I truly believe that an essential foundation of a child’s education is art. Art that’s not just drawing or painting, but art like music, theatre and dance to name a few examples. Performing arts is important as it teaches a child empathy, teamwork and confidence, among many other attributes as these are values that could be gained from such experiences.
In this two-parter, I’m going to explain the steps required to create a show for children to act in.
Today we will discover How to Plan a Show.
Your Calendar is Your Best FriendThey say that in acting, it’s all about the timing. Too early and no one gets it. Too late and you’ll be scrambling to catch up. It’s the same in planning a show as well.
Say I’ve been given seven months to create a show from scratch, with one 1-hour rehearsal a week. That leaves me with 28 weeks, and more precisely, 28 hours to create everything for the show. That includes scripts, props, sets, costumes, lights, sounds and whatever else that comes to mind. Thus planning is essential to ensure nothing will make you scramble to get stuff done. Always have your calendar with you.
Know Your AudienceWhen you’re doing a kids show, your audience is simple: Family and other children. That means no Bad language or content is to be shown (no matter how much you curse in your head when writing a script). Also stop doing musicals if you know your kids can’t sing or dance. It’ll make it feel forced which makes the audience quite upset since they are the kid’s family and friends.
Know your ChildrenGet time to know your students’ abilities. If they can enunciate well, use it. If they have great body movements, use it. If they’re super shy, give them smaller roles just so that they get used to being on the stage and get over their shyness. The worst mistakes acting teachers can make is give roles to children not based on abilities, but by their looks.
Ask for HelpIam terrible at craftwork. I write stories and poetry but if you ask me to draw a watermelon it’ll look like a zebra’s butt (true story). What do I do? I ask for help. I enlist the help of someone who knows their arts and crafts. There’s no place for ego here and pretend to know everything when it comes to educating children.
And there you have it. My next article will talk about show week and show day as we go more in depth with Children’s Theatre.