Here are 4 ways for homeschoolers to participate in drama WITHOUT producing a play.
4 Ways for Homeschoolers to Participate in Drama WITHOUT Producing a Play
Producing a play is loads of fun! It’s also a big commitment, and sometimes homeschoolers in your community or even your own children would benefit from involvement in drama at a time when there is no director/producer available to mount a full-scale production of a play.
Here are some ideas for giving student actors opportunity to perform even if there’s just no way to do a play right now:
1. Prepare “An Evening of Monologues and Cuttings.” There are loads of books available created for actors who need a personal mini-library for auditions or classroom work. Find an appropriate monologue or two for each actor, study a bit about the background of the piece, and prepare for a low-key, living room performance.
Watching performances of your monologue by other actors is easy in the day of YouTube, so you can get lots of ideas on how to present the piece. If you try this with a co-op, you’ll have enough performance material for an event! Maybe combine it with a potluck meal (if you subscribe to our weekly e-newsletter, you can try some of Allison’s recipes for this event!) for the families of the actors, invite grandparents or friends, and clap as loudly as you can!
2. Organize a book club, and with the group encourage a drama option for bringing a scene from your story to life. If your students are high schoolers, or are fairly “serious” about drama, find a well-written, published adaptation — don’t subject them to a “Lame!….my mom threw it together and made us do this” script if they will feel insulted by it. Respect their feelings about the endeavor.
3. Organize a talent show in your homeschooling community. If there are only a few kids who want to act, help them find monologues or cuttings from plays (see the books mentioned in #1), and fill out the event with singers, jugglers, artists, dancers, etc.
4. Offer to teach an Acting Class for a semester in your homeschool community. You don’t have to be an expert. Meet weekly for 2 hours, and use those same trusty books for your classroom material. Use the internet and video of productions for your own learning process as you figure out ways to help students bring their characters to life. Basic sites like ehow.com will give you ideas for the core techniques you need to teach.
Creating these kinds of opportunities for student actors will require much less on the part of the director — no need for booking a stage or a church for performance; no need to pay for royalties; no need to find a whole cast; no need to do costumes for a crowd. But even using the limited parameters, the student actors themselves get to learn respected material by published playwrights, and they are limited only by themselves as they prepare a monologue for performance.
Ladies and gentlemen, please take your seats. The actors have arrived!