June 21st-23rd ran the session in Orderville for 2016 with the important theme: “telling the story.”
We played games like “Three Headed Monster,” “What Are You Doing?,” and “Big Booty” (all explained in my Youth Theatre Program), that taught kids how to interact with others on stage. The theatre is a place were all parts/people should work together to “tell a story.” It is important that the team is united and listen to one another in order to show the art in the performance.
The kids also enjoyed playing a game where the group had to work together in counting to twenty. This may sound ridiculously simple, but it proved to be a very difficult task. You cannot tell others when to say a number, and if a number is said more than once or out of turn, the count is restarted. We used this game as a metaphor for the stage by explaining that it is no fun when one person says all the lines, and that you have to listen in order to interact with others to achieve the overall goal. We ended the game by going in order and listening to our teammates, comparable to saying one’s lines in a performance.
Staying with the storybook theme of the camp, the kids received parts, practiced, and performed skits spoofed off of The Frog Prince, The Tortoise and the Hair, and Goldilocks and the Three Bears that can be found in Justin McCory Martin’s Fabulously Funny Folktale Plays, Scholastic Teaching Resources.
The kids learned choreography to “We Tell the Story“ from Once On this Island and “I Won’t Grow Up“ from Peter Pan.
Both our songs and dances involved using many different emotions to “tell the story” so we had the children practice using their bodies and voices in order to display their emotions. To better explain this, we showed the kids the “Make ’em Laugh“ scene from Singing in the Rain, in which the main character uses all of his energy to tell the audience what he is experiencing.
The children created masks to show expressions for their own characters, and then we had them stand in front of the mirror to practice showing a variety of emotions with their whole bodies because their faces were covered by their masks. We taught them that the audience needs giant movements and large expressions given with purpose for portraying their character.
It was an amazing experience for the children and adults involved. With the addition of all the fun props and costumes for the performance, I truly believe that the kids learned an astonishing amount and were given great opportunities for parts to play in this camp. We are so happy to share this videotape of the performance to show all that these children have achieved during the “Stages of Summer” camp.