As a homeschooling parent, you are always looking for ways to enrich your children’s education. In addition to the three R's and plenty of science, social studies and history, you want to offer your children as many extracurricular opportunities as you can. A wonderful option is to produce and perform a play at home. To give your student the chance to explore drama and hold a successful play, check out these tips:
Choose Your Script
The first thing you should do is decide which play you want to tackle. If you wish to keep the theater production in-house, you’ll need a shorter skit with fewer parts or a play where your children perform multiple roles. A2ZHomeschooling is a great resource for homeschoolers who have the acting bug; the site has links to a variety of scripts including camp skits, Abbott and Costello routines and classic musicals like "Annie."
Find Your Actors
Once you have decided on your skit, play or musical, reach out to other homeschooling parents for additional actors. Explain what you have in mind, and see if their kids would like to join you. Chances are good that other homeschool parents are also eager to provide their children with a theater experience, so it should be easy to find enough kids to fill the different roles.
Hold an Audition
To determine which kids get which parts, hold auditions. Schedule a few days and times for auditions, and have the kids read a portion of the script. While you don’t want this to turn into a cutthroat, Hollywood-style audition process, you do want to cast the best children for each role. As each child auditions, write his or her name down along with a few parts that would match his or her abilities and temperament. Be sure to also ask the children which roles they want to play. Once auditions are over, choose who will get the various roles, and let everyone know their parts.
A successful play requires a lot of rehearsing, so coordinate your teaching schedule with the other homeschooling parents and decide on some regular times that the kids can get together to practice. Start by reading through the play and encourage each child to memorize his or her lines. If you need some help, 7 Sisters Homeschool offers a helpful e-book called "A Successful Approach to Teaching Acting and Directing" that you can use to help your budding actors learn to take the stage.
Choose Costumes and Create the Sets
One of the most enjoyable tasks in producing a homeschool play is choosing costumes. Raid your closets, hit the local thrift shop or visit a website like Morphsuits.com to find a wide range of costumes and props.
Building the sets depends on your budget and amount of time. Order basic blueprints from a website like Scenographics if you want to get up and running, or teach your industrious group of actors to create their own sets. Don't be afraid to get creative with your materials. For example, an old refrigerator box can be transformed into Rapunzel’s turret and smaller boxes can be painted to look like rocks, bushes and other background items.
Perform Your Play
Now that you have rehearsed, chosen your costumes and created your sets, you are ready to take the stage. Enjoy watching all the kids perform and have fun.