Saturday, June 5 we met at the parking lot of St. Francis Xavier Church. We chose this area because of its size and the shade in the late afternoon. Our stage will be set in the middle of the street with scenery pieces placed in the yards on both sides of the street. Before the EcoKids arrived I laid out the various positions with chalk. The stage, a 24 X 8 foot farm trailer was towed into position and measurements were marked.
We were to meet at 5:30 PM. By 6:00, nine of twelve EcoKids arrived. Most of the kids seemed bored and unmotivated and began throwing crab apples. We sat down for a talk in which I reminded them of the commitments they and their parents had made when they started the program, to be present for each rehearsal and performance. The kids had various reasons why they would not be able to come to performances including camp and weddings. I held a hard line and said that they had given their word and how could we do the play if no one came. I was afraid that we would have to do the play with no actors. At the time I felt that I pushed too hard. Had I had years of theatrical experience I might have known how to handle it better.
Carol Flynn who has years of working with middle school stage productions spoke to the EcoKids to tell them what to expect as they performed.
We decided to outline the movements cutting out all dialog except short phrases to identify times to move. Cutting down the time in the run-through help hold the kids interest much better.
Thanks to volunteers Joel Kraft and Carol Flynn.