Friday, July 29, 2016

Theatre Camp Thursday

    I wrote all of our theatre games on a big piece of chart paper and we've been playing our favorites over and over!

    plus I introduced Honey Walk, Happy Place and Two Claps (I'm sorry... I just can't teach children a game called "Pass the Clap.")

    Two Claps, as I re-named it, was great for communication and team building and Happy Place was fantastic for calming the group down before I reviewed our final to-do lists for individual and team projects for today.



    final draft of the play programmes, which we will decorate tomorrow

    final to-do lists for individual and team projects

    full walk-through with music to determine blocking and make final decisions on sets -- this went GREAT and I kept pausing the CD and literally jumping up and down and clapping my hands! I wasn't the only one. We were all so happy at how well this play is turning out!

    *** SPOILER ***

    If you are a parent of one of my campers and you don't want to know what happens in this play, stop reading now.

    We will be lining the front walkway to my house with the cardboard farm animals, and the children playing the collie dog and Grandfather (and our pet rabbit, starring in the "rabbit" role on the farm) will greet parents and grandparents as they arrive and pass out the programmes, with cover art and personal notes from their own child.

    Yes, each family gets customized programmes created by their child(ren). I typed up all the general information but left plenty of room for a personal note and each child tomorrow will make several for his/her family and write a sweet note and draw the cover art.

    Then when all parents are seated in the living room, the collie will do a quick costume change into Peter while Grandfather greets the audience and sings his song about the dangers in the woods and his fears for Peter.

    It is not a complicated set. The audience is sitting in my living room, on the sofas, looking at the large chalkboard which has a tree drawn on it. There's a stone wall, a gate, a stump in the meadow, a few stools and a coffee table (these are supposed to be parts of the tree and serve as limb-pieces which we can sit on), and a down comforter on the floor (the pond). They can't see into my kitchen, which is around the corner, and serves as Peter's house and the backstage area. The stairs in the kitchen provide a resting spot for people who are backstage.

    When the play begins, Peter will come through the gate (a folding wooden accordion-style clothes dryer, lying on its side) and walk around the living room. The bird will perch on a stool, stage LEFT, next to the large chalkboard we have, which will have the tree drawn on it. In that way, she will be "in" the tree. The tree takes up one entire side of the living room. It actually is a barrier between the living room and the dining room and so it also conveniently hides the reception food, all set up on the dining room table.

    The duck will come waddling in through the gate, having been hanging out "backstage" on the stairs in my kitchen, and swim happily in the blue down comforter "lake" on the floor. The bird will fly down, quarrel with the duck, and then I (the cat) will creep out, dressed all in black and wearing Zac in a black baby sling on my belly to be my baby cat, and try to catch the bird.

    She will fly back up to her stool. Grandfather will fetch Peter and take him back through the gate into the "house," ie. my kitchen.

    The wolf, who has been hiding behind the living room sofa all this time will scare the audience to death by creeping out between them.

    I will jump up onto the coffee table which is adjacent to the blackboard, stage RIGHT, and thus part of the tree. This was a happy moment for me, when we were all just jumping up onto furniture which was handy but I realized that the bird and I, by being on either side of the chalkboard, were actually doing just what the story said and not being too close to each other.

    The duck will leap off of the blue comforter and begin to run around it, with the wolf chasing her in circles. The wolf will "eat" the duck by catching her right by the space between the two sofas and when the wolf leaps on the duck and covers her with her shaggy brown wolf cape, the duck will slip between the two sofas and hang out in the wolf's previous hiding spot. The wolf will slink back and forth in front of the chalkboard/tree looking at the bird and me.

    Then Peter will come to the gate, see what's happening, go back into the house/my kitchen and grab his rope, then slip along in front of the tapestry loom (which is our stone wall) and climb up onto a kitchen stepstool to be in the tree, stage LEFT. Another happy moment! The stepstool he is on happens to be by the one the bird is on, and so he is easily able to ask the bird to fly down and distract the wolf. It's like my house was made to be the set for this play!

    While the wolf is distracted by the bird and looking stage RIGHT, and can't see what Peter is up to, Peter will stand on his stepstool and slowly lower down the lasso. Naturally, he catches her!

    The audience will stay in their seats but pretend to be the hunters coming out of the woods when they hear their music.

    When it is time for the ending procession, Peter and the wolf (the duck will slip past the rocking chair out of her hiding place behind the living room furniture and crawl alongside the wolf as if she were in his belly), the audience members/hunters, the cat and Grandfather, and the bird will all walk together out of our front door and towards the yard which is the Zoo.

    Then I will slip off my cat mask and become the zookeeper. The duck will slip off her duck mask and cape and become the ticket seller. We will stop the parents in the front yard and distract them by making them buy tickets to the zoo, and I will be taking care of the baby elephant, ie. changing Zac into his baby elephant costume. The other children will be quickly changing into their zoo animal costumes.

    When they are ready they will stand by their exhibit signs in the yard and the parents can go around and visit them and tell them how amazing and wonderful they are!

    Then we will go back into the house and around to behind the chalkboard where my dining room table is, all covered with yummy reception food. Parents can pick up their child immediately afterwards or hang out and play theatre games with us until the end of camp.


  • finishing painting sky and grass around cardboard farm animals
  • cutting out cardboard lion mask -- for all of these masks I had them sketch and paint, and then I cut out around the mask with a box cutter when the paint was dry
  • drawing and painting the paper collie mask
  • painting signs for zoo exhibits -- Monkeys, Tiger, Lion, Elephant, Wolf -- plus a sign for Zoo admission and a sign which reads Monkey Show in 5 minutes
  • placing zoo exhibit signs in the lawn and setting up a small table for ticket sales
  • finishing the sewing of feathers on the cardinal costumer/sweater dress
  • cutting out duck feather-shapes from different shades of yellow wool felt and gluing them onto the mask
  • cutting the eyes out of the bird mask and gluing on the last red feathers
  • sewing coffee ball-dyed cotton balls onto the shaggy wolf cape
  • drawing and painting tree branches to attach to the chalkboard and the living room walls
  • moving furniture in the living room to create the stage
  • painting the final few invitations for family members
  • Today I did NOT have to go to the craft store! My only task was to print out the programmes and fold them into thirds, and to paint the stone wall and prop it up in front of our tapestry loom. And so I took Zac to his very first baseball game... Hooray! We saw the Miners.

    Today's cost: $0.00. Total cost: $37.92.

    I am NOT including the cost of any of our food as a "camp" cost, since these ingredients can be used to make other recipes for my own personal use. Also, I had many craft supplies already, such as fabric dye. That helped to keep it inexpensive.

Tomorrow's plan:

  • make zoo tickets, set them up at the little table outside
  • decorate programmes with cover art and personal notes to family members inside
  • assemble tree -- draw on chalkboard, add branches to chalkboard and to wall, place stuffed owl in branches and stuffed hedgehogs at base of tree
  • place zoo stuffed animals in locations around the yard, by their signs
  • place meadow stuffed animals in location under the tree
  • put Zac's pack 'n' play in the yard in his elephant habitat
  • make reception food: fresh fruit platter (grapes, bananas, local blackberries), baked local nectarines, black bean brownies, strawberry banana coconut smoothies
  • set up reception table
  • cut holes and add string to wolf mask, bird mask, collie mask
  • stuff socks with wool batting and attach to monkeys
  • face paint monkeys and cats
  • full dress rehearsal

1 comment:

Renee said...

The play went so well and all the performers were fantastic! It was a great week! Thanks to everyone for their support!