I have been working with a group of eight 3rd to 6th graders in an after-school Drama Club "Theater Skills" class. These students have all been in shows before and desperately wanted the class to culminate in a performance before an audience. The problem is that they have very few rehearsals to pull it all together. So, I picked a little 10-minute mini-musical for them which would challenge their acting skills, but would be short enough that they could memorize lines and movement and songs and blocking within their very limited time constraints. The students will also be responsible for their own costumes, except for mouse ears and tails that I will supply. They have just a few more class periods to work. Hope they can learn quickly and work well together.
They story was already well-known to them, "The Tale of the City Mouse and the Country Mouse." However, their challenge is to bring it to life with new characters and situations and to master speaking in a "Country" dialect. They are actually having fun experimenting with interpreting the lines with a drawl or a twang. My job is to allow them some free experimentation, gently guiding them to speak with just enough character, while maintaining clear enunciation for the audience's sake.
Another aspect of this Workshop presentation is to perform the piece without props or scenery. In fact, they will be performing on just the front risers of the stage. They will be the "warm-up" act for the main production (which incidentally will have the scenery set up already for their show on the stage). Their task is to interpret the story complete with songs and movement on the front risers through their excellent acting abilities. They think they are up to the challenge. They are raring to go. I wish them luck!