Monday, July 25, 2016

Theatre Camp: Peter and the Wolf

Our few-times-a-week sessions of Handwork for Homeschoolers grew into Art & Handwork by student request, and then progressed to a week-long Art & Handwork day camp by parent request, which developed into Theatre Camp at MY request, because a week of art and handwork from 9 am to 4:30 pm with no over-arching theme would just drive me crazy.

Thus... Peter and the Wolf!

Thank you to both Sergei Prokofiev and David Bowie for allowing us to frame this week completely stress-free, with all of the stage directions and narration being provided for us, as a fun hands-on exploration of everything that makes being creative and acting out a story FUN!

Here is a list of our games, planning activities, and today's recipe. We decided early-on in the planning stages that making a daily recipe was a must. Turns out kids don't often get a chance to cook with their parents anymore and so this was high on the children's wish list of fun things to do. Today's recipe had to be gluten-free and vegan, which allowed us to focus on fresh seasonal produce: PEACHES!




    listen to Peter and the Wolf, brainstorm, choose parts, sketch costumes and sets, make supply lists, divvy up the set design tasks

    We listened to the story quietly, then each child acted out his/her first and second choice of parts to play. The other children had to watch carefully and guess which character was being acted out. After seeing what everyone wanted, we figured out who would be what in the main story.

    I then asked for other ideas and I found out that lots of children wanted to add barnyard animals and zoo animals to the story.

    We ended up deciding that the introduction to the story would be at Grandfather and Peter's farm, where a collie would greet our audience members as they arrived and pass out the programs. We also decided that the audience members would be the hunters. They don't do anything but come out of the woods at the end and join the procession. The procession of children and parents will take us outside to the yard, where we will take the wolf to the zoo and all of the children who want to be zoo animals will do ultra-quick costume changes and become Tigers, Lions, Elephants, and Monkeys. Zac will be an elephant because we already have a baby elephant Halloween costume and he will sit in his playpen, which happens to be decorated with wild animals. The children noticed that, and were delighted with their idea! Zac and I are also going to be playing the cat(s) so it looks like cat ears and face paint whiskers are in his future as well.


    After camp ended I went to the cardboard dumpsters behind the co-op and the hardware store and stocked up on a HUGE amount of corrugated cardboard. From what I understand, people want to draw, paint, and cut out sheep, horses, cows, pigs, etc for the initial farmyard scenery. They also want to paint a barn. We are also making signs for the zoo animals, and a huge tree for the indoor scenery. We decided that since Peter, the cat, and the bird all have to sit in the tree, it makes the most sense to turn our dining room table into the tree and then everyone can just perch on a chair!

    This evening I got the cardboard, then bought paint in the colors on the supply list I was handed (white, black, brown, red, pink) and wandered around the house and got a large pile of brown paper grocery bags, some plain white sheets to be costume-fabric and some iDye for natural fibers, and a few sweaters in costume-y colors (yellow duck, orange tiger, red bird). Total cost so far: $16.25.

Tomorrow's plan: more acting games, baking chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting, dyeing fabric, starting paper-mache masks, painting cardboard for the sets, using window crayons to decorate the living room and dining room windows to look like a forest of trees, and deciding whether we want to go so far as to have real tree branches tied to the chalkboard and chairs. I did just happen to trim some low-hanging tree branches...

Friday's performance will be a blast. We are using a free Doodle Poll to figure out what time on Friday all the parents can make it. The perfect time is very important. I hope each child in the camp will have an adult in the audience.

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