View Full Version : Give me tips for directing children's theatre!
05-07-2006, 03:17 AM
I am directing kids ages 6-12 in a community production. I need some way to assess thier talents so I can cast the 'main roles' as well as the smaller speaking parts according to ability, I need to do this without a traditional "audition" process so as not to intimidate them or make them feel as if they are competing (many of them cannot read).
I've never really worked with kids this young before so I was wondering if anyone with experience could suggest any games or activities that would be fun for the kids and also serve my purposes.
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
05-07-2006, 06:16 AM
Give me tips for directing children's theatre!
Well, any nude scences should be done tastefully.
Seriously, keep it fun for the kids in the play. If it ain't fun, if you're too intense, it becomes a chore not a joy.
05-07-2006, 06:35 AM
Yeah, the important thing is to make sure the kids have fun and all get to feel included. I've done community theatre for little kids (10-12), and there's nothing worse than having some poor kid sitting at the back of the room sulking because he got to be a "tree".
When choosing your play, consider something other than a traditional drama. Musicals, dance, etc. offer lots of chorus roles and so forth, giving everyone a chance to shine. After all, no-one is expecting you to produce Shakespeare; you might want to think about something a little more abstracted- not performance art, exactly, but doing things like having the "chorus" form the landscape with mime, act as joint narrators (either one after the other or all together), that sort of thing.
As a joint exercise and audition thing, I would do some workshops before you do casting- first get them all participating in warm-up exercises; walking around in a circle, for example, then saying "OK, everyone be a really old person, hunched over; everyone be a dog; etc.", then split them up into groups of 4-5 and have them do some group improvisations ("I want you to pretend you're in a classroom/doctor's office etc."). It should quickly become clear who the most self-confident and talented kids are.
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