Rehearsal

 

The rehearsal process for the play was pretty much like every rehearsal period for a "class play," except that since there were only a third of one class (a ninth of the fourth grade) onstage at a time, we had some difficulty keeping the boys who were not performing at a given moment engaged.  I tried with some success to solve this problem by recruiting them to help me watch and critique their peers' performances.  The staging was very simple, with virtually no props and absolutely no scenery, to facilitate fast changes of locale.  I coached them to speak loudly and clearly, to open up to the audience, to be aware of their spatial arrangement on stage, etc., but nothing much more sophisticated than that.  The boys rehearsed their lines with the classroom teachers and at home, and each class had at least two chances to work with me on staging and blocking.  (We had to use time not officially set aside for drama, since we'd run out of drama periods.)  This kind of thing is never easy, but the boys were much more engaged and serious about learning their lines and their blocking than is usual at this school.  I am certain that was because of the ownership they felt for the project, and all of the hard and sometimes frustrating work we put in.

 

NEXT:  PERFORMANCE