Day 47: Theatre & Education

Tonight I sit in the green room with the cast of Peter Pan. Kids aged 8-9 with pirate, fairy, and much more grace the room beside the big stage. Good theatre is a lot like what education should be.

Get to know the kids. Before you can cast you need to know the strengths and next steps. We spend 2 months getting to know the kids. We build community, create common values, and set expectations for the year. Sound familiar?  

Auditions are optional and we provide the kids with the criteria before hand, as well as opportunities to give it a try and receive feedback. We used to think we took too long, but the reality is you can never spend too much time getting to know your kids.

After casting we spend 7 months rehearsing. Individual, pairs, small group, full cast. We build in skills and layer content with next steps. We continue to evolve and strengthen as a group. We have a few opportunities with an audience in December and April. 

Families know what is happening and we we don’t tend to have drop outs throughout the year, we usually add 3-5 per class…the process is the core.

The product lasts 2 nights. The show is the reward and the evidence of creativity, problem solving, collaboration, and growth. I could tell you my favourite part is the end…it’s really that large middle.

The end is more for the kids. It will be my 4th season. 8+ productions, a few hundred kids, and not once have I sat in the audience to see the show during performance night. I am backstage behind the scenes, there for emergencies and encouragement. 

It is a rewarding experience to see what these groups of kids can do. T-minus 15 minutes to showtime. 

Has anyone seen Peter Pan’s hat? 

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