To Contact This Program
Kids 4 Broadway
PO Box 122
Kelseyville, CA 95451
Elementary and middle school students learn about the dynamics and discipline of theatre while rehearsing and eventually performing one-act plays - many of which deal with character education.
Number of Students Involved in This Activity: Varies, but up to 30 or more can participate
Range of Student Ages: 5 to 15
Duration of Activity: 10 weeks
Relevant Contextual or Demographic Information: Plays appeal to all kinds of children—program is very good for ADHD students (helps them to learn to focus).
What is the academic content of this activity?
Extended day programs and arts councils have used our plays for "Alternative Reading" methods. Children love to role play, and these plays motivate them to WANT to read.
How does this activity create strong relationships?
There are a great deal of team playing skills learned in this program; much bonding takes place between adult directors, stage managers, and the children.
What opportunities are there for authentic decision making?
In several of the workshops, our students were given the opportunity of rewriting the end of the play. We put the children in small groups where they discussed their ideas, culminating in a group decision of how the play should end. The students have also become involved with set design. For example, in "Cat & Mouse...or How the Game of Life is Played," there is a baseball crowd scene (in the bleachers) at the end of the play. Students drew their own caricatures of various people in the bleachers: eating hotdogs, drinking sodas, and a baseball mitt in the air from a guy trying to catch the ball.
Kids 4 Broadway currently has a contract with the United States Air Force in teaching School Age Care (SAC) staffs at air force bases throughout the country how to run an effective children's theatre program. Along with the instruction, the staffs receive a book of pictures of students in all of our productionsin costume. The book details how the costumes were madecomplete with Simplicity and Butterick pattern numbers. Many of the SAC programs have classrooms with sewing machines whereby the students can actually become involved with making costumes. These books are available for free when a play package of five or more plays is purchased.
Children are also involved in the distribution of flyers for the productions; they are given 20 or more flyers each and visit local merchants, schools, and more to ask them to post flyers for publicity for the show.
Advanced students of Kids 4 Broadway are often interested in learning about direction. More than a few times, I have apprenticed high school students to become assistant directors where they learn to take blocking notes, oversee prop accumulation and set design, offer suggestions to streamline the blocking, and more.
What student leadership opportunities are there?
These plays are wonderful vehicles for high school and college students to "get their directing feet wet" and to learn all about what it takes to produce a play (many details!)
More information may be found on our Web site:
http://www.pacificsites.com/~kidsplay/ or www.kids4broadway.com