7 July 2009 – The Play’s The Thing

 Class met today at about 3:30 again. Seems like a good time. The kids get to go home from school for a little while and rest or help around the house then come to class. It took all my  skills and authority as a teacher, adult and parent to get the kids to focus on the lesson. We reviewed the song. Then I tried an acting game Francis, the assistant headmaster, told me about. I wrote some words on paper. Put them in a hat and then the kids picked out a word. They then acted the word for the rest of the group to guess. They liked it but one or two grumbled that we were wasting time with the small ones. I had to help the small ones a bit. I think the older ones were impatient to get to the acting.

 I created a list of terms related to the theater. I showed them the list and read it out loud. The children read with me.(Next time I will repeat the words more. And I will have the students read them as well.) I told them that all professions and some school subjects have a special words or vocabulary. The theater has it’s own words or vocabulary. I said I would not give the definitions today but as we did the play we would learn what these words mean. 

Finally, I was able to say “Let’s start working on the play. We need a plot. A plot is the story of the play. What do we want the play to be about?” I asked.  They looked confused. They were silent. So I started to give some plots. I began with the plot of Romeo and Juliet.  YES! they all shouted before I could even begin another plot. World wide appeal. That’s why it’s a classic.

 Next we decide the characters, their names and who would play the role. I am sure this will be flexible so I won’t list them here yet.

“Okay. Let’s act it now!” and they were off. I of course wanted to write the lines first then act but we will do it this way and see how it goes. The star crossed lovers meet in school. The scenes they ad libbed today took place in the classroom. They were learning a song  about the pronouns he and she! In the homes of the boy and girl. And in the market place.  Star crossed lovers Ghanaian style is wonderful. Nasha’s mother said “Nasha, you have a boy friend?! Do you want to get pregnant?” she pushed both her hands towards Nahsa’s womb.  ‘You are killing us” she wailed holding her the sides of her head.

The children will practice the play. They will write the script. They will decide on costumes. And also think of some things we can sell to make some money for future productions. They will do this while I am at training. Oh my I can’t wait to see what they do with this story! Will the hero and heroine die? will they run away to Accra? Will Nasha finally be obedient and stop seeing Jacob? Why do the parents hate Jacob or is a boy friend just a culturally bad dis ting?

-vc

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