First off, I must apologise for a lack of photographs today! Things were too busy – I brought the camera, but never got it out. Because today was HOPPING!
Our morning started off with the kids divided into two groups. Those involved in scene work for Pride and Prejudice dug right into starting their blocking for the first two scenes with Caleb and Kerri. I didn’t get to see that part of the day.
The rest of the Seniors flooded into a room with me, and the lapbooking process began!
What’s a lapbook,you ask? Well, it’s a file folder, stuffed with goodies. You take a basic file folder, open it, and fold both sides to the middle, and you end up with a nifty little receptacle for all kinds of handouts and notes – and it can be expanded upon almost indefinitely. We had sheets of paper ready for decorating and filling it, and the kids will round that out with favourite quotations, words that stick out in their minds, thematic and character analysis, you name it. It’s a colourful, interactive and personal sort of way for kids to work through a literary study. It seems to be pretty popular with our students. Pride and Prejudice is only going to really work if the students understand the work they’re producing, and there’s a lot of digging we’re going to be doing, all through the lens of character interaction for maximum effect on stage. This is one of my favourite components of drama with our Seniors. I love teaching our way through their plays – it’s exciting and rewarding work!
Our first lesson introduced Jane Austen and the traditional form of the novel in her time period. We talked about how Austen’s writing differed from the norms of her time, and then we started getting into the relationships in the play. Our first focus was on Darcy and Elizabeth, and what makes them electric together. We talked about the unique balance of hostility and attraction, and tied everything in to how they have to play off each other to almost always be in different places, mentally, than one another. We talked about how their mutual hostility has to be overcome by circumstances in the plot, mostly taking the form of coincidence, that throw them together. We talked about Jane Austen’s love of realism, and contrasted her use of coincidence and plot twists to those of some of the Gothic novels published at or around the same time.
It was lunch time before we knew it, and we had to scramble to get our small room ready for the Juniors’ arrival.
The Juniors started out with a quick viewing of the movie, A Charlie Brown Christmas. That led us into a wonderful discussion of what they had seen in the movie, how our play differed from it, and what sort of props, set pieces, costumes and makeup we would need to buy, assemble, build, or find to put on stage with them. Without them really noticing, they were starting to learn a lot of theatrical terms. In the same way, we worked our way through the script again, this time taking some time with some of the stage directions, and get some subtle teaching in about how to read blocking directions in scripts, and where they’re supposed to move. They are primed for the drama game where they jump from square to square next week. And in the meantime, notes were being taken about who might suit which role, and we outright asked them what they might like to do, and what they wouldn’t, for their roles.
We managed to read through the entire script with the Juniors again, and they participated VERY eagerly with the songs – even though I had no music playing, they attacked it a cappella – and I can tell you, with their output levels, there is NO REASON for volume to be an issue at their show!
There was some artwork produced, which I will DEFINITELY photograph and add to this article next weekend, of some of the Christmas trees that we need to produce for our stage – we had concept art! Lots of fun!
At the end of their lunch period, we excited the Seniors by handing out the scripts and CDs for Aladdin and the Arabian Nights (we’ll have them for the Juniors, too, but we don’t want to distract them from their play just yet). They finished up the scene they’d been working on before lunch, and then were turned over to Jeff for some vocal work. I heard a few of our songs happening from the next room, and was really excited about it – and I would REALLY like to tell more, but I don’t know exactly what was going on, because the Juniors had arrived, and were in my hands this afternoon! This was, for most of them, the first exposure to the script, and in truth, I was gnashing my teeth to miss their reactions. I am told that it was already quite apparent, quite early, who intended to throw their hat in the ring for certain parts, based on their participation in the vocal segment of the day!
Mid-afternoon, the Senior played a drama trust game – that’s important, especially early in the year, where there are a fair number of people still working on getting to know and love one another.
And then near the end of the day, Drake and Heather arrived to get the kids working on dance – again, preparing them for upcoming dance auditions. I was most thankful that we had fans that one of our family members brought in for the kids this week, because it was really, very hot in there last week!
So, another week down, well on our way to getting plans in place.
Next week – the casting of the Junior’s A Salute to Peanuts! Stay tuned!