An important part of any professional performance is hiring the actors/singers. We wanted to create an environment for the students that was close to the professional world. The students were given a rubric to measure the different elements of an audition. The students who wished to try out for a part were asked to read from the script and the other student scored each other. Then Ms. De Guzman collected the evaluations and we cast the show! The students who are not in the cast also were assigned jobs like, props master, stage manager, set designer and more. This process gave everyone an opportunity to give their opinion anonymously and feel like they had a say in the final show! Also, the people who were cast took their roles very seriously, because they realized the value of being awarded a part.
The script writing was a multi-step process. First, the students improvised dialogue for the story outline they created. Then they each wrote dialogue for a portion of the show. We collected and compiled the dialogue and pieced it together from their writing. Then we allowed the students to edit the script and give suggestions for the final draft. This process was very successful in creating a sense of ownership and pride for the students in their work. The students were very excited when they saw the lines they had composed appear in the final script. Their writing showed improvement and an enhanced creativity. With 5th grade we focused on pacing and response of characters to situations. As they were editing the script the student worked well as a team and that was also very exciting to observe.
The final show presentation will be videotaped on May 21st in the evening. The students have created their own fully staged opera with costumes, sets, props, orchestra and chorus.