Thursday, October 08, 2009

Classroom Dojo

The first procedure they learn is the procedure for entering the room.

Theatre class is really a laboratory for, among other things, rehearsing social skills. They get assigned to scene partners or small working groups, and are given a minimum of rehearsal time to create monsters or machines using their bodies, or figure out a way to tell a simple story using everybody in the group to show a location, or to read and rehearse a scripted scene. They are not always happy about their partners; the real purpose of the class has to do with their response to these situations.

It is interesting to note the creative leaps that take place between partners who think they don't like each other.

A lot of energy is released in that room, and we begin and close in a manner similar to martial arts class.

The children enter the room and are taught to move quickly into a standing circle, in a relaxed but alert position with feet in parallel position, shoulder-width apart, and their arms by their sides. They are encouraged to imagine that I might toss a ball at them at any moment by surprise, yet they should be ready to catch it. (I have started keeping a small ball handy for just this purpose.)

Once everyone in this position -- and nothing proceeds until everyone is "ready" -- we bow together. A standing bow from the waist, to express respect and appreciation for one another.

Sometimes we just rehearse that.

1 comment:

Pam said...

Sounds like a wonderful class, Alg! Love your creative teaching techniques!