Friday, February 27, 2009

Moms and Dads Love to Watch Their Little Ones

It was a success! An elementary where I teach after-school theater classes held an arts night for the families. My two groups were to demonstrate some of the things they'd been learning. I chose whole group movement activities to have the kids show off. They did "machines" (the kids become the machine and the audience had to guess what machine they were depicting), "walk-through" (the kids "walked through" peanut butter, a blizzard, a desert), "Act as if" (the kids walked as though they were movie stars, spies, looking for a $100 bill), and the older class even performed a very short version of The Grasshopper and the Ants. As the kids walked back and forth across the stage several times, or created simple machines, the thought crossed my mind that perhaps this was a little dull for the parents. Perhaps I should have made the students rehearse skits from Day 1, maybe made the skits into mini-musicals, had the kids costumed with props in their hands. But I always forget that parents are delighted to see their children on stage, even if it's something simple. The directors of the after-school program told me afterwards how wonderful the students did; how unusually quiet the parents were as they watched; what a great opportunity for these children. The students, despite being a little afraid, got up on stage in front of 100 parents and performed--I always forget that THAT is the best succcess for these little guys to experience. We can always practice skills but the kids have to overcome their fear of being in front of people first...and they did. Hooray for them!!

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