"I'm in tears."
a fantastic performance & creative way to create the experience virtually."
Thousand Cranes - Herberger Young Scholars Academy, ASU, AZ
"It was beautiful, and
all the more haunting because of the quarantine. The fact that they
were each alone, connected by the cranes made the story all the more poignant."
"Amazing job on Paper
Cranes! I don't understand how you guys pulled that off so well on ZOOM!"
"Loved the play! The
medium worked wonderfully well! Everyone was brilliant! Music was
evocative. The "sets" really worked."
"The play was
outstanding...I loved the charcoal transitions!"
"The play was beautiful,
sad and powerful. I cried. I cannot imagine the amount of work
it took to offer this as a zoom production. Congratulations on a
"What an amazing
performance!!! It was PHENOMENAL!"
"I was so impressed by
the performances, art, singing and instruments."
"Thank you for putting so
much time and effort into this production. It really paid off and was
lovely to watch."
the Recycling Bin for Fun Ideas
Use Junk and
Recycled Stuff for a Fun, Unique Show
You can make your job as
director easier by enlisting the help of the kids in your cast.
A great way to do this is to have the kids design and provide their
own costumes. Not only does this lift the burden from you, it
gets the children to invest in their own character and will certainly
make their performance more fun and meaningful.
Consider this Recycled
Materials Theme: Have the kids use found items, things they
might find in the recycled bin (such as cereal boxes, coke bottles,
milk cartons) and cut them to create hats, vests, jewelry etc.
Use a mop for a wig, toilet paper rolls for horns or curls. Add
old plastic toys or colorful hardware. If you dont have
enough junk around the house take a trip to the local
thrift store and scour the shelves for colorful stuff like hats,
gloves, scarves etc. Add Halloween costume touches like
wax-candy teeth. Gulfshore Playhouse in Naples (FL) did a whole
production of ArtReachs Alice
in Wonderland using junk and found objects. Heres a
picture of Alice in her own special Wonderland of Junk:
Everyone's Creative Juices Flowing!"
Alice in Wonderland - Gulfshore Playhouse, Naples FL
Adding a twist to your
production design gets everyones creative juices flowing and
makes the whole experience more fun and personal for the kids.
Your Play in a Unique Place and Time
Creativity by Giving Your School Play a Theme
A great way to mix it up and
get everyones creativity sparked is to set the play in a time
or place that is not traditional for the story. Wesleyan Middle
School in Norcross (GA) put a Western twist on The
Legend of Sleepy Hollow by setting the play in the Gay Nineties,
Texas. Here Brom Bones is a tough lassoin cowboy and,
instead of the traditional tri-corner hat, Ichabod dons a silk topper:
a Twist to Your Special Production!"
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow - Weslyan Middle
Why not ask the kids what time
and place they would like to use for their special production?
Brainstorm with them about how to bring their ideas to life.
What if the play was set in outer space, France, in the underwater
ocean? Then assign the creation of each performers
costume and props to them. They may need some help along the way but
once they get the gist of the theme they will run with it!
Youll be surprised how much work they are willing to do and how
it will enhance their performance!
Just think how proud they will
be to wear the costume they created themselves! Your audience
will love seeing how the theme plays out throughout the performance.
kid in a meaningful way
The Open Staging concept of
ArtReachs School Plays brings everyone together. Without
steps or obstacles, every child is on equal footing. Why hide a
wheelchair? Make it part of the acting childs costume and
decorate it with pride! And dont forget to block the
movement of the character in the wheelchair just the way you would
any other. Why cant King Grumbleknees (in Cinderella)
whirl on stage with angry aplomb? Let him twirl and circle the
stage to show his characters emotion.
A great play to include
special needs kids! Don't exclude wheelchairs, they will work
Special Needs Kids!"
Christmas Wizard of Oz
Performers, a collaborative effort between the
Services department and the Apollo Chorus, Owensboro, KY
of our most disabled students are having the most fun! We are
only in early stages of rehearsal but it brings tears to my eyes to
see the joy the kids are experiencing with this play."
Swift School, Roswell, GA (Director, The
Emperors New Clothes)
You could even go a step
further and integrate kids in wheelchairs with those who dont
really need them. One idea would be to have all the Mermaids in Peter
Pan perform in wheelchairs. Choreograph a water ballet with
simple but fluid movements the performers do in unison.
Just imagine -- a disabled child who may not feel included in other
activities will feel right at home in your production!
Wheelchairs are good things
that help us get around. There is no reason to hide them.
Put them right there on stage without apology and watch how including
everybody makes for a joyous and meaningful performance!
Student of the Month: December
Member of ArtReach's Robin Hood
wins a nod from her peers.
Here's a great idea, Theatre
and Drama Teachers! Take a tip from Lake-Sumter State College
and nominate and offer special awards. Meet a proud member of
her Theatre Department!
Ashley Hall, Lake-Sumter State College, selected as the Florida
College System Activities Association Theatre Division Student of the
Month for December. She was nominated by Professor Heather Elmatti.
to this outstanding student!"
Ashley Hall starred in
ArtReach's ROBIN HOOD at Lake-Sumter
State College, FL.
Here's what we learned about
Ashley: "Ashley has been in four productions at Lake-Sumter
State College. She starred as one of the leads in two of our
Children's Theatre shows as the Princess in Princess Pigface and Maid
Marian in Robin Hood. She is a cast member in the current production
of Almost Maine. Ashley has also been a part of the backstage crew
for several other productions including: Step On a Crack and Ex Miss
Copper Queen on A Set of Pills.
Ashley won a Student
Leadership award for involvement in theatre and was awarded Best
Supporting Actress at LSSC's Theatre Arts Society (TAS) Awards
ceremony. She also received an academic award for Outstanding
Achievement in Communications courses in 2016-17. Ashley was one of
the few students selected to speak at TEDxLSSC in September 2017 and
did an excellent job presenting her talk on the impact of Implicit
Racial Bias. Ashley currently serves as Vice President of TAS and
takes an active role in helping facilitate and organize the group.
Her enthusiasm and kind heart are a unifying factor. We are very
proud of her hard work and accomplishments!"
Congratulations to this
outstanding student, and our thanks to Professor Elmatti for taking
the time to nominate her for this recognition!"
for ArtReach's Amelia Earhart
Play for Young Audiences
Guide: The Little Company, Morehead State University, 106 Baird Music
Hall, Morehead, KY 40351
Biggs Fleck, Director:
a bicycle for the first time as a child, without training wheels and
with no hands, was an in-credible, breathtaking, and exhilarating
experience. Scared to death I would wreck, but exhilarated and free.
As adults it is not often we get to experience the adrenaline rush or
to experience that childlike feeling of being in the moment. However
a few years ago, a dear friend of mine took me flying in his small
two seated plane. As we flew over Eastern Kentucky the experience
allowed me to have a glimpse back to my childhood days of riding my
bicycle and into Amelia's world of aviation. Once I settled into the
moment, I didn't want it to end. I certainly understand what Amelia
felt when she was up amongst the clouds experiencing the world from
such a different perspective.
The movement within Kathryn
Schultz Miller's script, Amelia
Earhart, offers such creativity. It is the type of creativity
that I enjoy as an artist and enjoy sharing with an audience as well
as the challenges it offers to the actors and the production team. I
want you to experience being amongst the clouds and seemingly so
close to the stars. The courage of the actors-as they move with the
rotation of the stage, manipulate the silks and dance between the
lights and sounds wearing the beautifully designed costumes-
hopefully will allow you to experience the spirit of Amelia
circulating through you.
want you to experience being amongst the clouds."
Earhart, Barter Theatre, Abington VA
of us have great runways already built for us. If you have one, take
off. But if you don't have one, realize it is your responsibility to
grab a shovel and build one for yourself and for those who will
follow after you."
Middle School Theatre Presents: The
Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Notes for ArtReach's script
Widely known as
America's first short story, Washington Irving's tale still captures
our imaginations after 200 years. Kathryn Schultz Miller's artful
adaptation, combined with the inventive theatrical imagination of
LCA's Middle School acting troupe, brought the story of the hapless
Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman to vivid life last fall.
speak of acting as an opportunity to "hide" inside a
character, when it's actually just the opposite. A truly courageous
actor allows the character to be a "glass" to her inner
self (her experiences and imagination, hopes and fears, beauty and
ugliness), and in so doing, actually becomes a "mirror" to
the inner self of the audience member. Merely revealing one's talent
is a safe and comfortable act, and, as a result, holds no power other
than to impress - its power never makes it past the edge of the
stage. But honest self-revelation, though an uncomfortable and
sacrificial act, is also a contagious one. It's amazing how often
directors forget the centrality of this actor-audience dynamic, but
the continual courage and honesty I see in LCA student-actors always
brings it back loud and clear.
infuse characters with their own imaginations."
School Theatre Presents: The
Legend of Sleepy Hollow
When I chose The
Legend of Sleepy Hollow as this year's Middle School production,
I was concerned whether the story contained enough big ideas,
questions, or themes. But as I began to witness the students infuse
their characters with their own imaginations, experiences, and senses
of humor, I realized that even a story as silly as this one could be,
in a real sense, revelatory. There is something uniquely inspiring
about witnessing a team of middle school students do the opposite of
hiding. In doing so onstage, they remind and inspire those of us
offstage to go and do likewise.
is something uniquely inspiring about witnessing a team of middle
school students do the opposite of hiding."
Macdonald, Arts Division Head Middle School Theatre, Lexington
Christian Academy, MA