Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Acting Games & Song Lyrics

Amanda Compton, COT Teaching Artist at Reilly Elementary School

We started this week doing some slightly more in depth acting games, which the kids seemed to LOVE. Every day since we did them, the kids ask when they will get to do more acting games. We played, "here comes Jill," which has two kids sitting at a table, that share an improvised dialogue describing their waitress, "Jill." After a few lines, Jill has to enter and act out the traits that the two customers described. The hardest thing about the exercise was getting the kids to NOT copy each other in which traits they described. Some popular choices were "stupid," "ugly," and "clumsy." Once we made it clear to the students that it was important for the description to involve an action or an act-able trait, the scenes because much clearer. Some of the "Jills" had a real knack for taking what the customers said and bringing it to life as they came out to "serve" them.

We then built upon this exercise to extend it into our "New York" opera theme. We had the kids, in groups of four, improvise scenes at the twin towers and shopping in NY. It was a VERY good effort from all of them, as this was their first time just completely improving something with only a given character and setting to start with. From this exercise, we assigned them to write their own scenes at home to use for the show. More to come on these.

This week Linden and I also really tried to focus on finishing lyrics for our Lost in New York song. We did the same group format we did with Lisa, and had the kids brainstorm about some questions we asked them like, "How would you feel if you saw the Statue of Liberty in person?," and, "What would you do there?" etc. We were able to finish our entire lost in NY song, with our final verses about the Statue of Liberty and Broadway that offer a wide range of performance opportunities for the students. I'm very proud of the students' work, and I'm really excited to stage it!

Lost in New York
Don’t know what to do.
I really need some help.
Can you give me a clue?
So much to explore, so much to learn.
Something unbelievable at every turn.

There’s lots of sites to see like the Statue of Liberty.
It’s real bumpy on a boat
Look at Lady Liberty Float
We can take pictures and climb the stairs.
Look up there! Her torch still Flares!

As we walk and dance down Broadway Street
We hear lots of music and a funky new beat.
I love the New York accents and the bright shining lights
Let’s go see a musical, Right Now! Tonight!

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