June 5, 2006

Drama Camp

Well I wore my "I'm blogging this" t-shirt so I suppose I really should follow through. Especially since one of the students asked me "Are you sure you are really blogging this?" so here is my blog at the end of a tired day.

Today was Rhiannon's first day of drama camp. It is a camp run by a mom in our homeschool support group and I think she has approximately 30 students (or so it looked) ranging in ages from 6-13 I think. The first two days are being held out at her farmhouse, the last three at a coffeshop with an upstairs theater. The kids are doing a play that looks at a wide variety of fairy tales and the moral lessons found in each of them.

Rhiannon had to learn and recite a few lines for her first audition. Since Rhiannon was just shy of four years old she has been begging to be up on stage performing. She took Irish step dance lessons and performed in a big college auditorium but she has always wanted to act. It is the side that takes after Serona, not me to be sure! I recall two times I tried theater and neither was a success, once was required I think in 8th grade and the next time I went kicking and screaming to a tryout with a friend. She got the lead and I did not get cast (no shock as it was a musical - I can not carry a tune). Serona on the other hand is a born actor and has had many opportunities to use his talents. I can say honestly (not biased) that he is very talented and it is just that his priorities and calling have moved him from this talent that you have not heard of him :)

Anyway I digress. The camp began with a prayer (nice part of being part of a Christian support group) and some discussion of how things would go. The kids had to say their memory verse (a line from the song they all need to learn) and they received a little bag to carry all their supplies in. Then they all learned the main song together and practiced that several times. They gathered together in a group and played an ice breaker game. Each child had to take turns being an animal (for example a frog, lion, turtle, horse, etc) in the middle of a big circle of each other. They were supposed to feel free to be silly and get into character. It was fun to watch. Each child went and then tapped another child with the name of the animal they were to be. Everyone was smiling and laughing and they did a good job. They seemed much looser and less nervous after this.

Then the kids were called inside in small groups for individual auditions. The auditions themselves were done with each child and the play director and music director only. This was a relief to Rhiannon who was concerned she was going to have to audition in front of everyone. While the kids took turns for their auditions (singing a piece of a song, reciting a memory verse and running some lines from the play they all memorized) the other kids were outside playing games. Games like Simon says to practice listening to directions. This system seemed to work well. I left right before lunch and they were still doing this.

Ciaran and Sirah simply could not take any more time there. They were truthfully good sports, after an hour in the car and then several hours roaming around the yard of a big farmhouse being told they could not join in with this big group of kids they had lost their patience and needed some attention. So we left for a few hour break. They both took short naps and we stopped for ice cream at one of their favorite ice cream shops (a big help to be sure) we returned in better moods.

When we returned the kids were all split up into little groups working on their lines. The play's scenes are divided by the different character stories (Jack and the Beanstalk, Humpty Dumpty, Cinderella, etc) so the kids were working in their character groups. Everyone seemed to be working intently and well behaved. I stayed for just a bit while they finished up. I ended up with an extra child in our carpool and we headed home with a full car listening to the musical score for the play on the car CD player and talking about the day and their parts. I had a 6, 8 and 9 year old in my car. They all seemed positive about the camp and were interested in listening to their songs and talking about their parts.

At first Rhiannon was a bit saddened that she got a "small part" but quickly recovered and described her character as "hilarious" and began working on some character development with Serona tonight. We talked about how young she is and how this is her first performance and how she should be excited about the opportunity. By the end of the evening she seemed much better about the whole thing and excited for her role and the things she needed to learn. She was enjoying applying herself to this role and seeing all that she could do with it and how much more acting she would be doing then just the words she was saying. She was excited tonight before bed. I am so thankful Serona was the one to run lines and work with her as he could really reach her and help her see things much better than I.

Rhiannon will be playing a mouse in the Cinderella scene. Her and one of her friends , another girl her age, will be the mice and I am sure they are perfect for the role, they will be very cute. She has one whole song to learn for the chorus plus part of a song for her scene and a few solo lines. She was learning how to appear like a mouse today and ways she could act like a mouse in her movements and actions without words. She also tried to think through what her character would think and feel and how to hold herself to express that.

The length of the days may be a bit much for Rhiannon, we will see how tired she is at the end of the week. The days are long, especially for a bunch of homeschoolers not used to those long stretches. Add to the length of the day the commute - nearly an hour each way! She is excited and enjoying herself so far and drama camp day one is a success!


1 comment:

  1. Home's Cool Drama Mama12:31 AM

    I was searching online seeing what other home school camps cost and came across your blog - I am amazed at how much they charge -- ridiculously high IMHO. I laughed when I read your first line - I'm blogging this - I knew it had to be you! The I continued reading and it became apparent... I loved reading how she "became" the mouse... thank you for instilling the lesson for her, so she could be happy about the part, no matter how large or small it was.
    She did amazing!!
    I am looking forward to having her be a part of my next production!

    Loved meeting the drama king @ the cast party - and glad we found the younger version (not in the woods... and not wearing a brown shirt!! : )


    The Home's Cool Drama Mama