Deep Down In the Sea

Posted 15 December 2015 12:00 AM by Lynn Mullin

What a whirlwind these past couple months have been!Since I last wrote, we have been working hard to create our characters, develop our plot, write our play, and then rehearse. Our plot came together after much discussion about conflicts and a series of votes. In the writing of the piece, each student wrote suggested lines for their characters based on the major plot points, and then I edited and organized those lines into the script.

The play we’ve created, Deep Down in the Sea, takes a somewhat epic look at what it means to have courage for sea creatures on a playground. First, an underwater volcano erupts, which causes a group of fish get stuck in a cave. Everyone must show courage to brave the volcano and get them out. Then, a bully shark comes to the playground and the cast stands up to it. And finally, a small group of them decides they need to move away, and therefore must show courage in the face of change and hard decisions. Throughout, the characters remind each other what courage is through a song, written by Jeremy, which tells them, “When you’re fearful, don’t know where to start/You’ll find courage/Deep down in our heart.”

The students were quick to pick up new concepts as we blocked and explored what it means to be an actor. They especially enjoyed learning the parts of the stage through the “Stage Game.” Basically, one person sits center stage with their eyes closed while everyone else sneaks to one of the nine “bases” of a stage. Then, the person in the center guesses one of the bases and whoever is on that base is out. The students couldn’t get enough of this game, and easily transferred their knowledge from the rehearsal room to the auditorium.

In rehearsal, we found the complex nature of this script a special challenge. The students worked hard to put it together, but we ran into that age-old desire to have “a little more time.” Regardless, the students stayed committed and were able to pull everything together for the performance, and it ended up being a great success! Some highlights included the song, the moment when the students dig out the fish, and when the characters stood up to the bully shark. What a group, what a process, and what a show!

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