This fall I started an afterschool drama club. I had the idea for awhile, but what prompted me to set aside time to do it was the audition process at one of the local high schools. Plenty of students wanted to be in the musical, but they weren't considered good enough to be in the ensemble, so the director went with a musical with just a few parts.
This brought back memories of my own high school experience. I tried out with others and the director chose a production with only for parts. At the time, I got the message that acting wasn't for everybody. I wasn't good enough.
Now as an adult I wondered, where are students supposed to learn these skills? There aren't many drama programs in the public schools before high school. Do they just magically show up ready to act, or are these skills taught? I wanted to create a place where students could try out these skills without the pressure of competition. (Thus, no divas allowed.)
Fortunately, I my stepdaughter has had the opportunities at our church to learn to act. I have tried to be one of the helpful stage moms who helps with painting, costumes, and props. Over the last nine years, I have learned a set of skills I can teach elementary students that can spark their interest in drama. As you can see from the list below, they also help them in other areas.
Over the next few weeks, I plan to share some of the activities we have done and how I incorporate some of them into my regular classroom.
Face the audience
Stay in character even when you aren’t speaking!