This morning in an effort to promote our upcoming production of Little Women, a few of the cast members, director, and a rather outspoken woman who was attempting to interest a few children in the children’s theatre later this summer, met at the library for an impromptu presentation for young minds. It was rather enjoyable as each of us in turn introduced ourselves by telling who were were playing, past theatrical experiences, and what theatre means to us. Our director lead a short intro to theatre in general and asked our audience of approximately 20 children who ranged in age from about 8-14 a few questions. I was really surprised to learn that a young girl of about 10 knew why the stage directions of “Downstage” and “Upstage” were so named. For those not in the know, stages used to be built on an incline because the audience seating was flat. As the performers moved up the slant or down, the audience had a better view of the action.
Later, the little peoples engaged in theatre games. “Who am I” involved the children walking around with signs on their back. On the signs were names of people, animals, and occupations. Harry Potter, bear, and nurse were a few. The children wandered around asking each other yes/no questions in an attempt to figure out what was written on the sign. I was surprised that it took the only young man the entire game to come up with “Mickey Mouse.” Much like a game I am fond of called “Hedbanz” except the players wear a band with a card attached.
To wrap things up, the children’s theatre director presented a piece on audition etiquette. What to do and what not to do when auditioning for a play. Speaking loudly and clearly as well as having confidence were a few of the dos. Turning off the cell phone (that goes for audience members, as well), not chewing gum, and NOT ACTING LIKE A GOOF?! were a few of the no-nos (I believe I saw a few glances my way when the the word “goof” was mentioned… mostly from the person leading the discussion). I always thought that acting like a goof was a sure way to get the part.
So, a fun few hours. Anytime young people can be introduced to something fun and ultimately rewarding is time well spent.