“A chain is only as strong as its weakest link” – this is the angle I take with my students while working on a play. I continually stress the importance of every character, of every team member, every storyteller – regardless of the number of lines. For this reason, I name each and every one of my characters and not one is line-less. I also incorporate the students with smaller parts in other ways: They are put in charge of set design, or drawing the curtain at the beginning of the play (it’s amazing how coveted that job is!). And most importantly, at the end everyone bows – together as a team.
When it comes to the actual production process, my biggest piece of advice is: give you and your students plenty of time. It is amazing what kids can achieve when time is coupled with high expectations. They’ll rise to the challenge. I provide additional production support to teacher-directors in the supplement sold as part of our Script Kits. To see an example, please view the Twelfth Night Table of Contents.
Last but not least, I want to say “thank you” for taking on such a project. Putting on a play is one of the most difficult things to do – considering the pressures and challenges we face as teachers. The arts – especially performing arts – often get pushed to the side. Thank you for making the time and taking on the challenge. I promise the experience will be one of the highlights of your students’ educational journey, and a precious gift you can all share.