Heather Keith, Opera for All Teaching Artist Intern
After months of brainstorming, writing, and composing our operas are finally taking shape and the blocking process has started! This is probably my favorite part of any production and I think it’s becoming the student’s favorite part as well! It’s amazing to see the transformation that happens to a show once it’s “on it’s feet” and these operas are no different. One major change I have noticed in the early stages of blocking is how none of the students want to sit on the sidelines. Now that there are dances to be danced and fight chorography to be performed no one wants to miss out!
|Reilly students adding in some Taek won do moves to enhance the script|
Before blocking was able to begin we took a moment to explain stage directions and the importance of not closing yourself off from the audience. During a class at Chase, Dr. D'Agostino played a stage direction game, which was really effective in getting the students to understand not only which way to move, but why we move that way. The students really loved this game and it made blocking later on much smoother.
During this process we have implored the help of the student assistant stage managers and I think this extra responsibility is something the students are really taking pride in. One of the students I work with at Reilly is on the shy side, but now that she has the ability to be the go-to person for blocking questions, I can see she is coming out of her shell. As for the rest of the students, it’s great to see what physical attributes they are assigning to their characters. Each character is starting to have a distinct personality and the more individualized these characters are, the more confident the students become. All the students are pretty invested at the point and that I think is the key to great theater. These operas are going to be amazing and I’m so happy that I get to be a part of this process.
Student at Reilly Elementary striking a confident pose in the middle of their class composed song