Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Tempest: Performance Day!

Performance day was finally here! The hallway became our hair and makeup station: And all the kids "transformed" fabulously! :

Tiara was busy keeping everyone in line ....

Well, almost everyone.... :)

Our Shakespeareans waited anxiously

as the crowds began to fill in:

One final check of the sound and lights.....


(you'll have to forgive that I didn't get as many pictures of the performance as I would have liked...I was busy running sound and music! I saw most of you with your cameras, but just in case--there will be more photos taken during our Whitney and Whitier Elementary performances!)

"We split! We split!" ....

Caliban makes an entrance...

The goddesses pronouncing their marriage blessing....

Prospero ends the play....

Curtain call.....
Everyone takes a bow....
And here--in my opinion--is the finest cast of "The Tempest" ever assembled!....

Thank you so much again for letting us work with your children for the last six weeks. I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say that we have all learned as much as we've taught....and had a lot of fun along the way!...

Now....we can't wait to put our show on the road! The traveling performance schedule is on the blog sidebar. These performances will occupy time during the normal school day.
*Lowell Students/ Parents: PLEASE keep helping your child practice their lines over the next few days. We want our show to be as good for the other schools as it was at Lowell!
*BSU students: I will be taking cast and group photos during our next shows. After I have them I will compile a photo CD of our practices and performances (including a lot of shots that aren't on the blog) for all those interested. Let me know if you want one!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Monday: Final Week

Performance day is drawing closer and closer!

Today was our first dress rehearsal....

And the gym was one busy place!
Some pictures of Scene IV:

If your child has not memorized their lines yet please, please, please make sure they make it a BIG priority over the next few days. And if they do have them memorized, help them work on VOLUME! We wish we had the funding to give everyone their own wireless mic...but we don't, so we need the kids to give us good, controlled SHOUTS ! All the actors and actresses are really doing a phenomenal job and we're looking forward to seeing what just a few more days of polishing will do. We think you'll be pretty impressed too :) !

Thursday, April 15, 2010


(Sorry to be a day late on the post...)

Wednesday was a productive day for sure! The pace of our practices is picking up as all the pieces start to come together. Running through hefty Scene IV on the stage was the main goal of Wednesday. Smaller groups of characters practiced lines and movement until it was their turn to come on stage.

More great news...our scenery is nearly done! Here is Ariel sitting atop the rock/ cave with the new backdrop behind him:

The spirits got their masks. Ooooh scary!

Goddesses delivering their lines...

A lot more encouraging of the same things: Line memorization, voice projection, and staying in character. See you Monday!

Monday, April 12, 2010


It was multi-tasking at its best in the Lowell gymnasium today! The kids took turns blocking scenes with their character group leaders, trying on costumes, and having some time up on the stage. (By the way--you can click on the images if you want to see them in a larger format and get a better look at your child)

Only the BSU students were using scripts to follow along. Most of the kids have between some and all of their parts memorized (*though PLEASE keep encouraging them to work on line memorization!*)

As I said before, today marked the beginning of COSTUMES....

Most are still in the "rough" stage, but the kids were sooo excited to finally see what they'd be wearing! Here's a row of beautiful, happy goddesses....

The Mariners....

Calaban ...

Ariel being fitted...

And a run through with props. (These kids were very convincing with foam swords :) ).

This week, please encourage your child to
1. KNOW THAT MISTAKES ARE OK!--Help them to remember that pretty much everyone in the audience will be seeing this play for the first time, and no one will know if they don't say their line just right. We want them to be able to recover quickly and with as little emphasis as possible on the mistake.
2. STAY IN CHARACTER--When it's not their turn to speak, have your child think about how their character would stand, listen to others speaking, etc. Part of this would include helping them to practice their lines while standing up to minimize shifting or swaying while speaking.
And remember...our first performance is coming up on April 23....which just happens to be Shakespeare's birthday (and death day!). Looking forward to seeing you all there!-- and thank you again for letting us work with your amazing children!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Let us entertain you!

Today we finished our very first line through, without scripts. The kids were thrilled to be working on stage but a little nervous about working without books. They did great. Parents, please keep encouraging them to memorize their lines! Our costume director is working hard to put together costumes. Currently she is working on putting together dresses that sparkle and shine for the Goddesses, Iris, Ceres and Juno.

In addition to learning lines and working onstage we are encouraging the kids to get to know and understand the play through games, story telling, and acting. The kids are working hard to "get" Shakespeare and to understand the play. They're doing a great job.

Our next goal is a full "run through" where we will actually get the kids on stage and have them blocking and saying their lines without scripts!

Monday, April 5, 2010


Look Ma! No scripts! :)

Today after some warm ups....

And some voice exercises....

The kids got to go up on to the (finally clean) stage and run through The Tempest without the aid of scripts!
A few of them had all their lines memorized. Several more were very close to it. It was fabulous to see how much they'd progressed in the week of Spring Break! We continue to encourage kids to practice their memorization, to listen to their recordings, and to work on projecting their voices.

For any who are interested, here's the YouTube link to a version of The Tempest that might be helpful for kids wondering how to 'master' their character.
See you all tomorrow!

Friday, March 26, 2010


Today we successfully blocked scene V. The kids are working hard to learn their lines . The crew is busily constructing the set, working on costumes, and hunting up props for the show. The kids are doing their part by creating "lobby art" -- posters and billboards, and decorating the set. With Spring Break at hand we want to remind our cast to keep working on those lines because we go OFF BOOK when we get back.

Parents, the kids have been encourages to watch clips, video's or adaptations of The Tempest with your help.

Crew, keep in touch over the break!

Everyone have a GREAT Spring Break and we'll see you soon!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wednesday of Week Three

Here are a few pictures from today's practice where the main goal was to block Scene IV:

The kids continued to get some practice time on the stage while further mastering the use of props--

Those that only have a few lines have really impressed us with their mastery in movement. Today they practiced "scary chasing". They did a great job too!--Nicole looks pretty frightened!

There was a lot of excitement in the costume "department" where a few of the goddesses got to be fitted for their dresses today. The dresses are still in the rough stage and our designer promises that the girls will look like lovely goddesses when she's done, not like teenagers going to prom :) .

Our Caliban had everyone laughing as she demonstrated her "schlepping" ability--

Overall, it was another great and productive day!

Just a reminder for students to keep working on memorizing lines and to remember to bring their scripts to practice.
Thanks for your continued support! I know I speak for the entire group when I say thank you for letting us work with your children. They are truly an amazing group of individuals!

Tuesday -- Week Three

We are working on stage this week!

Today we began with snacks and a rousing game of Red Rover, Red Rover, which had the gym shaking with laughter. Then we moved into groups and began working on lines. Each team is working hard to be off book by the end of the week and we know the kids will work hard to have their lines memorized when they come back from Spring break.

Next we moved onstage and continued blocking. We worked on Act IV which includes most of the cast. It's big challenge but the kids attacked it with determination and lots of energy. By the end of the day it was looking great.

Tomorrow we're blocking act V and with any luck we'll be ready for our first run through by Thursday!

Cast: We need EVERYONE to show up and to bring your SCRIPTS!

Crew: The goal is to get the kids off book as soon as possible! Also please remember to email a list of any props you may need to Phil ASAP

Keep up the good work everyone!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday of Week 3

The gym was especially loud today--a good sign! As the kids have become increasingly more comfortable with their lines they've been able to deliver them with more volume, more feeling, and more movement.

Today (after warm ups and snack) we started to block specific scenes. The groups rotated around the gym so that everyone got a turn to practice on the stage. There was even some dancing, pretend sword fighting, and costumes worked in.

In the final 15 minutes, a few groups got to do a "show and tell" performance. It's amazing how much they continue to improve. We can't wait to see what a few more weeks will do!

We ask that kids continue to work on memorizing lines, remembering to slow down a bit in their reading and allow their voices to project. Help remind them that volume comes from their middle section and isn't the same as yelling :).

The performance schedule is now up on the sidebar. Parents/family are welcome to attend one or all of the shows, including those performed at Whitney and Whitier. ALSO-- We will be doing some set construction and painting this Saturday. If you have a few spare minutes or hours, we'd love and appreciate any help we can get from parents! We'll have specific times and locations up in the next day or two.

All the best!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wednesday of Week 2

Another fun and busy day at the Shake it Up program!

We started off with our warm ups.... Then paused for a snack....
The nymphs and goddesses were especially interested in what was going on in the costume department....

We changed up the way we'd been playing our "Bunny Killer" game--resulting in a lot more deaths (and chances to practice dramatic facial expression and body movement)...

Then it was time to divide up into groups and practice lines. The BSU mentor to Lowell student ratio is about 3-1, so you can be assured the kids are getting all the individual attention they'll need to get a good understanding of their part...

Those with only a few lines practiced their movement. Here are some mariners demonstrating what rowing a boat and then crashing in it would look like....

To wrap up the day, each group put on a mini-performance of what they'd learned that day...

The audience agreed that all our actors are making real progress!...

***The kids have been challenged today to START MEMORIZING THEIR LINES!*** The sooner they start, the better chance they'll have of having them down by our first performance. See you all tomorrow!