This week we finished blocking for our entire excerpt of the play. The Osher participants were very eager to finish the blocking of the play and have already started memorizing their lines so that they can perform their roles to the fullest extent. We then reviewed the blocking for the entire section to see how much the Osher participants remembered from last week. Its very exciting to see our creation coming to life and its been such a pleasure to work with the Osher participants. When one participant is absent all the other Osher participants have been very eager to fill the roles of the missing participants. I would have loved if we could have had a larger portion of the play because it is so great to see the Osher participants make this play their own. Im excited to get the last bit of our props together for next rehearsal, tis includes swords for every actor and capes for all the actors that play soldiers.

This week instead of having rehearsal, Higher Achievement had a Fall Festival for Halloween. We were able to attend and help run a few of the activity stations. One had the scholars try and pick a red apple from a bucket of green apples while blindfolded. Another station had the scholars drawing certain symbols that represented positive qualities on tissue paper. It was very hectic with many of them wandering from their assigned stations. Although we were not rehearsing Macbeth, it was a positive way to get to know our scholars and even some that are not in our group. I was also able to see some of the scholars that I used to tutor after school last spring!

During our class work day, Jessie, Bridget and I were able to come up with a structured plan for the coming rehearsal. We have gone through the Macbeth script and divided it into four sections. In doing this, we hope that smaller groups of scholars will be easier to manage. Hopefully it will also allow them to be more engaged and focussed during rehearsal. We also compiled lists of the characters in each section and increased the number of murderer and porter roles as those were more popular in our group. I’m looking forward to rehearsing within smaller groups next week!

This week we were not able to work on the Shakespeare project with the kids, but we had the opportunity to go to Henderson for their harvest festival. We got to work with the kids in a different setting than when we are doing our project. The kids were set in different stations that had halloween themed games. The stations did not all go smoothly, and most kids weren’t doing the “game” correctly. It was reassuring, in a way, that the kids were still poorly behaved even for something that we weren’t running. I think the fact that the event was a high energy, loud music event contributed to the kids actions. This helped us realize that we need to approach our meetings in a calm way in order to mediate their energy.

During our workday we constructed a potential plan for the next few sessions. We cut our part of the play into four parts and will be splitting the kids into four groups. Different parts have differing roles in the play. For example, those who want big parts may want to be either Macbeth or Lady Macbeth in our first part. We are hoping cutting our part of the play up this way will help us better control the kids. We can also focus on one section of our part each in order to get a better hold of what Shakespeare is saying and how to explain that to children.