Alexander at Conservatory: Rehearsals

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11/22/13 – Week Nine. This week in Conservatory,we went straight to work on our play.  We played a game where we recited words from the play that were memorable to us.  Two people starting saying a line from our play and walked around the classroom, then another person did it, then another until everyone had recited a memorable but different line.  When the boy who plays the teacher shouted out his line, we all sat down.  Next, it was time to run through the whole thing.  We ran through all of the scenes until we got to the end and everyone was familiar with the whole play. Our teachers directed us by putting us in the proper places and helped us think about how to say our lines.  The teachers were satisfied but we did goof around a little during the practice and I think we could have done better.  Everyone was tired after the run-through so Mr. John and Miss Carolyn let us take a break.  After the break, we practiced the whole thing one more time!  It got better that time and we did not goof around as much.  Then Mr. John passed out reminders about going to our final practice at the TCA and told us to make sure to take the stage door and wear actor blacks.  “Actor blacks” means that you wear all black so people can imagine what’s happening and we don’t have to use costumes.  Last week, I interviewed my teachers and Miss Carolyn said that she thought that we were rehearsing well and she is satisfied with our work, though she thinks that we need to focus a bit more. Mr. John said that he was also satisfied and thinks the play is going to be a great success.

We’re looking forward to our performance on December 18th!

Until next time,
Alexander
Childsplay Academy Reporter

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Alexander at Conservatory, Week Eight

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11/7/13 – Week Eight.
  First, we played a game like we always do at the beginning of the day, to get active and prepare for our day of acting and movement, and then we got right into scene work.  We practiced the beginning of our sharing which is about a teacher and his students who have to watch a video about science.  One of the girls falls asleep and then she has a dream about science.  Then we became a large talking face that talks about the human body.  Our whole cast creates the human face.  For example, I’m the mouth, which is good for me!  We worked on that for about an hour and then we had a short break.  We then practiced our other scene that would come in the middle of our play but we will put that together next week with a new scene.  I think that our play is coming along well and that we are all learning so much about the parts that go into creating a play very fast, including all of the things that we have to rehearse and memorize.  People should come see this play because it gives you facts about the human body BUT it is also very funny and exciting.  The cast is very nice and would love for anyone to come see it.  Check out my exclusive Rock-the-Presidents blog as a Childsplay Kid Reporter to learn more about plays.  Check out my previous blogs to see if you might want to join Conservatory.  If you are a big thinker or imaginative and creative, then Conservatory is your thing.  You can get recommended into Conservatory after you have taken some camps or classes first.
Alexander
Childsplay Academy Reporter

Captain on the Deck! Alexander Blogs About Conservatory

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10/26/13 – Week Seven.
  This week at conservatory, we talked about our sharing and if anyone had any additional ideas.  Then, we played Captain on the Deck.  Someone is the captain and everyone else is a sailor.  The captain can yell out “Captain on the deck.” Then, we have to salute him or her.  You have to stay in the salute until he or she says “At ease.”  The fun part of this game is that there are things you can do in between, like be a jellyfish by going on the floor and waving your arms and legs up and down, or getting into a group of five and singing “Starfish, Starfish, Starfish…” Or, you can go to an island (to one side of the room) or be in the ocean (when you go to the other side of the room).  The last person to get to those places without running is out.  The fun part is if they say “Captain on the deck” and you salute.  It’s like Simon Says.  The captain gives orders that you have to follow but you cannot do them because you are supposed to be saluting.  If you follow the orders and stop saluting, then you’re out and you just sit out and watch everybody.  We played that game first to get ready to act.  The game helps us act quickly, think faster, and get creative.  Next,  we practiced the first piece of our sharing which is a kid who falls asleep during class and goes to a weird place in a human body dream, since they were about to show a human body video in class.  We spent the whole morning on that, trying to work on coordination, singing, and most of all concentration.  My teachers said that we are going to work on a human body rap next week. 
Alexander
Childsplay Academy Reporter

Stormy’s Review: “Learning to Love – A Rabbit’s Story”

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Are you ready for an adventure? The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is about a rabbit who discovers the true meaning of love. He realizes that life is difficult but that is when friendship finds him and he learns to love in return.

          As you enter the theatre, you will notice how nice and cozy the atmosphere is.  You will feel like you are part of the play. As your adventure begins, you are introduced to Edward. He is the finest of all china rabbits and, unfortunately his self-importance matches his looks. A little girl named Abilene adores him and sings to him like he is real.  Soon, on an ocean voyage, he is thrown overboard and sunk into silence.  In the darkness of the ocean, Edward waits and is rescued from his loneliness.  From life on the road with a Hobo to the arms of a very sick girl, he has many hard lessons and learns that life is full of ups and downs.  When one of his new owners sees him as a girl and puts him in a dress, he is horrified.  He quickly realizes, though,  how much love she has given him and how insignificant his clothes really are. Edward’s journey seems to come to an end when he is literally broken inside and out. He seems to have given up on hope. The ending will give you goose bumps as the miracle of Edward Tulane is finally understood.

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One of the coolest things that I learned backstage was the making of Edward. In the play, seven Edwards are used, each for different chapters in the story. Just like the actors, Edward has his own wardrobe. Baby blue tweed suits, casual evening wear, and even suits for an ocean voyage.  On www.facebook.com/ChildsplayAZ, you can see the making of Edward Tulane in a 3-D computer generated version. I also had the chance to see how the lights worked in the play. A machine is used to change the background settings and sounds. The stage, called a revolver, is used so that it can rotate on wheels.  The “Hobo scene” even uses a pretend fire built into the revolver. In another scene at the beginning of the play, a special lamp shade is used to tell a story. The lamp has different slides built into it, each with a different scene for the story.

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After the backstage tour, I was lucky enough to meet the actors that put this miraculous performance together. Kyle Sorrell (voice of Edward), Kate McFadzen (The Traveler), Debra K. Stevens (The Woman), and David Dickinson, (The Man) each played many roles in this play. Kyle Sorrell, for example, was not only the voice of Edward, but also composed all of the music.  (I secretly know he is a lefty like I am. When you watch the play, see if you can find the musical clue that gives it away.)  David Dickinson also played many different characters. One of the most lovable was The Hobo. While the Hobo chapter in the book was not my favorite, it was one of my absolute favorites in the play.  Mr. Dickinson did an amazing performance under the stars playing his harmonica and also the violin. When I interviewed him, he mentioned this was a miraculous opportunity for him to introduce the violin into the play. Debra Stevens played multiple characters and one that even barks! You will fall in love with “Lucy.” Kate McFadzen narrates and surprises the audience with a unique bedtime story using a lamp and shadow puppets.  It was great meeting the cast and Edward, and for me, these creative ideas are what made this play miraculous.

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Hurry, don’t miss your opportunity to meet Edward and ask yourself what is your miraculous journey!

Stormy Light
Childsplay Kid Reporter