This gig wasn’t in my book until Monday, but I’m glad I could do it. This is a combination workshop / family show at the Ice House during PYT’s (PA Youth Theatre) summer camp series. I had two groups in house including the clown class, mostly older kids, as well as a group of little kids doing art and theater activities. There were also eight PYT counsellors and one family of three there. It was a really good group to work with so I was able to stretch my teaching artist skills, take my time with the songs and do some nice interactive play with the group as a whole. Play.
We did The Cat Came Back with the groups taking on different styles as I’ve done recently. The song becomes a workshop unto itself. I also did Rosalie, Where are you Going? with some very fine moments from kids and counsellors. Drama queens, shy boys, and the last two counsellors did some amazing moves and voices when it came around to them.
Again, having counsellors who ‘get it’ makes all the difference. I wasn’t surprised with these teens and teachers since they work in the theater. I was modeling being a teaching artist for them today as well as entertaining/teaching the kids.
At the end of my show, I took advantage of the situation to reflect on the session. We sat down and I asked, ‘What did we do today?’ The comments were great. Beyond the usual ‘we danced, we sang’, several of the teachers chimed in with, ‘we laughed’ and ‘we saw the adults have fun, too.’ Those were spot on and quite intuitive. I said that I got to hear The Cat Came Back as a rap song. I encouraged the kids to share some of what we did with their parents. They’ve got to know what goes on here.
I’ve learned from my CT Teaching Artist seminars that the reflection is often as important as the performance. This is why I write this blog, but today we did it as a group of theater players. Good work to do.