Janiya is the only one who showed up today. We thought that was bad until the director came in and told us NONE of the children would be attending the show Friday. I was really upset at first and felt like they had wasted our time but got over it when I saw how much fun Janiya was having. If we couldn’t put on a show with them at least we helped them gain some self-confidence and have some fun! I have a lot of suggestions for next year-including not working with FRIENDS. I feel bad saying that but they were really disorganized and I feel guilty that other organizations were not chosen because of FRIENDS. Next year organizations should have to prove themselves more in order to be selected for the project.
The JSP Work Days have been very helpful in allowing us time to draft plans for our act. We have not had the same three students show up consistently to rehearsals. Therefore, we have not been able to get much done in terms of rehearsing or blocking. We pretty much decided to cast it ourselves since everyone wanted to be Miranda. All the students get at least one of their top choices for characters. I’m actually very impressed of how quickly they are catching on the the purpose of the act. When I ask them what’s going on they pretty much know.
Lies-no meeting again, Election Day. Definitely starting to get worried now about our play. We have only worked with one student on her part, I’m not sure if the other two even know what parts they are playing. I’m just glad we’re not being graded on our performance.
Well no fifth meeting because of the hurricane. The odds really have not been in our favor the past couple weeks with meeting times. None of us are really able to go Thursdays so this is definitely a problem…
Today I felt like I had not seen my kids in a long time, and that’s probably because I hadn’t. Only Immani showed up which was discouraging but she was at least excited about her parts. Probably because we gave her Miranda for fear that she would fight the other two girls in our group. We were able to start blocking with Immani but we will have to go over it again next week because none of the other students were there. All of us are having a really fun time with the blocking though because we are filling in for the other students. Immani really impressed me with how invested she was in her part today.
So no meeting this week because of Fall Break. We attempted to schedule a new meeting for Thursday but not enough of us could make it and our partner organization was not very responsive. At this point I’m questioning our purpose here. I understand that FRIENDS has a lot going on and is very busy but I hoped that they would respect us a little more by making an effort to reschedule.
Luckily by now we have a grand total of three students in our Shakespeare after school program. They are all wonderful and hilarious eighth grade girls who I am very excited to be working with. Unfortunately they all want to be Miranda so something has to be done about that. They are very willing to open up and seem to be comfortable with us. I found working at CHAT that I had to work hard with some students to forge a relationship with them because of our different race. However, I am happy to find that our three young adults are more than willing to interact with me. This will make both of our lives a lot easier and we can start tearing our scenes apart sooner.
So yesterday was interesting to say the least. My group had their first meeting with FRIENDS and only two students showed up… awkward. The director told us that she should have waited a week longer so more students could show up…but she didn’t. Anyways there were two girls Ammani and Novella in eighth grade. Novella was super outgoing right away but Ammani was really quiet during introductions, I was worried about her at first. After explaining why we were there and the play a little bit, we did some warm up activities and the kids loved it (so did we). After that both Amanni and Novella were a lot more outgoing and had a lot of run reading the first two scenes from The Tempest. Definitely going to rely on those activities to get kids more comfortable every session. Hopefully we have some more kids next time so the five of us aren’t playing three different people.
So on Tuesday we have our first meeting with the FRIENDS Association students. Unfortunately we were not given the gender of our students or the amount of them, making it difficult for us to prepare our script to meet the demands of the group. I’m not so nervous as to the working with the kids part as I am that I feel unprepared. My experiences this summer working with at risk children I believe has prepared me for this endeavor. Also being a Theatre minor makes it a little easier on me because I already have some warm ups and other activities available. I just hate not being able to control everything that I can so going into Tuesday with no knowledge of the students participating is a bit unsettling. Also the place is about 20 minutes away, not that convenient. However, I am looking forward to the project overall and my partners have been really proactive in preparing
There was one discussion questions I had come up with for class I really wanted to discuss but didn’t get the chance to. So I’m posting it here for myself.
4.) In what ways are the Native American’s plight similar to Caliban? Do you think Shakespeare meant to create all the parallels that we can analyze between Caliban and the Native Americans on purpose?
- Caliban: showed Prospero the ways of the land, taught him how to survive against the elements, showed him where to find food and which food was safe to eat. Once Prospero could function on his own, he then held Caliban captive and forced him to perform labor against his will. Same exact story for the Native Americans and the Europeans.
- Caliban: viewed Stephano as a form of God (Page 235: “That’s a brave god and bears celestial liquor. I will kneel to him”). Happened in Veracruz with the Aztecs: Fernando Cortez was believed to be a God because of his white skin, the Aztecs accepted him and then he dominated them. Cortez landed in 1519 so it was possible Shakespeare alluded to this incident on purpose after hearing about it.
I would really like to ask Shakespeare if he meant to include these historical events in his play or if I just read it as such. I wonder how advertised the Cortez incident was in England.