Sunday, February 26, 2012

Theatre Around the World: Chinese Opera

This was a fun week because I got to show them a little video which they were excited about. Chinese Opera is actually really interesting history. I wish that I had more time to do more research on it. I did find that Chinese Opera plays would be held inside of amusement parks. One amusement park had over 60 stages! So cool. Can you imagine how awesome it would be to just spend a whole day and see play after play? Theatre marathon!

This clip that I showed them is called "Fighting in the Dark." I saw it in one of my college classes and thought is was so cool. I knew my students would love it. In the video there is a master of the house (wearing white) and a thief (wearing black). They are supposed to be in the dark so they can't see each other. I was worried my students would try to mimic the martial arts move, as they already have issues with too much violent behavior. I made them promise me they wouldn't try anything. Its really more like dance fighting anyway, which I think is cool.

Friday, February 24, 2012

New Computer

Sorry that I have been MIA. My computer died and I just got my new one today. Get ready for a rush of blog posts soon. Ok maybe not a rush, but I do have a few posts that I want to do.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Theatre Around the World: Commedia dell'Arte

In our next adventure in the world of theatre, I took them to Italy to study the Renaissance and Commedia dell'Arte. The few facts that I was trying to get them to leave with was that they performed their plays outsides, there were no scripts from because most of it was improvised, and that they wore masks. I talked a little bit about stock characters but I think that went over their heads. We went over masking and I showed them some pictures of Commedia dell'Arte masks.

Since everything was very large and outlandish, we played an improv game called, "Make it bigger." I have them improvise a very short simple scene. Then I have them do the scene over again with huge hand gestures, big expressions, and everything exaggerated. Once I gave them some examples, I was actually very impressed their ability to make the simple scene grand and outlandish. It was fun to see them really get a chance to act in this game. They loved it as well.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Theatre Around the World: Shakespeare

I taught a lesson on Shakespeare that was very similar to a lesson that I taught over the summer. You can see another post on that. I am just trying to get them to walk away with a few facts from each type of theatre that we study. I am finding that its hard to get them to remember even a few short facts. Since I've been to London, I showed them pictures of the Globe. The best part of the lesson was telling them about gender roles in Shakespearean Theatre. First, I told them that women were not allowed to be actors in that time. The girls cried out in outrage and the boys gave a mean spirited, Haha. Then I tell them that there were still girls in Shakespeare's plays so the boys dressed up as girls. "Eewwww, no way." So its the girls who get the last laugh.

I told them the story of the Tempest in a very truncated version. Then I let them act it out. The part where Caliban and Trinculo hide under the cloak is a fun scene for kids to act out. Also, the part where a pack of hounds chase Caliban, Stephano, and Trinculo. The love story with Ferdinand and Miranda can be tricky but because there are so few girl roles, all the girls want to be Miranda and all the boys want to be the Prince so it works out.