I am having an absolute blast working with the Rivka and Esther girls in the Stage Masterclass! We started by jumping into the art of Improvisation! We focused on the rules of Improv. I know, shocking! There are rules! Improv is all about taking risks, trusting your imagination, honing your listening skills, and being bold. I was consistently impressed by the girls’ commitment to bold characters and their willingness to dive into the unknown of improvised scenes! Some of the favorite games we played were “Award Show,” “Expert Interviews,” “Park Bench,” “House Party” and “Freeze Dance and Justify.” All of these games are designed to encourage students to develop their listening skills, teamwork and quick thinking, while also creating and committing to unique characters with strong points of view.
We then moved onto focusing on Scene Work! I brought in some scenes from plays and the girls had opportunities to perform scenes in pairs. I particularly loved watching the girls take on silly characters like Cinderella’s Step Sisters! Unlike with Improvisation, Scene Work is about taking a given character and situation and diving deeper. Here we are focused on the layers of a character and their emotions, asking questions like, “What does the play and/or scene tell me about the character I am playing?” “How does my character see the world?” “When I am in a scene, who am I in the presence of and how do they make me feel?”. The beauty of theatre and acting is that all of the different facets intertwine! The girls were able look back at the Improv skills they learned and use that boldness they developed to enhance their commitment in their Scene Work! It makes me a very happy acting teacher when I see my students take notes about a scene or character and implement them with confidence right then and there. To see their progress and eagerness to grow is truly a thrill.
This week we will focus on Monologues and writing our own material! I can’t wait to see what else these girls do. I am so proud of their work thus far.