Wednesday, May 27, 2009

ESL and drama

3 weeks before the end of the school year - and "we are all in uproar!" 19 youngsters in my Drama class are still learning their lines... And we have just started to block the action on the stage... Why does it have to be so stressful each time? I have taught Shakespeare drama to the ESL students for the last 10 years, two productions a year, and it has always been like that. Am I the root of the evil? Oh, please, tell me that it is not me... though I suspect otherwise...
On the other side, I have learned (over the years) to cope with stress: the leading actor is late for the performance? Bah! I'll just talk a bit on the stage... Or pull somebody else up... Or get dressed in a costume and jump right in! A prop is lost? Get something else! Sound system died? Improvise! And smile at all times!
This semester we are getting ready to show "As you like it". Among highlights ( that even I like) are two songs on Shakespeare lyrics to Reneissance music and the cutest dance with a puppet sheep. I am also rehearsing a deer dance "Un Baile de Venado" with one of our newest and least verbal students. But she loves dancing - and has a great sense of rhythm!
And why do I put myself through this again and again? Guess! Those students that go through drama show much faster and greater gains in English! Many of my former thespians are University grads or college students!

No comments:

Post a Comment