Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Creative Drama: Day One

In your notes today...

Creative Drama is:
- improvisational
- non-exhibitional
- process-centered

We discussed the meaning of the above terms (use your brain!) and began a creative drama in class centered on the story "Two Islands" by  Gantschev Iran. The excerpt read in today's class is below:

Once there were two islands, Greenel and Graynel. They sat in the middle of the ocean with a wide stretch of deep water between them. The very first people who came to the island of Greenel found a peaceful place with tall green trees and dark, fertile soil.

Their leaders said, "Since we are here in the middle of the ocean, and our island is only so big and no bigger, we will all have to work very hard to tend it and keep it as lovely as it is today. If we are careful and wise we will be able to grow our own food and learn to make the other things we need to be happy and comfortable.'
" And down through the years, that is the way it was on Greenel.

Life was simple and it moved at the pace of the sun and the moon and the changing seasons.

 The first people who ever came to Graynel found an island very similar to Greenel - quiet and green and lovely. But their leaders said, "Since our new land is here in ocean and is only so big and no bigger, we will have to work very hard if we are to keep up with the rest of the world. We will have to build ships and factories and use all of our land very wisely or we will never be able to make and buy all the things we want.'

There were changes on Graynel, big changes. Even though the island was small, it kept up with the world, and life on Graynel moved at the pace of the shipping timetables, the factory clocks and the traffic lights.

 Life on Graynel became very complicated. There were so many factories to run, so many clocks to keep set on the same time, and so many highways to build, that the people of Graynel decided they needed someone who could take charge of the whole island.

And so they elected Gordon D. Warden to be The Boss. He promised that if he were The Boss then Graynel would he the best and the richest and the busiest and the most famous little island in all the world. He also promised that there would be jobs and cars and money and plenty of everything for everyone.

What he said was true. In a very short time there were so many more factories built that almost everyone had two jobs. The people had so much money to spend that everyone had at least one car, and they had so much money left over to save that there were more banks than there were gas stations. The citizens of Graynel were so pleased with all this progress that statues honouring Gordon D. Warden popped up all over the island.

Because all the land was needed for building and factories and highways, the whole island seemed like one big city. Where there used to be fields and forests, there were only a few tiny parks, just big enough for one or two people to visit at a time.

In your journal: Which island would you most like to be a part of?  Why?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Intro to Children's Theater: Fears & Expectations

Today in class we completed our Personal Timelines.  If you did not complete your Timeline, make sure that it is complete and IN YOUR CLASS BINDER by Friday, September 2.  Ms. Lyssy and Ms. Yanchak will be checking these at random next week.

Also, we answered the following questions on index cards to add to our class Time Capsule:

1) What is your biggest fear NOW?
2) What was your biggest fear as a child?
3) What do you hope children in our audience will learn from you and your experiences?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Welcome to Ellison Theater Arts 2011-2012!

Welcome to Ellison Theater Arts!

Theater at Ellison in 2011-2012 is going to be pretty exciting. I'm glad you're along for the ride. Students/parents, this is the place to find updates on notes, class assignments, projects, performances... You name it; if it has to do with your Theater Arts class, it's here.

Here are just a couple of reminders to start the year off right:

Collaboration is key!!!
Students who have chosen to attend this class should be advised that this class requires energy, participation, and a positive attitude. This is a collaborative, performance-based class – and my classes will hear me state that again and again – and will be graded as such. In order to pass, students must be willing to try new things and will be expected to work in collaboration with their classmates on a daily basis.

Participation is important!!!
Just showing up for class and taking your seat is not enough. This class will require “active participation.” “Active participation” means:

- Proper audience etiquette each day*
- Volunteering for scene work and activities.
- Group work and collaboration on class projects.
- Being prepared for class with all materials and assignments.
- Above all, giving everything a TRY and reflecting on each experience.

*Be warned! Proper audience etiquette will be taught and EMPHASIZED at all times. Becoming a good audience member is a crucial part of theater studies. You are a member of an audience EACH DAY that you attend class. Participation/audience etiquette grades are tallied at the end of the week to be entered into the gradebook. (10 points per day = 50 points possible per week)

Class Expectations
1. Bring all required materials and supplies to class everyday. Often scripts/scenework for class must be memorized – in this class, your MEMORY and BRAIN count as materials.
2. Be in your seat and ready to work as soon as the tardy bell rings.
3. Follow all instructions THE FIRST TIME they are given.
4. Respect all human beings and their property.
5. Observe all rules listed in the EHS Student Handbook and KISD Code of Conduct.

Students who choose not to follow the rules will be subject to discipline as follows:
First offense: Verbal warning/Sign D-Log
Second/Third offense: D-Hall (8:15-8:35am OR 4:15-4:35pm).
Fourth offense: Parent contact/conference
Fifth offense: Office referral

Student behavior that endangers the safety of any human being or which disrupts teaching and learning will result in immediate referral to the principal’s office.