads into something that I found really cute and a little funny. The OSHER participants were really, really into getting feedback from us, even though we’re not super qualified directors. They asked for us to give them pointers, not just things like “speak louder” or “stand here” but actual acting tips, which I think is really  cool because I (obviously) love theatre and I think this is something that’s probably fairly unique to our group. Next week we formally block the scene!

I wasn’t at the second meeting with the OSHER participants but I heard from my groupmates that they successfully cast our section of the play and that the participants helped in that process so they’d all be happy with their roles. Going forward, I think our plan is to begin blocking the section as well as continue to talk with the participants about props they’d like to use and a few potential costume pieces.

While we did not meet with Henderson this week due to fall break, I did think a lot about how to get the students more involved in the actual acting element. Off of my last post,  I still think it will be beneficial to take 20 minutes of the Macbeth film (2010) and show them part of their act they will be performing. Additionally, I think we will maximize efficiency if we split the group into three and each of us takes a group to talk and practice our scripts in a more personalized setting.

However, a new idea I thought of regarding the actual reading of the script was to start the students off with a very basic script. I hope to brainstorm with Carolina and Jessie about a very well known children’s play and we can print out five minutes worth of a script. Then, we can have our three groups read that out as a warm up exercise. As they get more confident reading and acting aloud, we will introduce them to shakespeare writing, because I expect that to be a challenge.

Lastly, I do not think playing a ton of “giggly” acting games will serve us well, because it will be hard to get them to focus on the activity of reading and understanding shakespeare.

I look forward to meeting with them week 4 as we begin reading the script of Macbeth.