We Did It

Posted 20 December 2017 12:00 AM by Mary Teuscher

On December 13th, Blackstone Elementary third grade had their final showcase! We presented an adaptation of the picture book Wings by Christopher Myers. Students engaged in acting, dance and shared an original poem. Their performance was accompanied by a live shadow puppet play developed from Myers’s beautiful illustrations.

From the perspective of Monday morning the group was almost ready! Students did some great problem solving on in our last full run through. Teachers and Target Arts staff gathered as an informal audience as students ran through the entire show without help from Teaching Artists. This is always a very special part of the residency for me: seeing the actual transmission of information come to life as students take ownership of their work. Although our Monday attempt included some interesting changes to the original script, room A29 made it through the whole piece! Fortunately, the group was able to problem solve and work collaboratively in order to find their way through some of the murkier parts of the show. This for me, really highlights a lot of our social emotional learning. As a team, third graders organized themselves through different scenes ultimately arriving pretty close to where they needed to be.

Each and every one of our groups grew from this experience in really beautiful ways! Although the struggle through an imperfect run through was difficult, it was an important step toward mastery! In order for the piece to truly belong to the students they must discover it for themselves, each child mapping their own individual experience through our 12 minutes of narrative.

On Wednesday, we added our finishing touches to the just-about-ready showcase in a final dress rehearsal and then we performed for the school. I am so excited that our students experienced this magic of performance! As the group shared their work in front of the audience our project fully gelled. Many students explored this place called performance for the first time. Both real and imaginary, the place called performance that we’ve strived to create is joyful, empowering and always new. I am thrilled for their arrival!

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