I’ve been too busy to blog about it until now, but my biggest creative project for fall 2013 was Storytellers’ Theater Club! I started working on it last July because Superboy was really interested in theater but I was having a hard time finding the right thing to sign him up for, mostly because he wanted it to feel like play (not boring memorization and rehearsals!) and be social. I figured he couldn’t be the only kid who wanted to make up his own character and story, say his own lines and be given the freedom/time to really explore different costumes, props and special effects with friends…and so, Storytellers’ was born, an after school club providing theater play to kids grades K-3 with a storybook spin.
My primary objective was that this club to be a warm, friendship driven environment for kids. I wanted them to feel valued for their own special, creative abilities and to appreciate those abilities in fellow club members. I also wanted the kids to push the boundaries of their imaginations through acting, making up their own scenes and theater related crafts. The action at each of our meetings was fast paced, including acting and team building games, story theater style performances and the creation of costumes, props, puppets and special effects! If you’re interested in reading more about it, including the Invitation poem, the Benefits of Theater, Weekly Themes, etc. please visit the site at http://StorytellersTheater.com.
In researching for Storytellers’ I came upon this quote in Drama games for Classrooms and Workshops by Jessica Swale that summed up my vision perfectly:
A well-run drama session can offer a creative springboard, a chance to escape into an imaginative realm, a means of making something visceral and exciting which, whilst temporal, is shared in that moment by the participants in the room. This is the joy of facilitating…. The participants ought to feel that something has been achieved; they have created something, learned fresh concepts, gained skills or developed new bonds. There must always be a sense of vitality and excitement. It is all too easy to lose sight of this in a quest to provide an informative experience.
Having finished our session I have to say facilitating truly was a joy! I’m already missing my inspiring students and looking forward to another session, perhaps in fall 2014. I have plans for ramping it up with more professionally made costumes, bigger effects and a longer parent performance at the end of our session.
In the meantime I’m offering another after school club focusing on something I’ve been passionate about since forever: writing! It’s for middle schoolers and begins January 28th. My co-facilitator Nan Marie Swapp and I will help kids select the story they want to write, manage their writing time and understand the elements of a good story so that they will have their own completed manuscript at the end of 10 weeks. In lieu of our regular meeting on the 10th week we’ll have a parent night so that stories can be shared. We’re bringing the same Storytellers’ Theater Club philosophy of fun, friendship and creativity to our new Storyteller’s Writing Club! If you’re interested in more info, including pricing, please visit the Contact page and I will be in touch.